Futuristic Aircraft Update

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.

(images credit: 1, 2)


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:

Luxury Launches


The WB-1010 or Spruce Whale, is actually a huge plane shaped like an airship. Apparently, this extraordinary craft is designed to carry up to 1500 passengers and travel at more than 600 mph:

(images via)


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:

(images credit: concept art by Bob Martien, Tuvie.com)


The Quiet Supersonic Transport or QSST (below left) is designed to fly at speeds between 1,056 and 1,188 mph. This would cut the trip from New York to Los Angeles down to just a couple of hours:

(images via)


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:

(images via)


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:

(images via 1, Airbus.com)

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:

(images credit: Octuri.com)


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:

(images credit: Octuri.com)


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:

(image credit: Tuvie.com)


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:

(image via)


The FlyNano on the left is a very lightweight, single-seat flyer, designed primarily for the pleasure of flying. It might certainly make the morning commute to the office a little more enjoyable:

(images via 1, 2)

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.

(image via 1, 2)


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:

(images credit: Octuri.com)


How about soaring over the city skyline in one of these colourful flying saucers? -

(image via)

Article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.




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Anonymous Alvar said...

Hmmm... Am I the only one seeing repeted and missing images?

Anonymous Michael w said...

Nice Article, however at 105 mph the manned cloud will take 10 days to go around the world non stop.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

most of these are aerodynamically ridiculous concepts, that's what happens when designers which have no clue about engineering try to invent something.

leave the engineering stuff to engineers , go design a faucet or something

Blogger Raven said...

That Linecraft thing looks utterly moronic, what on god's green earth is it doing with those two immense turbofans?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I noticed this article seems a lot like other articles on this site that show proposed designs and predictions from maybe 100 years ago. Now we are showing the imagined planes of 2050 just as popular science was showing the ridiculous (but awesome) imagined land ships of 2000. I just wanna know if in 2050 planes are going to be nothing like this but there will be an article on some site about "Awesome Proposed Retro Plane Designs" showing these ideas again.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing to see here. We already tried all of that. We got the Concorde. It was a plaything for the very rich and a failure. The most advanced airliner in the world is the Dreamliner. It's currently grounded.
But it is a nice example of what you can do with the Adobe Creative Suite.

Blogger Bilejones said...

And the question is Why are taxpayer dollars being pissed away on this?

Blogger Raven said...

The Concorde failed because of overly-restrictive FAA regulations on supersonic flights, not any technical deficiency. The A380 and Dreamliner are just 707s grown several orders of magnitude too big, they're not revolutionary in any sense other than capacity. The next thing in civil air transit is gonna be suborbital/reusable SSTO (single stage to orbit) craft like the Reaction Engines A2.

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Perhaps the 787 and A380 are not revolutionary in the sense you mean (i.e. looks and out-of-atmosphere capability), but they're certainly not the same as 707s.

The outside may not look much different, but the avionics and capability of these aircraft are orders of magnitude above the early production 707s.

Do some research on RVSM, TCAS, and ETOPS for twin-engined jets, and you'll see how different things are from the 1950s.

Oftentimes many iterations of small improvements add up to something amazing, if you analyse a long enough time-frame.

Anonymous Crazy Calabrase said...

For those of us of a "certain age" (IE Booby Bammers, er, Baby Boomers) will surely recall the many Gerry & Sylvia Anderson marionette sci-fi shows of the 1960's

There was an SSST used in several episodes of "Thunderbirds" This was the "Fireflash" which was powered by atomic motors and capable of Mach 6 (hence the additional S).

Some of the other novel features were the the seating arrangements: Lounge areas were located within the leading edge of the wings! http://coreldraw.com/media/p/75481.aspx The flight deck was in the vertical stabilizer. http://farm1.staticflickr.com/76/203054218_678fa1863a_z.jpg?zz=1

Then there's "Skyship One" which was a lighter than air craft, this appeared in the 2nd and final movie Thunderbird 6. Lift was generated by gravity compensators which were a series of counter rotating rings. But I'm sure dear reader already knows this as that's what powers all Apple products. You can check out this movie on Youtube in multi parts.

Lastly but not leastly were the flying Vespas used in both Fireball XL5 and Thunderbirds. Ah youth, where did it go? For that matter, where's my hair, teeth and marbles? Don't bother about the 'other sock' as I know it was the South Park gnomes.

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Wonderful Comment! Thank you, great info, will use in future articles )

Anonymous Crazy Calabrase said...

I might consider granting permission if you were to supply me with a 2.7 kilos of Unobtainium for my tri-phase inverter, this the last element I require to make my time vortex device fully functional.

Flux capacitors are over hyped nonsense and Doc Brown still owes me the Ultramatic 23rd Series conversion I did on his 22nd Series Packard.


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