This weird-looking aircraft might remind you of the numerous bizarre concept flying crafts spawned from the space race during the Cold War era. But this Zeppelin-shaped business jet promises to make private air travel more accessible to the masses with the cheapest operating cost in its segment. Called Celera 500L, the unique aircraft is the work of a company named Otto Aviation and is being claimed as “the most fuel-efficient commercially viable passenger aircraft in the world.” The full-size prototype of the aircraft has already completed 31 successful test flights. “Our goal was to create a private aircraft that would allow for direct flights between any city pair in the U.S. at speeds and cost comparable to commercial air travel,” said Otto Aviation chairman and chief scientist William Otto Sr. “Since the results from our prototype test flights have been so promising, we’re ready to bring the Celera 500L to market.”
According to Otto Aviation, the Celera 500L can fly between 18 to 25 miles on a gallon of fuel and has an operating cost of only $328 per hour, which is significantly lower than comparable aircraft that usually have an operating cost north of $2000 per hour. A lot of its efficiency can be attributed to its aerodynamic design and its frugal propulsion. The Celera 500 is powered by a single Red A03 all-aluminum engine built by Germany’s Red Aircraft that drives a propeller at the back of the aircraft. The engine costs only $170,000 and is capable of being fueled by jet fuel or biodiesel. But don’t be fooled into believing that the Zeppelin-shaped airplane cannot match the performance of a business jet. The six-seater aircraft has a range of 4,500 nautical miles and can cruise at over 460 miles per hour. In addition to that, the rounded shape of the fuselage also opens up a lot of cabin space with enough headroom.
[Via – Otto Aviation]