Electric zero-emissions plane raises hopes for eco-friendly air travel

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24032053-500-electric-zero-emissions-plane-raises-hopes-for-eco-friendly-air-travel/

There’s a new type of electric plane that produces no emissions, the only problem is it is very small and can only fly 55 metres

diagram of plane

This plane produces thrust through an electric field

Steven Barrett, MIT

IT ONLY flew for 12 seconds – the same as the Wright brothers achieved with their maiden flight – but it marks another aeronautical milestone.

After nine years’ work, Steven Barrett at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his colleagues have flown a first-of-its-kind zero-emissions plane with no moving parts. The small, unpiloted plane flew for 55 metres in an indoor sports hall, steered by remote control.

Instead of propellers or jet engines, the plane uses electrodes on its wings to produce ions that push against the surrounding …