Business trips are becoming egg-shaped. Otto Aviation’s Celera 500L has just passed its first flight tests, press release reveals. The aircraft is designed as a business aircraft, which is much cheaper to operate than today’s options.
To achieve this ambitious goal, Celera uses an egg-like design that achieves laminar flow – a continuous flow of air – in flight, significantly reducing drag by allowing air to flow smoothly over the surface of the aircraft.
Aircraft designed to achieve “laminar flow”
Celera’s design means that the aircraft offers a 59% reduction in drag compared to aircraft of a similar size. This means that it burns much less fuel, making it more sustainable as well as a more affordable alternative.
According to to NASA, laminar flow is the “sacred grail of low resistance” for aerospace engineers. Interestingly, however, it has never been such a focal point for the design of commercial aircraft. In one interview with CNN, founder of Otto Aviation William Otto Jr. explained the challenges of achieving laminar flow in an airplane: “to maintain laminar flow, you need to create structures that don’t bend, bend or distort the shape, “he said.” You could never do that with metal, composites are really the only way. “
Otto Aviation also states that its recent Phase 1 test flights were performed using Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and further reaffirmed “the potential of the Celera 500L to revolutionize sustainable air travel in an aircraft that already has 80 percent lower fuel consumption than comparable aircraft.” The company also said that Phase One of its test flights, a total of about 50 individual flights, had successfully “confirmed the aircraft’s performance targets”.
Otto Aviation talks to major airlines
The Celera 500L will fly six passengers at a speed of 460 mph (740 km / h) with a range of 4500 miles (7242 km), which is comparable to a traditional aircraft. According to CNN, Otto Aviation also claims that operating the Celera will cost $ 328 per hour compared to $ 2100 with fuel savings from 18 to 25 miles per gallon.
Otto Aviation aims to put the Celera 500L into service by 2025, but before that it will have to reach a higher altitude of 17,000 feet, which it achieved in its latest flight tests.
“Data from our first phase of test flights show that we are on track to achieve our goals for the aircraft,” Otto Jr. explained in a press release. “We could not be more excited in this step towards our mission to have a production aircraft in 2025 and we look forward to starting the next phase of development, where we will bring the aircraft to higher altitudes and higher speeds.
Otto Aviation says there are discussions with several major airlines. Previously, it aimed to sell Celera to private customers at a cost of approximately $ 5 million per aircraft – we said it was cheap to operate, not to build.