YouTuber Builds Wild-Looking Ion Thruster With No Moving Parts, and It Actually Works


Ionic thrusters aren't very common these days. Although the high-voltage gadgets are fascinating, they aren't actually useful in our daily lives. However, they are gradually becoming more prevalent as Jay Bowles, the YouTuber behind the Plasma Channel, shows what they are capable of. He recently developed an ionic thruster that produces a respectable amount of thrust in addition to looking cool in the dark.

Ionic thrusters fall short of jet engines or ducted fans in terms of producing a significant amount of thrust. However, as Bowles has shown, they do offer a few benefits. The first is their ease of use. In reality, Bowles' ionic thruster is nothing more than a frame-supported collection of wires. Additionally, some electronics are needed to permit the extremely high voltages needed to operate the device. They are more dependable than something like an electric motor operating a propeller due to their simplicity.

The drawback of these gadgets is that, despite their cool appearance in the dark, their thrust-to-weight ratio is rather poor. That works fine for a satellite floating in space, which is the most common use for ionic thrusters, but not so well for an aircraft subject to gravity and wind resistance. Bowles' invention weights about 490 grammes, however it only exerts 22 grammes of force. Even yet, it ignores the substantial power supply.

He claims that his prototype setup may be significantly lighter because it is built of substantial bits of acrylic. He claims that even if the weight could be lowered in half, the efficiency would still be subpar. For this technique, a drone would need to have a thrust-to-weight ratio higher than 1:1.

22 grammes of thrust, nevertheless, is still encouraging. The simplicity of ionic thrusters makes them desirable enough to warrant some research and development for use in small-scale aircraft. In 2018, MIT developed a functioning model of an ionic-thrust-powered aircraft. Although it could only fly indoors and with great difficulty, the allure of a machine without moving components is strong. Without a doubt, academics are making even more strides if skilled hobbyists like Bowles can produce reasonable results using the technology. Who doesn't like cool-looking engines, too? Please register me.

Reference: Yt/PlasmaChannel

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