Extreme heat/plasma thruster

My knowledge suggests when gasses are heated rapidly, they also expand due to the new energy in the gas.

Is it possible to create a thruster that is able to lift 10kg via electric heating?

The thruster would allow cold air to enter the chamber, where it would then be super-heated & ejected as thrust through a valve.

Let's say the thruster weighs 5kg & it must lift 10kg. Is this possible? i

russ_watters
Mentor
What you describe is basically an electrically powered jet engine. It's probably possible, but I don't think it has been done before.

berkeman
Mentor
Yeah, it would be a fun exercise to calculate the amount of thrust you could get with such an electric super-heater, versus using the same amount of electricity to drive an electric motor and propeller arrangement...

Yeah, it would be a fun exercise to calculate the amount of thrust you could get with such an electric super-heater, versus using the same amount of electricity to drive an electric motor and propeller arrangement...
Hahaha I'm not sure if that was sarcastic, but I would like to find out.

berkeman
Mentor
Hahaha I'm not sure if that was sarcastic, but I would like to find out.
No, not meant as sarcasm at all. I'd suspect that the efficiency of the motor+propeller would be much higher, but you'd need to do the calculations to find out for sure.

No, not meant as sarcasm at all. I'd suspect that the efficiency of the motor+propeller would be much higher, but you'd need to do the calculations to find out for sure.

Well I was thinking of a hybrid concept which uses a propeller/turbine to drive in air through a valve, which would then super-heat the gas & exhaust it.

russ_watters
Mentor
Well I was thinking of a hybrid concept which uses a propeller/turbine to drive in air through a valve, which would then super-heat the gas & exhaust it.
The propeller/compressor is before the combusion/heating section and the turbine has to be after combustion/heating section. It's a jet engine.

berkeman
etudiant
Gold Member
NASA has done work on engines using alternative heat sources. A most interesting application was in aircraft using laser beams from solar power satellites as the heat source for the engine.
The work was summarized in a NASA symposium on radiant energy conversion in space, which sketched out aircraft concepts using space laser power for essentially unlimited range/endurance.