Some of the scientists at NASA’s Langley Research Center think that it could be possible to build aircraft powered by low energy nuclear reactions. Langley’s Chief Scientist Dennis Bushnell mentioned the possibly of hyper sonic transports (next generation airliners) and “neighbor-friendly personal fly-drive air vehicles” (flying cars) powered by LENR in a recent blog post.
In a recent video another Langley scientist Joseph Zawodny mentioned the possibility of an LENR powered space plane. That video even featured animation of two possible LENR powered space planes. Zawodny also mentioned that he is working with an unnamed contractor on the development of such a plane.
Neither of them said exactly how LENR would power the plane. I imagine that it would be some sort of jet. Another possibility is that LENR could used to heat some liquid up to make steam which would propel the craft. One final possibility is that the explosive energy of LENR could directed and harnessed much like a rocket is. Some cold fusion experiments have reportedly created explosions
It goes without saying that there are other possible uses for this. A low energy nuclear reactor that could power a jet could also power a Stirling engine and run a generator or power a ground vehicle. Stirling engines use hot air to move turbines. It could also be directed and used to power some sort of LENR powered canon. This would work by using the explosive force of LENR to propel projectiles.
Interestingly enough Andrea Rossi has stated that an LENR powered aircraft is probably decades away. So it looks like Zawodny and Bushnell might be ahead of him.
This is pretty bold talk from NASA particularly since they don’t seem to have any sort of working LENR device. In his latest video Zawodny showed a small device he said was a test unit but that seems to be it. So the agency is probably years away from any sort of working model.
In his post Bushnell admitted that NASA is serious about LENR and that he and other scientists at Langley think the Widom-Larsen theory is valid and explains what is going on. The agency is conducting tests to see if the theory can be verified and more importantly applied here in the real world. Bushnell made no promises instead he said his agency is trying to determine what is realistically possible.
Bushnell also claimed that hydrogen-nickel LENR devices could meet the world’s energy demands at 25% the cost of coal. He also said they would only need 1% of the world’s nickel to achieve that feat.
Bushnell also noted that not enough resources (bureaucratic lingo for money) are being devoted to LENR research. So his blog post sounds like an effort to pressure the US Congress for more funds for LENR research something that is desperately needed.