"QUANTUM SHOT" #826 Link - article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams
"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." --Leonardo da Vinci
With all the recent news stories about the problems suffered by Boeing’s 787 jet airliner, dubbed the future of commercial aviation, we thought we’d take a look at some more futuristic aircraft here at Dark Roasted Blend.
("Supersonic Green Machine" plane concept from NASA, more info)
Powered by liquid hydrogen, the Reaction Engines A2 hypersonic airliner (seen below) is designed to fly at more than 4,000 mph. This would allow you to get from Europe to Australia in less than five hours. It’s twice as long as most current airliners and holds 300 passengers. Designers Reaction Engines believe it could be commercially viable by 2030.
The Manned Cloud is a concept design for a flying hotel (proposed by French designer Jean-Marie Massaud), containing a restaurant, fitness facility, library and sun deck. Cruising at 80 mph with a top speed of 105 mph, the Manned Cloud could take 40 guests and 15 staff around the world in three days:
LineCraft TR is a single-seat concept aircraft designed for racing both short and medium distances. The aircraft is specialized for both mid-altitude and high-speed flight. Due to its compact size and low weight, the enormous air brakes are used in order to properly control the aircraft:
In recent years, designers from NASA and Boeing have worked on designs for airliners of the future. In theory, this type of plane would use a lot less fuel than the comparable airliners capable of carrying hundreds of passengers that are currently in operation:
Boeing’s team also came up with several Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research or SUGAR concept planes. This aircraft on the left is the SUGAR Volt, which it is hoped will be powered by a hybrid turbo-electric propulsion system:
The Airbus Concept Plane on the right shows what air transport could look like by the middle years of this century. This very fuel-efficient aircraft has high-tech interiors, with seats made from ecological, self-cleaning materials that can alter their shape to provide each individual passenger with a perfect fit for their flight. The walls of the aircraft could be made transparent to give a spectacular view of the outside world.
Yelken Octuri has designed many futuristic aircraft, including this incredible Flying Yacht, which is more or less a trimaran sailing yacht with four extra engines. The vessel’s masts also turn into wings. The Flying Yacht has an upper deck with three cabins and a lower deck with a gallery and a main salon:
The prototype of the Flagellum Oscillator has been developed to present an alternative solution to traditional aircraft propulsion systems. This plane apparently had great maneuverability in the air, but never made it into mass production because there’s too much vibration when the flagellum at the tail end is initially turned on. Shame, since it looks like a pretty cool plane to fly in, zooming through the sky almost like a fish swimming in the water:
The Puffin electric powered personal aircraft comes with a 45 kg battery, which provides it with a range of around 50 miles. This is a VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft and the pilot has to stand inside before take off. Don’t know about you, but this one looks a little cramped to me:
The Air-Elf concept aircraft was actually designed for a graduation project for a bachelor’s degree. The wings are designed to combine the advantages of jet planes and helicopters and the aircraft can be adapted when needed. The Air-Elf can land and take off vertically and is powered by hydrogen. Certainly seems like a very comfortable means of negotiating city traffic:
In the mood for a weekend getaway? The Icon A5 on the right is a two-seat sport aircraft, designed to be relatively easy to operate. The plane is very light and even amphibious, able to take off and land from either water or land using the retractable landing gear. The A5 is very light and the folding wings mean that you can keep it at home in the garage. You can even tow it behind the car on trailer, if you’d rather wait until you’re at your vacation spot before taking to the air. The plane is even fitted with a built-in parachute to use, if needed, for emergency landings:
Come on, be honest now, who wouldn’t want one of these things? The Allied AirBike is like your own personal jet ski for the clouds. This really cool aircraft was first designed back in the 1980s, but still looks so futuristic. The AirBike is basically a VTOL motorcycle concept. The aircraft was expected to able to reach speeds of up to 100 mph and just in case, was also to be fitted with a parachute to be deployed in case of emergencies.
And finally, here’s the Honeymoon Space Shuttle, in which newly married couples get the chance to spend the first 48 hours of their life together in zero gravity. The shuttle goes into a low orbit, where five capsules are set loose. Each capsule contains two people, who have the next two days to enjoy their honeymoon, as it were. The capsule even has a special mechanism to keep the couple in close proximity to each other while they’re floating around all over the place. After 48 hours, the capsules return to Earth, splashing down with the assistance of parachutes:
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