The concept

The Diomede is powersport sized flying wing. It can alter its aerodynamic properties because its wing is highly flexible and it uses internal lightweight artificial muscles controlled by a flight AI. The Diomede would burn hydrogen to fly with four micro-turbines each capable of producing 176 lbf of thrust.

The background

 I Imagined the Diomede concept whilst working on the Nunavik ground effect vehicle and Wingsurf. The Nunavik Arctic transport aircraft was designed to glide for hours over the oceans and ice by using an “air cushion effect” which allowed it to save fuel and or carry more weight. I then wondered how we could develop a small recreational version of it to glide over water at very low speed and also rise higher up in the clouds

How it works

The pilot of the Diomede would sit on a detachable chair positioned on the wing. He would hold on to controls similar to the ones you find on a powersport vehicle attached to a pivot point on the front of the Diomede.

The Diomede would be powered by four Nike micro gas turbines by AMT Jets from the Netherlands. Each of those turbines is capable of producing 176 Lbf of thrust. These turbines would be mounted on pillars fixed on the wing to reduce the risk of water intake. Fuel would be stored inside the wing structure, which would be made of a light and strong composite material. The final form/layout would change depending on the wing profile, turbine performance, total weight of the aircraft and of course the functionality and performance specifications required by buyers.

The flight controls of the aircraft could be assisted by a new breed of technologies developed by RMUS Dynamics that use artificial intelligence to control dexterous robotic limbs similar to an artificial muscular system. Imagine if you can bend the whole wing, activate flaps and ailerons and achieve optimal performance without any pistons, hydraulics or solenoids… Obviously, birds are more flexible than planes, so they are able to catch wind currents with great efficiency. The Diomede would be able to mimic some of their movements and even compensate if part of it’s structure is damaged. The Diomede’s AI would also be able to use wind currents more effectively than a novice pilot to reduce fuel consumption and improve the overall flight experience.

What it’s used for

The Diomede remains a concept, there are several elements that need to be clarified. There is a market for light sports aircraft and the Diomede could become part of it. The barrier to entry is great but creating a working prototype would not cost that much. Will powersports enthusiast be able one day ride to ride in the sky? That’s the idea behind the Diomede concept

The Industrial Designer

The Diomede concept was developed in collaboration with Ashish Thulkar, an Industrial Designer from Bangalore, India. Ashish graduated with a master’s degree in design from the Indian Institute of Science in 2014. Ashish currently works as a freelance vehicle designer at the Indian Institute of Science. He also created the Drone Tower Concept the Mozeca urban commuting driverless motorcycle.