The EADS promises the VoltAir, a hypersonic all electric airliner that could be flying within 25 years. If we could combine the capabilities these planes: electric propulsion, and add vertical take-off landing ability to create the ultimate airline passenger, how would airports adapt to this change?
Volvo just announced batteries shaped into body panels for cars. This would also make electric passenger planes more feasible. They would be lighter and longer range.
This new vision of transportation would fit better into what people in the United States would want. Space within cities will become available assuming a shift to robotic cars frees up parking lots for other uses.
Once the plane docks, the plane charges its fuel cell, that are powered by wind mills that harvest high altitute air and converts it to electricity
Airports as common and as compact as subway stations
Electric Passenger Plane design without VTOL
VTOL passenger plane but not electric
n an interview with Sander Olson for Next Big Future, Eli Alexander, a 97 year old aircraft designer who once worked for Hughes aircraft and consulted with Howard Hughes, describes the merits of a hybrid rotor/Jet design. If Alexander is correct, VTOL passenger jets the size of A-330 aircraft could someday be ferrying passengers on both short and long-range flights.
Oliver VTOL Hexplanes
A 12,500 pound class Hexplane can carry 1,000 pounds, 1,000 statute miles at 400 miles per hour. This meets the recent DARPA performance challenge to the VTOL industry. This same aircraft is predicted to achieve speeds of approximately 450 mph at 25,000 feet.
Gerbino Flight Systems FAQ has an image of the Fairey Rotodyne.
University design study of hybrid electric passenger plane
Existing commercial airliners
retrofitted with current hybrid-electric engine configurations were less fuel efficient than the non-hybrid airliner. Both serial and parallel hybrid-electric engine configurations, as well as models equipped with 2025 aircraft technologies, were tested. Only the 2025 hybrid-electric model was more fuel efficient and only for shorter distances. The results made evident that the use of a retrofit severely limited the flexibility of optimization because of having to adhere to the constraints of the existing systems.
Instead of building new pocket airports, short takeoff and landing planes could be used for intermediate transformation of air travel
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.