Ion Thrusters....not kidding!

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PMD

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I have heard of it of course for room air fans from the rather famous Dyson company and always wondered just how efficient it was. Well, turns out it can be built to a level that will not only fly, but carry cargo. Would love to see the energy in vs. energy out numbers!



The Thomas Net link didn't work, so the YT above covers UT. The one below a lot more interesting from a technical point of view

 
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Wanttaja

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[I think you would still have the same limits of battery tech that electric planes have.

Does this say 185 dB ?
I'd say you're looking at a vertical separation bar..."4.5 min flight | 75 dB" vs. "4.5 min flight 175 dB".

Ron Wanttaja
 

PMD

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I'd say you're looking at a vertical separation bar..."4.5 min flight | 75 dB" vs. "4.5 min flight 175 dB".

Ron Wanttaja
I would love to see how they are getting 50 or so KV

Instead of the silliness of VTOL using such a thruster as the second link could make for a very stealthy high aspect ratio winged UAV.
 

addaon

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General approach to get this sort of middle high voltage at reasonable efficiency and low power is two stages, first a transformer to give about a 100:1 ratio (but usually not more than 1.5 kV or so output — so 400 V from a single lithium cell, or 1 kV from a 12 V source are typical), and then a diode ladder for the remaining multiplication. Won’t scale up to kilowatts, but for electrostatic lifters and stuff works well enough. For higher power I’d expect the same transformer first stage or even two, and then an active charge pump for the remainder (once voltage gets high enough that inductors get big).
 

Aerowerx

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General approach to get this sort of middle high voltage at reasonable efficiency and low power is two stages, first a transformer to give about a 100:1 ratio (but usually not more than 1.5 kV or so output — so 400 V from a single lithium cell, or 1 kV from a 12 V source are typical), and then a diode ladder for the remaining multiplication. Won’t scale up to kilowatts, but for electrostatic lifters and stuff works well enough. For higher power I’d expect the same transformer first stage or even two, and then an active charge pump for the remainder (once voltage gets high enough that inductors get big).
Old fashioned flyback transformers, as used for cathode ray tube televisions, could get 10-20Kv in one step. No diode multipliers needed. And a Tesla (Scientist, not car company) coil can go higher than that.
 

Dan Thomas

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Popular Mechanics, 1964. Major Alexander de Seversky.

1665189524906.png

And, of course, what Popular Mechanics promised us would come of it:

1665189567231.png

58 years later I am still waiting for it. Has some new magic been found to make it work? Seems to me that the physics of moving enough air at enough speed to lift anything requires considerable power. In other words, many watts. Or kilowatts. Even with high voltages, high amperages would be expected, and that would mean ionizing a vast amount of air.

These grid-like affairs will also have an awful lot of drag.

More money-raising vaporware?
 
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rv7charlie

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Does this say 185 dB ?
I think it said 85 dB; I think that what looks like a '1' is actually a divider bar. He should have just used a comma.
58 years later I am still waiting for it.
We waited about 450 years for the helicopter, but once the 1st one actually flew, tech advanced pretty fast.

I always assumed that ion propulsion was too weak to be useful within the atmosphere & gravity field. It still *seems* that the thrust generator would have too much inherent drag to go fast, but for hovering & relatively low speed, short hops, now I'm wondering if it might be more than an investment scam.
 

Bill-Higdon

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Popular Mechanics, 1964. Major Alexander de Seversky.

View attachment 130602

And, of course, what Popular Mechanics promised us would come of it:

View attachment 130603

58 years later I am still waiting for it. Has some new magic been found to make it work? Seems to me that the physics of moving enough air at enough speed to lift anything requires considerable power. In other words, many watts. Or kilowatts. Even with high voltages, high amperages would be expected, and that would mean ionizing a vast amount of air.

These grid-like affairs will also have an awful lot of drag.

More money-raising vaporware?
Dan thanks for digging those up, Like Dan Thomas I remember reading about these back in my misspent youth
 
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Dan Thomas

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Dan thanks for digging those up
Major DeSeversky: Ionocraft (Popular Mechanics, August 1964) ~ Ion wind propelled aircraft

I read that issue when I was a kid. I have a long memory for stuff like that, stuff that makes promises that got me excited but never achieved reality. By the time I was 20 or so I was tired of being sucked in by magazine editors looking only to increase their circulation numbers.

Today it's the internet. Some stuff that might work and an awful lot that simply won't.
 

Wanttaja

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I read that issue when I was a kid. I have a long memory for stuff like that, stuff that makes promises that got me excited but never achieved reality. By the time I was 20 or so I was tired of being sucked in by magazine editors looking only to increase their circulation numbers.
A magazine editor of my acquaintance once told me he selected the cover photo by the "nut value"...how well it hooked people looking at the cover.

Ron Wanttaja
 

Tiger Tim

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The video mentions a large number of dB of noise but mutes the test footage. What kind of noise is it making? Some sort of loud whoosh, maybe a hum or whine?
 

Dennis K

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The video mentions a large number of dB of noise but mutes the test footage. What kind of noise is it making? Some sort of loud whoosh, maybe a hum or whine?
You can start laughing now but I for one will never forget the top-shaped machine my grilfriend and I watched go over the front of the car doing around 30 mph about 70 feet up making no sound whatsoever but glowing like a dim fluorescent tube.
 

PMD

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The video mentions a large number of dB of noise but mutes the test footage. What kind of noise is it making? Some sort of loud whoosh, maybe a hum or whine?
I work in a 100-500KV environment and our coronae sizzle. Not sure what pure DC would sound like but much of what is coming out of a transformer is often just 180 degrees sliced off in three chunks 120 out of phase so would probably be a sizzle as well.

A pure DC discharge to ground can be quite loud. We usually call it thunder and lightning.
 
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