The biggest thing to happen to aviation and travel in 50 years

Secretive aerospace company Otto has unveiled the Celera 500L. The super efficient aircraft seats six and has up to ten times the fuel efficiency of a private jet while offering similar speeds. With a range of up to 4,500 miles, it could theoretically fly between any two airports in the continental U.S. without refueling.

CO2 emissions from air travel pose a serious challenge to efforts to control climate change. This new aircraft uses an extremely efficient shape designed to optimize laminar flow and a V12 piston engine to dramatically improve fuel efficiency relative to conventional jet aircraft.

posted by chrchr (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I have for quite a while suspected that prop-driven aircraft were going to return to vogue, from not just a potential fuel efficiency standpoint but also because electric motors are likely to figure into the carbon budget of standard aircraft (small and large) before long as well.

If they live up to the hype and get 18-25 mpg in flight, that’s a huge improvement in efficiency over small jets.

The problem is I think the 18-25 mpg is a BIG “if” to bet on, but I’d like to see this, or something like it, succeed.
posted by tclark at 2:16 PM on August 27

“In many cases, individuals and families will be able to charter the Celera 500L at prices comparable to commercial airfares, but with the added convenience of private aviation.

Lol.The figure of merit isn’t mpg, its mpg per PERSON you fuckwits. This is making niche private jets more efficient, but still much less efficient than large passenger jets per person. And you’re looking to expand markets = consume more

Attempts to get more people in the air with more planes with more weakly trained & regulated pilots (if they’re gonna save all that money) at a time when we should be flying less PERIOD. What could go wrong?
posted by lalochezia at 2:19 PM on August 27 [2 favorites]

Neat! From what I remember about Reynolds numbers, the shortness of the plane is a big part of what allows it to remain in a laminar flow regime at those speeds.

But, yeah, as lalochezia points out, training enough pilots to make this an every-family-can-afford-to-fly-one proposition seems unlikely. I’m sure a much higher number of planes would have an effect on airports, too, meaning you’d need a lot more highly trained air traffic controllers.

Cool technologically, but probably in the end a private jet replacement for eco-conscious CEOs.
posted by clawsoon at 2:23 PM on August 27

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