Posted by: Nar Williams | July 11, 2008

Who Needs Aliens? Earth’s First Flying Saucer

Engineering professor Subrata Roy of the University of Florida thinks he’s figured out the secret to flying saucers: ionized air. And now he’s going to build one. Professor Roy calls his device a “wingless electromagnetic air vehicle” (WEAV). He plans to have a mini model ready to demonstrate his theory within the next year.
The surface of the saucer-shaped craft will be covered with electrodes that, when powered by a battery or other power source, will ionize the surrounding air to create plasma. When charged with an electric current, the polarized plasma will repel the non-polarized air, creating lift and thrust. Such an aircraft would have very stable flight characteristics, with the pilot controlling it by diverting the electrical charge to different parts of the surface. Professor Roy thinks it could be scaled up to useful dimensions (his prototype will be about six inches across).
So maybe Fox Mulder really is just chasing shadows… I mean, who needs alien technology when we have human technology? This is another fascinating instance of how fiction drives science — and science drives fiction.

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