This Star Trek-Inspired Plane Doesn't Need Any Moving Parts To Fly

Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created the first-ever plane that doesn’t require any moving parts.

Unlike traditional planes, which uses turbine and propellers, this light-weight aircraft uses electricity to fly.  The “ionic wind” or the mighty flow of ions generates enough thrust to propel the plane over a sustained, steady flight.

“This is the first-ever sustained flight of a plane with no moving parts in the propulsion system,” said Steven Barrett, Associate Professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the MIT. This has potentially opened new and unexplored possibilities for aircraft which are quieter, mechanically simpler, and do not emit combustion emissions,” Barrett added. He revealed that he was partly inspired by the TV sci-fi series Star Trek, which he watched avidly as a child. He was especially impressed by the show’s futuristic shuttle crafts that moved swiftly in air

“This made me think, in the long-term future, planes shouldn’t have propellers and turbines,” said Dr Barrett. The team designed a lightweight plane weighing about five pounds with a five-meter wingspan. “This was the simplest possible plane we could design that could prove the concept that an ion plane could fly,” Barrett added.

Scientists say it will potentially open new possibilities for quieter, simpler, emission-free aircrafts.