What’s more aerodynamic than a sphere? Maybe that’s what the engineers at the American company Otto Aviation thought. That’s why they officially unveiled a promising aircraft, the Celera 500L, the spherical plane. Its torso mimics this shape. It is designed for use in business or cargo aviation. According to the designers, it significantly reduces drag compared to aircraft with a classic design. The aircraft’s development was done in secret, so few details were known, including the maiden flight last November.
Most light business jets have a low wing design. They hold the body similar to the shape of a cigar, a configuration that has been tried and tested. Because of their airframe, designers have few resources to significantly improve the aircraft’s performance. Many companies are looking at alternative systems. Otto Aviation has chosen a different approach. He opted for a classic scheme, but changed it to make the flight more economical.
The most notable difference between the Celera 500L and the classic airliner is the fuselage. It’s shaped like an ellipsoid. The two upturned wings are laterally in the middle of the ellipsoid. It contains two engine air intakes, a cruciform tail fin and a pressure screw behind it. A 12-cylinder RED A03 diesel engine is located in the rear of the fuselage. It has a takeoff power of more than 550 hp.
Design and price
The developers expect the aircraft to be able to fly more than 8,300 kilometers. It would reach a speed of up to 740 kilometers per hour. Operating costs are reportedly five to seven times lower than traditional aircraft. It would use 8 times less fuel. The designers claim the cost of the flight will be $ 328 an hour. This is more like regular passenger flights than business flights.
In the first flight model, there are only windows in the cabin and in the side door. However, in the final version they are also in the middle of the fuselage. The space is planned for six passengers in two rows. The company announced that the freight version will be created in addition to the passenger version. The ship can accommodate class D containers. The potential of using Celera 500L as an air taxi, drone and in military operations is also indicated.
The spherical aircraft made its maiden flight in November 2019. Since then, a total of 31 test flights have been carried out. Otto Aviation plans to receive FAA certification by 2023 and start production by 2025. At this point, aircraft the size of aircraft will be flying through the air.