MIT researchers developed a plane that doesn’t need fossil fuel to fly

Our dependency on fossil fuel is getting out of control. This is particularly evident in the transportation industry, which is why some propose a greener way to travel. For instance, at the end of 2018, a group of MIT researchers unveiled a plane that doesn’t rely on fossil fuel. Instead, it uses ionic wind technology to fly. Using an electric field, this tech generates and expels charged nitrogen ions “from the back of the aircraft, generating thrust”. Moreover, MIT’s innovation doesn’t emit harmful emissions and isn’t noisy like traditional planes.

The researchers tested their solution during a flight conducted over a distance of 60 metres, and the plane performed well. The prototype weighs only 2.5 kilograms, with a five-metre wingspan, but the team hopes to scale-up its size in the future. MIT’s plane opens new possibilities for the development of quieter and mechanically simpler aircraft.