“Sky Whale” is a concept aircraft created by Spanish designer Oscar Viñals that uses technological innovation to make air travel more efficient and ultimately, eco-friendly. A key aspect of the aircraft’s success would rely on the development of advanced new materials such as next-generation ceramic and fiber composites. It would also be equipped with “active wings” that are powered by a hybrid turbo-electric propulsion system that significantly increases efficiency. The effect of all the technology according to Viñals, would be reduced drag, fuel consumption and weight, making it one of the “greenest aircraft imaginable.”
Harrier-style jets, a double fuselage, and micro solar cells on the wings allow the plane to go further without refuelling. Even though the 755-person capacity aircraft is bigger than an Airbus A380, and has a wingspan of 88m, the flying behemoth could still change the way we look at air travel.
When it comes to passengers, the aircraft would be split into three classes, each with their own deck. The three classes would be “tourist class” (the equivalent of economy), “tourist class with sky views” (otherwise known as business class), and finally “first class,” which would have sky views and every luxury you would expect for your money. One interesting touch is that even the economy class windows would be fitted with virtual reality screens that provide unforgettable views.
One final consideration from the designer was safety, and how the plane would fare in emergency situations. Viñals says: ‘The disposition of the wings and its architecture separates from the airplane’s fuselage like a security measure, that in a hypothetical fatal case of an emergency landing, these could auto-break up to reduce the damage to the passengers section.”
Images by Oscar Viñals