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Strange lifter machines

  1. Jul 14, 2006 #1
    These are machines that I just learned about while I was bored. So, i will now ask about what looks like a triangular toothpick ion engine.

    So these lifters are really strange, I don't know how they work,
    here they are.

    From what I have read though, they are ion-like engines, which are capable of on-ground rising, something ion-engines in space can't do.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2006 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Well, one has to look at thrust to weight ratio. If thrust is less than weight, there is not acceleration. Also, consider what ions are being used. If the ion lifters use air, then they would be useless in space, which is essentially a vacuum, i.e. very low particle density. And lifter capability would diminish with altitude.

    If lifters receive power from wires, then they are not 'lifting' the power supply, which would add weight.

    See this article for more information -

    Ion thrusters do work in space - in 'low' gravity fields. They have relatively high Isp (specific impulse), but low thrust.
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