General Travel News

Flying carpets are real!

Remember that flying carpet Aladdin and Jasmine escaped from Jaffar on? You know, in that 1992 Disney movie with the blue genie voiced by Robin Williams. That flying carpet is now real!

A miniature magic carpet made of plastic has taken flight in a laboratory at Princeton University.

The 10cm (4in) sheet of smart transparency is driven by "ripple power"; waves of electrical current driving thin pockets of air from front to rear underneath.

The prototype, described in Applied Physics Letters, moves at speeds of about a centimetre per second.

Improvements to the design could raise that to as much as a metre per second.

The device's creator, graduate student Noah Jafferis, says he was inspired by a mathematical paper he read shortly after starting his PhD studies at Princeton.

He abandoned what would have been a fashionable project printing electronic circuits with nano-inks for one that seemed to have more in common with 1001 Nights than 21st-Century engineering.

Prof James Sturm, who leads Mr Jafferis' research group, conceded that at times the project seemed foolhardy.

"What was difficult was controlling the precise behaviour of the sheet as it deformed at high frequencies," he told the BBC.

"Without the ability to predict the exact way it would flex, we couldn't feed in the right electrical currents to get the propulsion to work properly."

What followed was a two year digression attaching sensors to every part of the material so as to fine-tune its performance through a series of complex feedbacks.

But once that was mastered, the waveform of the undulating matched that prescribed by the theory, and the wafting motions gave life to the tiny carpet.

In the paper describing the design, Mr Jafferis and his co-authors are careful to keep the word "flying" in inverted commas, because the resulting machine has more in common with a hovercraft than an aeroplane.

"It has to keep close to the ground," Mr Jafferis explained to the BBC's Science in Action, "because the air is then trapped between the sheet and the ground. As the waves move along the sheet it basically pumps the air out the back." That is the source of the thrust.

More General Travel News
Constance Halaveli Maldives offers the luxury of space in seclusion
Multiple Langham Hotels named in 2020 Readers' Choice Award
Swiss Belhotel to open 4 new hotels in the GCC
Latest Travel News
Multiple Langham Hotels named in 2020 Re...
Swiss Belhotel to open 4 new hotels in t...
Abu Dhabi and Wizz Air announce establis...
Featured Sights To See
Chinatown

Chinatown

Montreal, Canada

No world-class city can call itself that with a straight face if it doesn't have a Chinatown!  Montreal is no exception.  This is the largest Chinatown in Canada, which is an accomplishment considering the large Chinese populations in Toronto and Vancouver.  You can find traditional Chinese architecture, restaurants, shops and much more.  This is a great place to get some cheap...

Monas (National Monument)

Monas (National Monument)

Jakarta, Indonesia

Dating back to the Dutch colonial era, it has been one of the main hub for commodities trading and is now a mixture of stores in a limited space. Good quality unbranded items can be found here with aJakarta's best known landmark, the 137 meter monument is located in the center of Merdeka (Freedom) square. The entire city can be viewed from the observation deck and in the basement there are diorama...

Abdulraouf Khalil Museum

Abdulraouf Khalil Museum

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

A mosque, a citadel and respective houses of Saudi Arabian, Islamic, International and Public Heritage make up the Abdulraof Khalil Museum. There are  a total of 19 units and houses and 15 fountains all around the vicinity, making it an interesting area to walk around in. Address : Behind theAl-Bayan school...

The StarDome Observatory

The StarDome Observatory

Auckland, New Zealand

The StarDome Observatory has an area for Maori archaeological site.          ...