A new plane design based on a bird would allow the hydrogen fueled plane to fly anywhere in the world without the need to stop for refueling. On top of that the plane would generate no harmful emissions.
Yanko Design has developed a rather strange looking plane based on the Bar Tailed Godwit, “a bird that holds the record for the longest none-stop flight.” While the build of the bird maybe the reason for its long flight ability it makes for a strange looking plane.
The front of the plane narrows and curves down like the beak of a bird. It actually looks like the beak is open. It has a split tail and oversized wings with a little back flip on the end. The wings create a lot of lift that allows the plane to fly at higher altitudes.
It uses four Cryogenic Hydrogen Turbofan engines for flight. The fans create no emissions and have a low power state like jet fighters that conserves fuel.
According to an article in National Geographic last October, plane exhaust kills more people than plane crashes do. While approximately 1,000 people die each year in plane crashes, 10,000 people die from the exhaust pollution that results in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
Globally, the team estimated that about 8,000 deaths a year result from pollution from planes at cruising altitude—about 35,000 feet (10,668 meters)—whereas about 2,000 deaths result from pollution emitted during takeoffs and landings.
The emissions that are released in the upper atmosphere kill the most people but not like you would imagine. The emissions are carried on the wind to locations far away from the actual flight of the plane. For example, India has one of the highest rates of exhaust related deaths not from its own planes but from European and North American flights.
Even though William Brown’s design for the Lockheed Stratoliner might look weird, it could actually save lives since it emits zero exhaust. It would also save money for the airlines since it’s low power mode would allow it to save a significant amount of fuel.
The Lockheed Stratoliner looks like it would be interesting to fly since the wings have no stabilizer flaps to aid in takeoffs, landings and flight. No information is given on the number of passengers that the plane could carry. It would be quite wonderful to be able to fly from Los Angeles to France without a single pit stop or from Atlanta to Australia without multiple stops for refueling.