November 13, 2019

SOUNDS GOOD: The Mysterious And Potentially Revolutionary Celera 500L Aircraft May Fly Soon. “The patent goes on to describe a notional aircraft that would cruise between 460 and 510 miles per hour at an altitude of up to 65,000 feet, yielding a fuel efficiency rate of between 30 and 42 miles per gallon. To put this in perspective, the Pilatus PC-12, a popular light, single-engine turboprop aircraft has a service ceiling of 30,000 feet, a cruising speed just under 330 miles per hour, and still burns, on average, 66 gallons of jet fuel per hour, for a fuel economy of roughly five miles to the gallon. Even going to a Learjet 70, which has similar speed performance to what’s stated in the Celera patent documents, but still nowhere near as high a ceiling, we are talking about roughly three miles per gallon of gas at cruise. So, Otto Aviation is talking about performance that is at least 10 times more efficient than existing light business jets with similar cruise capabilities.”

I hope they can deliver, but at present I’m skeptical. But now it’s flown. “Now the big question is, when will Otto Aviation actually say anything about the aircraft that is basically their reason for being. Usually successful first flights are something to be grandly promoted and are a huge validation of so much tireless work by the project’s team, yet this endeavor seems to have been run in a manner far more akin to a secretive military aircraft project than a potentially transformative civil aviation one.”

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