Plasma actuators for an airplane?

Plasma actuators for an airplane?

Postby arunraje on Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:00 pm

Plasma actuators for an airplane?
if an aircraft could be built using plasma actuators to negate all drag and friction from airframe surface allowing supersonic or hypersonic speeds in the atmosphere.
Once the plane was at a certain speed would you need power or thrust to maintain speed?
Would the aircraft stay at the same speed if there was no drag?

Answer: I don't think you can have lift without drag.
You get lift because you displace air against the force of gravity. The act of displacing the air requires redirecting it which implies accelerating it, which requires a force, ergo you get drag.
So you still need to overcome weight, so no free lunch.

But you will at least reduce the turbulance, hence reduce friction and losses, and thus you increase airfoil efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.

No, if there were no drag there would be no lift, so the aircraft would fall out of the sky. It might fall at a faster speed, if that's any consolation. The best you can hope to so is to reduce drag, not eliminate it.

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