The Alkonos is a radical VTOL aircraft concept that uses a distributed layout to power micro-propellers embedded in its wings. It could cover ten times the range of similar aircraft with its recuperated Brayton cycle ceramic turbine and ground effect capabilities.
The Alkonos was inspired in part by the Mercuri concept published by Imaginactive in May 2016, and more recently, by the Lilium electric jet prototype, a project aiming to manufacture this type of VTOL technology.
How It Works
The Alkonos uses a hybrid powerpack made of two components. The first one is a 250hp gas turbine that uses a recuperated Brayton cycle engine. The second is an ion lithium battery that would handle peak power demands during take-off (500hp+). The turbine’s blades would be made of alumina ceramic held within a composite rim to withstand internal temperatures of 1850 Kelvin, thus achieving very high efficiencies.
Power from the turbine and batteries would be distributed to 16 electric propellers embedded between the wing and the flaps. These 1microprops would pull the air over the wings and permit the Alkonos to fly like an aircraft. The rear flaps would tilt upward and allow the Alkonos to vertically take off like the Lilium jet.
By using a distributive and hybrid power approach, it would be possible to increase the range of the Alkonos compared to aircrafts. If you take advantage of ground effect (flying over water), you could increase the payload or range without consuming more energy than a similar-sized turbine aircraft with VTOL capabilities.
The cockpit is roomy enough for two occupants and their luggage. Most of the flight would be automated .
What It’s Used For
The Alkonos could be used to commute to work. It could also be used as an entry-level business aircraft. With its VTOL capacity, you would be able to land it directly on top of a tower equipped with an Uber Elevate urban airport facility.
I would like to thank Martin Rico for creating the images of the Alkonos concept. Martin studied Design at the University of Buenos Aires and now works for the ICAO as an Industrial Designer for the NGAP programme.