How cool is this?


Gizmag is reporting that a Silicon Valley startup, Personal Flight Systems, has been awarded a patent for “a safe, silent personal flight device using electromagnetic ion propulsion as its primary thrust generator and drawing its power wirelessly from earthbound inductive green power broadcast stations.”

Ionic Air Propulsion The basic principle behind ion propulsion is to positively charge a fluid and then electromagnetically propel it to create thrust. It’s a very efficient technique that NASA have been using to propel long-distance, unmanned space vehicles. While the amount of thrust it produces is quite small, it can be sustained over a long-term trip to provide a very effective cumulative acceleration that eventually far outweighs the much more powerful but fuel-hungry chemical rockets used for take-offs.

Simple ion-propulsion craft, such as those shown in these videos, can be easily built and are thus often a popular science fair project for students.

The PFS patent adds a few key elements to this well-established technology; most importantly a new design for the capacitative thrust plates that emit and receive the electrical charges, and a system that pre-conditions the air between and around the plates to maximize thrust. The company also plan to remove the heavy power pack from the vehicle and “broadcast” pulses of DC power to the vehicle from ground stations based on theories from Nikola Tesla, the famous inventor and physicist responsible for the AC power system in the early 20th century.

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Trackposted to The Virtuous Republic, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, Perri Nelson’s Website, A Blog For All, DeMediacratic Nation, Adam’s Blog, Maggie’s Notebook, Webloggin, The Amboy Times, Leaning Straight Up, The Bullwinkle Blog, Colloquium, Conservative Cat, Jo’s Cafe, Pursuing Holiness, Pet’s Garden Blog, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Rightlinx, The Magical Rose Garden, Faultline USA, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, stikNstein… has no mercy, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The World According to Carl, Blue Star Chronicles, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox Daily News, and High Desert Wanderer, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Other good reading, Free Thoughts on the future of Europe, David Drake on Dems cannabalize their own, Not ready for my burqua on 500 years of women in art, Sunflower Desert reports that it’s snowing in Wyoming

14 Responses

  1. I don’t know if it’s the same thing but if so I remember seeing this article, Make magazine thinks it’s not safe – http://www.makezine.com/extras/87.html

  2. PFS claim their ion-propulsion personal flight vehicles will be safer than helicopters or rockets, with their massive moving parts and explosive gases respectively. Ion propulsion, however, carries its own set of risks – particularly an elevated risk of throat and lung cancer if an individual is to breathe in too much ionized air – although this can be mitigated through a number of techniques.

    Interestingly, many of the vehicles described in the patent make use of chemical rockets to provide initial and additional thrust, thus re-introducing some of the safety risks the device seems keen to avoid. And the design of the devices, which in their personal flight form seem to look like a strap-in Segway with an umbrella attached, won’t make them particularly portable.

    Um, okay, y’all go first. I’ll drive and meet you there later.

    /I hope those things come with GPS.

  3. where is yall’s sense of adventure?

  4. Screw the safety factor, how fast does it go?
    Can I slap about four of them together on the same frame?

  5. Well, since I think in this case you would be the frame, maybe you better have another slice or two of that chocolate cake.

  6. I guess I’m just not competitive enough to aspire to a 4 Segway size.

  7. If it can be HotRodded, it will be HotRodded.

  8. I just watched a special on Discovery Channel the other night about the Star Wars Technology. It mentioned the Ion engine concept that Lucas used for the T.I.E. fighters. Seems that real ION propulsion is very small and not very strong. It does work, but truly works on extremely long haul missions.

  9. Yeah, darn gravity interferes here.

  10. Well, dang!
    All of my missions are short haul with extreme urgency.

  11. All of them?

  12. I like to blow and go…back til I hear glass, then gun it.

  13. While this ION thingie is pretty cool, there is a link on the right column of the above story, #10 the flying motorcycle, that is waaay cool.
    Here’s a video.

  14. well at least they are working on an alternative to walking, when and if we run out of oil.
    with the global warming nuts all insisting we must reduce our carbon waste.
    perhaps we can float arround on these personal aircraft
    for the life of me, i cant envision what it would look like.

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