Washington, June 24 : An Indian-origin researcher at the University of Florida has revealed that a new wingless, saucer-shaped aircraft he has made is all set to take to the skies.
Instead of calling his aircraft a UFO, Subrata Roy calls it a "wingless electromagnetic air vehicle" (WEAV).
Roy insists that a successful flight of his aircraft may usher in a new age of aircraft design.
"If this works and we are able to fly it, this will be a quantum shift in how we see flying objects," Discovery News quoted him as saying.
He revealed that the WEAV would rely on a physical phenomena known as magnetohydrodynamics for its flight.
He pointed out that a fictional submarine powered by a magnetohydrodynamic drive in the Sean Connery starrer film 'The Hunt For Red October' was probably the most widely known example of the technology.
Roy said that his aircraft would have different sets of electrodes placed on a thin ceramic plate.
While one set would be located on the top and bottom of the craft to move ionized air down and provide lift, the other set would be placed along the sides to propel the aircraft forward.
According to him, the electrodes would create a conducting fluid by ionising the surrounding air into plasma.
He said that the force created by passing an electrical current through this plasma would push around the surrounding air, and that air would then create lift and provide momentum and stability to the aircraft.
Anthony Colossa, a researcher at NASA's Glenn Research Center who is not involved in Roy's work, said that the WEAV would be the first aircraft to fly using magnetohydrodynamics.
He revealed that, eight years ago, a NASA team once tried to use ionised air propulsion to fly an aircraft that was attached to an external battery.
"When they first did it they thought it was miraculous, an anti-gravity machine, all that stuff. Then they stuck it into a vacuum and it didn't move," he said.
Roy said that his aircraft's first test flight might take place in as little as four months.
He said that if the test flight turned out to be a success, it would pave the way for larger-scale versions of the WEAV.
Experts at NASA and the U.S. Air Force are taking a lot of interest in Roy's project.
"We've been getting so many phone calls and emails, you wouldn't believe it," said Roy.