This crazy Airborne Metro, if ever built, could reduce emissions from air travel 80% by revolutionizing the way we fly. The giant, 3,000 passenger craft is a nuclear powered airport and shuttle in the sky that allows smaller aircraft to bypass making long distance flights by landing on its back and dropping passengers off. In the future, the designers of this massive hunk of steel envision passengers taking regular jets from the ground to Airborne Metro, and then having the Airborne Metro make the long haul to a far off population hub where passengers hop onto regular jets that shuttle them to their final destinations.
A concept like this is difficult for a number of reasons. First off, the technology for a safe, nuclear-powered passenger vehicle such as this has not been developed — small problem, really. Secondly it would require not only for our entire air-travel system to change in order to adapt with this concept but it would also require a huge shift in passenger comfort zones. Imagine hopping planes mid flight — more than once — just to get to your final destination. There’s something really comforting about switching aircraft while your feet are firmly planted on the ground. In a perfect Airborne Metro world, these large aircrafts would land and take off from remote stations where their nuclear fuel sources would be replenished to allow them to make the long and successive flights needed to make this concept work. The Metros would be on predictable loops that would carry them over a number of metro areas and would be planned to intersect with other Metros flying over other those areas, therefore ensuring passengers could hop, skip and jump to the places they needed to get to. By allowing the conventional aircraft in the situation to just take off and land — and have engines designed to be efficient for just take offs and landings — and having the long hauls powered by clean, nuclear power, emissions from global air travel would plummet. The worldwide savings for this 530 foot wide aircraft is a predicted $300 billion. The cost to make it? Well that hasn’t been predicted yet. Via DVICE