Designer Oscar Viñals could be considered a modern-day Leonardo Da Vinci, at least when it comes to imagining the future of human flight. 

Da Vinci was limited to pen and parchment to record his more than 200 concepts in the 1480s. Barcelona-based designer Viñals has the advantage of computer software, which allows him to give vibrant vision to breathtaking — and potentially groundbreaking — plane designs

Some examples of his work, all concepts shared by Yanko Design, include a fusion-powered craft, an 800-passenger eco-jet, and a spacecraft carrier. 

His latest concept is a wingless, supersonic hydrogen jet that can hit nearly 1,150 miles per hour, or Mach 1.5, and carry 300 people, as detailed by Interesting Engineering. It's called Sky OV and can "fly between London and New York in less than five hours."

"This entirely new aircraft shape looks similar to the 'flying wing' design used by military aircraft such as the iconic B-2 bomber, but the blended wing has more volume in the middle section," Viñals said in the story. 

Like all of his designs, the futuristic plane is sleek and modern. The plane won't lack amenities, as Viñals included bedrooms, suites, and bathrooms. Perhaps most importantly, it would make a trip from New York to London in five hours instead of eight, without burning jet fuel. 

Our World in Data reports that aviation generates about 2.5% of global air pollution. Hydrogen only produces air and water when burned, though the most common way to make it includes fossil fuels. Electrolysis is a cleaner hydrogen production option that is gaining traction. 

Viñals' plane design would fly thanks in part to a "hybrid pulse detonation engine" and artificial intelligence, as noted by IE. 

"Technology often comes in radical waves of disruption, rather than through progressive change," he told CNN in a 2018 interview. 

Viñals' designs have caught attention around the world over the years, even though he holds no degrees in aerospace engineering. He's a self-taught designer who thrives on speculative concepts that are likely years ahead of technology

But he told CNN that the concepts are feasible. 

"Every one of them is backed by in-depth research and the expectation that one day they can serve as the basis of a real project. Clean aircraft, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, portable nuclear fusion, active flux control systems. Many of these things are now in laboratories, at concept stage, and I think much of this will eventually become a reality," he said in the story. 

And there's good news on the horizon. Hydrogen and electric planes are in the works from companies such as Rolls-Royce. It's all part of our transportation system transitioning to cleaner fuels. 

What's more, you can contribute to sustainable movement at no cost, without technology. By choosing to walk a little more, perhaps to the Post Office box or for a quick grocery run, you can improve your mental and physical health. Importantly, walking a mile a day instead of driving can prevent 180 pounds of harmful air pollution from being produced each year — and save you the fuel costs. 

It can all add up to a healthier planet, as well. NASA has linked human-caused warming to severe weather events that endanger our communities. 

When it comes to flight, it took centuries for Da Vinci's designs to be realized. Modern technology will likely expedite the process for creative designer Viñals. 

"For shorter journeys, we will use electric and hybrid aircraft of different sizes, while for longer distances, we may have hypersonic aircraft that go suborbital," he told CNN. "Giant aircraft with up to three floors powered by hybrid engines could be like the ocean liners of yesteryear, carrying hundreds of passengers at any one time."

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New wingless, supersonic jet concept pushes boundaries of air travel: 'Fly between London and New York in less than five hours' first appeared on The Cool Down.

2024-06-14T07:43:42Z dg43tfdfdgfd