By Lorraine Chow
As the Solar Impulse 2 makes its historic round-the-world trip powered only by the energy of the sun, it’s not so crazy to think that sometime in the future, commercial flying will abandon dirty fossil fuels.
Well, the future of air travel might come sooner than we think, as Spanish graphic designer Oscar Vinals believes his conceptual zero-emission plane dubbed the “AWWA-QG Progress Eagle” could take off within the next 15 years.
According to CNN, the plane is powered by six hydrogen engines including a rear engine that doubles as a wind turbine. Solar panels on the roof and wings would also provide the ultralight plane with juice as it flies.
“The best aspect of the Progress Eagle would be its capacity to generate its own energy,” Vinals told CNN, adding that the flight would be “noiseless.”
Vinals’ triple-decker aircraft could carry up to 800 passengers. The cockpit is located on the second floor, offering the pilots with panoramic views and a room with beds, coffee and workspace for the crew members. Because there’s much more space than the standard commercial plane, there could be space for private rooms, shops and restaurants.
“Twelve hours in an airplane could feel more like a select hotel,” Vinals said. “It would reduce the stress of a long flight.”
With a 96-meter wingspan (about 314 feet), the plane is about as large as two Olympic swimming pools. But Vinals envisions that the wings could fold in order to reduce its size and meet international airport regulations. To compare a Boeing 777 has the wingspan of about 60 meters (197 ft)
Vinals described on the website Behance that the lightweight Progress Eagle is designed with “smart and self-repairing wings, composed by carbon nanotube and carbon fibers,” and a “hollow endoskeleton in an ultra-lightweight beehive-shape of titanium and graphene.”
Read more and check out the Video about the Progress Eagle: EcoWatch
This would be a relaxing silent way to travel and they believe we will have most of the technology within a few years. Flying would not only be a luxury hotel ride but eco-friendly. I enjoyed this article and the video. The future looks brighter thanks to engineers.