Jet planes may perhaps one particular day fly with out fossil fuels by utilizing plasma jets, new research from researchers in China indicates.

A variety of spacecraft, these as NASA’s Dawn space probe, crank out plasma from gases these as xenon for propulsion. Nevertheless, these thrusters exert only little propulsive forces, and so can uncover use only in outer space, in the absence of air friction.

Now researchers have made a prototype thruster capable of creating plasma jets with propulsive forces similar to all those from traditional jet engines, utilizing only air and energy.