Did the world just witness yet another revolutionary Wright brothers moment? Physicists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently flew a solid state, ion wind-driven plane with no moving parts. While the flight was all of 12 seconds, it is noteworthy that this time coincides with the same modest duration of the first artificial human flight 115 years ago.
Steven Barrett, who designed the prototype without propellers, turbines, or solar panels, believes that propellers and turbines in flights are a thing of the past. Instead of wings or fuselage-mounted engines, the aircraft body has a series of electrodes that generates a high voltage to ionise the air. This plane with no moving parts also moves without drag.