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MIT researchers have created and flown the first plane that doesn’t require any moving parts.

“Although it is still a long way off from commercial gas turbine propulsion … electroaerodynamic propulsion has the potential to be a game-changer for short-range, small-payload drone flights,” says Priyanka Dhopade, a researcher at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute.

Even if this type of propulsion can’t get efficient enough for commercial aircraft, Barrett believes it could be used in conjunction with jet engines. He says that electroaerodynamic propulsion systems can be embedded in the skin of a plane and used to reenergize the air traveling along the aircraft. Currently, this air ends up behind the aircraft, moving slowly and dragging it back. The addition of the new propulsion systems could eliminate this drag and increase fuel efficiency.

Can this type of technology be used to circumvent sonic booms. My interpretation is that energizing the air to reduce drag is in effect reducing its collusion with air, which causes noise and sonic boom... In other words reducing drag is reducing air colluding with the airframe hence less noise and sonic boom

I'm not talking about engines but the airframe. The text says: "He says that electroaerodynamic propulsion systems can be embedded in the skin of a plane and used to reenergize the air traveling along the aircraft. Currently, this air ends up behind the aircraft, moving slowly and dragging it back. " My interpretation is that energizing the air to reduce drag is in effect reducing its collusion with air, which causes noise and sonic boom... In other words reducing drag is reducing air colliding with the airframe hence less noise and sonic boom.

For further reading read here:

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    $\begingroup$ why do you think that the sonic boom has anything to do with the propulsion system used? $\endgroup$ – Federico Nov 22 '18 at 12:05
  • $\begingroup$ The text says: "He says that electroaerodynamic propulsion systems can be embedded in the skin of a plane and used to reenergize the air traveling along the aircraft. Currently, this air ends up behind the aircraft, moving slowly and dragging it back. " My interpretation is that energizing the air to reduce drag is in effect reducing its collusion with air, which causes noise and sonic boom... In other words reducing drag is reducing air colluding with the airframe hence less noise and sonic boom $\endgroup$ – securitydude5 Nov 22 '18 at 13:28
  • $\begingroup$ no, that's not how a sonic boom works. $\endgroup$ – Federico Nov 22 '18 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ I thought sonic boom noise was the result of air colluding with the airframe, the same can be said about drag. So energising air to reduce drag will also reduce the resulting noise caused by these collusions $\endgroup$ – securitydude5 Nov 22 '18 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ @securitydude5 collusion is not a boom. $\endgroup$ – 0xdd Nov 22 '18 at 19:04
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No. Sonic booms are caused by shockwaves which form on the aircraft structure as it moves through the air, not by the engines. Completely unpowered craft can create sonic booms, for instance the Space Shuttle and other spacecraft on re-entry.

Even if you accelerate the air along the airframe you aren't going to be able to stop the boom, because it's not caused by the air colliding with it. The shockwaves are cause by the compression of air being displaced by the aircraft as it moves through it. It may change the characteristics of the boom, it will be interesting to see if they ever manage to get the technology produce enough thrust.

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  • $\begingroup$ Exactly. Im not talking about Engines but the air frame .... The text says: "He says that electroaerodynamic propulsion systems can be embedded in the skin of a plane and used to reenergize the air traveling along the aircraft. Currently, this air ends up behind the aircraft, moving slowly and dragging it back. " My interpretation is that energizing the air to reduce drag is in effect reducing its collusion with air, which causes noise and sonic boom... In other words reducing drag is reducing air colluding with the airframe hence less noise and sonic boom $\endgroup$ – securitydude5 Nov 22 '18 at 13:30
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    $\begingroup$ You need to make this clear in your question @securitydude5. $\endgroup$ – GdD Nov 22 '18 at 14:02

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