Innovation That Matters

The Earther One is a concept aeroplane that uses friction as a source of power | Photo source Michal Bonikowski

An aeroplane powered by friction

Mobility & Transport

The Eather One uses triboelectric nanogenerators located on its wings and fuselage to provide clean energy

Spotted: Award-winning industrial designer, Michal Bonikowski, has developed a concept aeroplane that uses friction as a source of power. The plane, dubbed the Eather One, uses triboelectric nanogenerators, located on its wings and fuselage, to provide clean energy.

The nano-generators would, theoretically, be able to convert the mechanical energy of the plane’s movement into electrical energy that could be used to power the engines. As the Eather One moves through the air, the turbulence caused by moving through the atmosphere generates friction, causing vibrations in the wings and frame. The nano-generators capture this motion and convert it into energy, which is then stored in the plane’s batteries.


As the Eather One will generate its own electricity, it will not need heavy fuel tanks or large battery packs, although it will need some battery power to take it through frictionless points, such as takeoff and landing. However, this will still make the Eather One much greener than hybrid aeroplanes that have been proposed. 

The Eather One is not the only idea for electrical-powered flying that is making the rounds. In fact, a number of designs are currently in the later stages of development and construction. At Springwise, we have covered several of these, including a proposal by EasyJet for an electric jet and a small solar-powered plane.

Explore More: Mobility & Transport Innovations | Sustainability Innovations




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