The Extinction Chronicles

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DAN ROBITZSKI, FUTURISM
6 MAY 2020
…the prototype was able to launch a one-kilogram (2.2-pound) steel ball 24 millimeters (almost one inch) into the air.

A prototype jet engine can propel itself without using any fossil fuels, potentially paving the way for carbon-neutral air travel.

The device compresses air and ionizes it with microwaves, generating plasma that thrusts it forward, according to research published Tuesday in the journal AIP Advances. That means planes may someday fly using just electricity and the air around them as fuel.

There’s a long way to go between a proof-of-concept prototype and installing an engine in a real plane. But the prototype was able to launch a one-kilogram (2.2-pound) steel ball 24 millimeters (almost one inch) into the air. That’s the same thrust, proportional to scale, as a conventional jet engine.

“Our results demonstrated that such a jet engine…

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