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RAM-EP: ESA Air Breathing Ion Thruster (electrical ramjet)

Grey Havoc

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Rhinocrates

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Somewhat related perhaps?


Ion engines don't scale up to the power levels you need for a launch. The JP Aerospace design seems to use normal rocket engines.

The JP concept is a high-altitude lighter-than-air vehicle. It uses buoyancy to reach an altitude where air resistance is minimal and then takes a long time slowly building up speed as it rises further. The head of the company described the engines as "the world's weakest rockets and the most inefficient ion engines."

I'm in no position to judge whether it would work of course.
 
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