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Solid State Aircraft

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posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 12:32 PM
People have being trying to mimic a birds characteristics of flight for a long time, and Nasa is taking the next step.

The Solid State Aircraft (SSA) has no moving parts, and no fuel on board, which at first sounds like a dream. But Nasa is working on bringing it from a concept, to reality.

The solid state aircraft concept integrates three unique types of materials (thin film solar arrays, thin film lithium batteries and an ionic polymer metal composite) to produce an aircraft that has no moving parts, requires no combustion, can fly at high altitudes, is easily deployable and has applications on Earth, Venus and Mars.

It stays in the air by 'flapping' its wings like a bird, a bird with unlimited endurance.

The key material of this concept is an ionic polymeric-metal composite (IPMC) that provides source of control and propulsion. This material has the unique capability of deforming in an electric field and returning to its original shape when the field is removed. Combining the IPMC with thin-film batteries and thin-film photovoltaics provides both energy source and storage in the same structure.

SSA (pdf)

Since the aircraft requires the sun, it would work best on Venus, but will also work on earth & Mars...but beyond that is just to far away from the suns energy.

The funding is being done under NIAC (Nasa Insitute for advanced concepts), which is a lot like the military's Darpa. Taking far-out concepts, and turning them into reality.

Phase I was $75,000 and is complete, phase II $500,000 and is also being completed.

This site has a concept video of it in action, available in low/med/& high resolutions.

posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 10:57 PM
I'd love to see a couple of these things on my wing. The problem is that at high alitudes where to avalible power is the greatest, and their most likely applications for it are, the air is also the thinest. Thin air isn't the best for flaping.

That said these are still cool

posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 11:26 PM
Amazing concept video

A very good spy device. It looks like a bird so don't bother shooting at it

posted on Oct, 24 2005 @ 01:35 PM
If there are no moving parts how do the wings flap? I believe flapping is a motion so something has to move.

posted on Oct, 24 2005 @ 01:53 PM

Originally posted by JIMC5499
If there are no moving parts how do the wings flap? I believe flapping is a motion so something has to move.

I believe that this would work under a principal similar to piezoelectric effect.

By applying a votage to certain materials, they can move or oscillate (for wings, this will be a far grander scale than the quartz crystal in a watch) and conversely, if you apply a physical force upon them, they produce an electrical output (like the lighter on a gas BBQ grill). There's no gears, pullys, pistons or any conventional mechanical means.

posted on Oct, 24 2005 @ 03:16 PM
That thing is CRAZY cool. from the looks of it would work with the flapping. mind you would the thing have to flap like crazy in the high alt that its shown flyin in or would it flap/soar. It very kool myself being a glider pilot the idea of that kind "unpowered" is awesome.

posted on Oct, 24 2005 @ 03:24 PM
I have had this idea for a solid state plane for ages now. I keep it to myself because the tech involved with creating is still not possible. But I think we may be getting close so I will share it with you guys here.

Imagine a new engine that uses a Gravity Pulse or “Gravitic Pulse” as I call it. The concept assumes that we can create or invent a solid state device that pulses or bursts gravity in a desired direction. A pulse equal too or greater than its own weight or mass.

Imagine an engine like this that uses nothing but electricity to operate? No air ducts or exhaust or turning parts thrusting of any kind. Any heat generated could be shielded thus nullifying heat seeking weapons.

Now imagine a “dial” that could increase or decrease the frequency of the pulses. This would effectively control acceleration and deceleration. Speed would only be limited to air friction and the amount of energy that can be supplied to the engine. This thing would be FAST.

Okies, now it’s not too far of a stretch to picture a double winged plane with one of these drives positioned at each corner on the wings, like a V22 but with drives at all corners. Now we have an ultra stealthy plane that is unimaginably fast that’s VTOL. And probably very quiet as well.

Okies, there you have a taste of my madness

posted on Oct, 24 2005 @ 04:33 PM
I saw this last night on the Science channel and I was amazed by the implications of such an aircraft. I also think the applications for the material that the craft would be made from could be incredible. For instance, this plastic gel like material contracts and moves when certain voltages are applied at different points. A first step toward creating artificial muscle perhaps, for people who are amputees.

posted on Oct, 24 2005 @ 06:34 PM

Originally posted by WestPoint23
A first step toward creating artificial muscle perhaps, for people who are amputees.

I've held an artificial muscle thing. My pal tossed it to me when he was working with it at University. I hcan honestly say it looks like a colossal SLUG
. It feels like a piece of raw meat. It's not very powerful but I think its a great advance.

posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 07:51 AM
well, the SSA is an amazing piece of aeronautical engineering, but is there a release date?and does NASA have a working flying prototype?

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