In a remarkable patent application, Boeing describes an aircraft engine powered by lasers and nuclear reactions. I suppose a regular jet airplane engine would sound far-fetched to Orville and Wilbur Wright, so who knows?
Modern airliners such as the Boeing Dreamliner are powered by multiple turbofan engines. These engines deploy a series of fans and turbines to compress air and ignite fuel to produce thrust.
Boeing's newly patented engine provides thrust in a very different and rather novel manner. According to the patent filing, the laser engine may also be used to power rockets, missiles, and even spacecraft.Business Insider