Boeing Patents Laser and Nuclear Fusion Powered Jet Engine

boeing laser fusion jet engine
boeing laser fusion jet engine

Traveling through airplanes is great. Although it is costly, but it makes the travel pretty easy and fast. But what about the fuel and all that carbon footprint we all talk about! Boeing 747 approximately uses 36,000 gallons of fuel in a 10-hour flight.

Boeing’s engineers have proposed an engine powered by Laser and Nuclear Fusion. The idea patented last week aims to make air travel as efficient as possible. Currently, we have airplanes such as Solar Impulse 2 that utilize only solar energy for its voyage across Pacific last week and aims to go on the world tour as such. Airlines for a long time now have been trying to come up with new ideas to reduce the carbon emissions. Nuclear powered airplanes will be a cool innovation.

The engineers throw a light on how the nuclear powered would work: Radioactive materials would be vaporized by a targeted Laser on them. This would lead to a controlled Nuclear Fusion reaction with high energy neutrons spewing out. This high energy matter is focussed which then propels the aircraft forward.

Now, as all the nuclear reactions go, this too will sustain itself. Uranium-238 is coated on the inside of the thruster’s walls. It undergoes nuclear fission when struck by the high energy neutrons generated by the previous reaction. This generates a lot of heat. The heat from the fusion chamber is cooled down and then directed towards a generator that powers the Laser.

This looks quite convincing on paper, although questions regarding controlling the nuclear reactions and its safety are outright.

This is one one of the ideas that the engineers have proposed to power an airplane. Bio-fuels have also been in testing for a long time now. Flights that run on fuel that is derived from farm waste are soon to be started between San Fransico and Los Angeles, as announced by United Airlines.

These are the major steps being taken to help protect the environment. What do you think? Will nuclear-powered airplanes become a reality?

Also Read: Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion, Unlimited Clean Energy Possible in 10 Years

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