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Thread: Whatever hapened with ion propelled aircraft?

  1. #1
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    Whatever hapened with ion propelled aircraft?

    Does anyone know if there has been any recent developments with the ionocraft concept or has it been proven too impractical?

    http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaver.../1805/ion.html

  2. #2
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    Are you talking about the 'lifter' people again? It might be of some use at altitude for station keeping stratellite airships--the wider surface area the better.

    Then solar panels could charge the surface array--or it could use same array as an actual rectenna like folks want to recieve energy from solar power sats or ground installations.

    The bigger the airship the better it works--and there for you have another kind of...


    Dare I say it?


    Heavy Lifter
    OW!! THAT WAS A ROCK!

  3. #3
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    Yep, haven't heard anything new about it though. Will it ever be practical for propulsion of aircraft?

  4. #4
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    I thought that ion propulsion was more of a spacecraft drive rather than actual atmospheric propulsion?
    I might be wrong though.

  5. #5
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    The fact that Ion propulsion gives very little thrust (but can do so for a long long time) makes it more suited for space applications (it took SMART-1 to the moon after being launched into an earth orbit by an Ariane-5) than atmospheric applications.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  6. #6
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    The atmospheric ion drive is different from the space borne versions.
    It charges the air and moves it with electrical attraction and repulsion.
    A good analogy would be the magnetic drive from The Hunt for Red October.

  7. #7
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    More ion wind than ion drive.

  8. #8
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    No ion aircraft yet, but it has brought us very expensive air filters.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sock Munkey
    The atmospheric ion drive is different from the space borne versions.
    It charges the air and moves it with electrical attraction and repulsion.
    A good analogy would be the magnetic drive from The Hunt for Red October.
    Oh OK I didn't know about that. In 3 years of Aerospace Engineering, atmospheric ion engines have never been dealt with. Maybe that's an indication of how the industry thinks about them .

    I can't really remember the details of that EM drive in the Hunt (it was called something like the Caterpillar I thought? ), but that was a fictional propulsion, right?
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas
    I can't really remember the details of that EM drive in the Hunt (it was called something like the Caterpillar I thought? ), but that was a fictional propulsion, right?
    Wikipedia article on Magnetohydrodynamic drive. The Red October movie used MHD while the book used a ducted impeller system.

  11. #11
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    It's hard to find any serious research on them at all. If it's hoplessly impractial ok, but I'd like to at least see the studies so I know for sure.

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