- About the ProjectStratoliner was a self directed Design Study into future trends in the Aviation Industry. I have always had a fascination with all forms of transportation and aircraft are some of the most inspiring machines around. No other industry has done more to shrink the world and make the remotest areas accessible to the mass population.
The main aim of the study for me was to push my CAD skills further, so after very few sketches I jumped straight in and modelled the aircraft and many of the details were resolved directly in the program (one of the many benefits of working for yourself, you don't need to get a client to approve the sketch before you model it!)
In the coming years all forms of transport will be subject to legislation on emissions (Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide etc). Posing serious problems for the aviation industry which is one of the highest polluters, in its current form the aircraft as we know it will struggle to meet these targets in years to come.Stratoliner is my interpretation of how aviation can be green and evolve to meet these challenges.
- Taking Inspiration from Nature
Stratoliner is based on the form of the Bar Tailed Godwit, a bird that holds the record for the longest none stop flight of 11500km. By styling the form to resemble that of a bird the aim is to increase the efficiency of the air frame and reduce the fuel use. Large wings provide a large amount of lift at much lower airspeeds than traditional fixed wing aircraft, this means the aircraft can fly at low speeds where the amount of aerodynamic drag is much lower, reducing fuel use. This also reduces the amount of noise pollution when flying over residential areas
A Modern Glider
The design takes advantage of the advances in modern engine technology and its reliability. By styling the airframe as a BWB (Blended Wing Body) the Stratoliner is able to glide for short periods of time. This means the engines can be throttled down to save fuel when the aircraft begins its decent to land as well as in long haul flight.
- A key part to sustainable aviation will be the fuels of the future. Currently jets run on a mixture of Kerosene and other Hydrocarbons which account for 2% of all man made greenhouse emissions. I don't confess to know what the future fuels will be, and I am sure if anyone did we would already be using them! All I know is in the future we wont be using the fuels we use today. After much research I decided the Stratoliner would run on Cryogenic Hydrogen.
What is Cryogenic Hydrogen?
Cryogenic Hydrogen is Hydrogen gas that is supercooled until it becomes a liquid. Used in rocketry along with other chemicals, when burnt on its own the only bi-product is water, and if its good enough for NASA its good enough for me!
Below is a turbofan jet engine I modelled for the airframe, put together as an aesthetic model in Autodesk Inventor one Saturday Afternoon it is inspired by the modern Rolls Royce turbofan engines.
- Designing a Landing GearA landing gear is quite a complex bit of kit to model. Every aircraft is different and as you can imagine it is quite difficult to get any decent images, The front wheel assembly is comprised of 40+ unique parts and the rear wheel 50+, just enough to give the assembly enough detail to look plausible without being excessive (why model bits nobody will ever see?)Also I like to avoid branding where ever possible, but Dunlop are the worlds only aircraft tyre manufacturer and are actually based in Birmingham UK. So any other type of tyre would simply be unrealistic. Those with a keen eye will note the tyre design has a green stripe on it, this was inspired by Formula 1 with the green stripe denoting the "soft" tyre compound back when Bridgestone were in charge in 08/09. A small nod back to my automotive background
- Promotional ImagesBelow are the arty in flight images you would expect with an aviation project
- Press and Media CoverageJust a Selection media the Stratoliner Concept has been featured in
- JetGala MagazineUltra Luxury Publication for 1st Class, Business and Private Jet OwnersAsia Pacific
- B1 Magazine Nov 2011Brazilian Technology Magazine
- Ask MenUK Publication
- Daily Mail OnlineUK Newspaper Website
- Yanko DesignDesign Blog
- Footnote:In June 2012 the Stratoliner was nominated for a Conde Nast Design and Innovation Award