Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Could This Zero-Emissions, Triple-Decker Solar Plane Revolutionize the Aviation Industry?

Business

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.

The future of flight? The Progress Eagle has zero carbon emissions and is powered by renewables.
Photo credit: Behance

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.

A whole new way to fly. With so much space on the three-storey plane, travel could be much less of a squeeze.
Photo credit: Behance

"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.”

Ever the aviation visionary, Vinals came up with a similar AWWA Sky Whale last year that could carry 755 passengers.

Hydrogen fuel energy as well as a wind turbine takes the plane into flight. Solar energy propels the plane while it's in the air.
Photo credit: Behance

Vinals admitted that modern technology is a little off from allowing his dream machine to take flight. However, he contended that "today we have about 40 percent of the technology needed to build it."

"Quantum solar cells, nanowires to kinetic power, micro radio wave harvesters—these technologies only exist in a limited scale at the best laboratories around the world," he said to CNN. "But in a few years, we could overcome our limits and build anything imaginable."

Whatever your thoughts are on the feasibility of a plane like this, the whole idea of carbon-free flying is something that could revolutionize the aviation industry.

Check out the video below to see Vinals' designs of Progress Eagle:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

20-Mile Bike Lane Is Also Massive Solar Array

And the World’s Greenest Car Is …

Nissan’s Game-Changing Deal Allows EV Owners to Sell Power Back to the Grid

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less
People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less
A never-before-documented frog species has been discovered in the Peruvian highlands and named Phrynopus remotum. Germán Chávez

By Angela Nicoletti

The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.

Read More Show Less
Left: Lemurs in Madagascar on March 30, 2017. Mathias Appel / Flickr. Right: A North Atlantic right whale mother and calf. National Marine Fisheries Service

A new analysis by scientists at the Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that lemurs and the North Atlantic right whale are on the brink of extinction.

Read More Show Less
Nobody knows exactly how much vitamin D a person actually needs. However, vitamin D is becoming increasingly popular. Colin Dunn / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Julia Vergin

It is undisputed that vitamin D plays a role everywhere in the body and performs important functions. A severe vitamin D deficiency, which can occur at a level of 12 nanograms per milliliter of blood or less, leads to severe and painful bone deformations known as rickets in infants and young children and osteomalacia in adults. Unfortunately, this is where the scientific consensus ends.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Data from a scientist measuring macroalgal communities in rocky shores in the Argentinean Patagonia would be added to the new system. Patricia Miloslavich / University of Delaware

Ocean scientists have been busy creating a global network to understand and measure changes in ocean life. The system will aggregate data from the oceans, climate and human activity to better inform sustainable marine management practices.

EcoWatch sat down with some of the scientists spearheading the collaboration to learn more.

Read More Show Less