Glico

The Concept

The Glico is a next generation of autopilot / flight computer that would use the development and progress made with autonomous drones and cars to facilitate flying nearby or inside busy airspace.

Origin

A lot of private pilots avoid going into large and busy airports today because the regulations are ever-changing and becoming increasingly complex. Private VFR Pilots are basically not exploiting all the airspace they are entitled to use. What if we could simplify things with connected and intelligent systems?

How It Works

The Glico flight assistant / hardware combination would include an autopilot, communication system, cameras and sensors. We designed a dual seat sports glider with a panoramic cockpit, folding wings and a nondescript engine to represent it but it could be retrofitted into [any] existing aircraft or engineered into new ones.

The Glico’s flight computer would take over the controls of the aircraft when a pilot is passing into zones covered by the ATC or inside the airspace of busy airports. It would assist at different levels at the discretion of each pilot (Slight assistance up to fully autonomous flight)

For ground, approach and takeoff, it would be similar to self-driving cars. The system would be able to handle the approach and comms at any airport, descent and land by itself. On the ground, it would become a self-driving ground vehicle. The Glico’s would thus be able to reduce the throttle, brake, take an exit and taxi to the appropriate FBO. Of course the the ATC’s automated system along with the ground controller would approve the flight plan but the process of handling small VFR aircraft would become computerized.

The Market

Flight control systems or products similar to the Glico will most probably be introduced in the next decades. VFR pilots will always prefer to fly and land their planes manually but with the increase of air traffic and regulations a system like the Glico might be a good trade-off to bridge the gap between the worlds of private (VFR) and commercial (IFR) pilots.

Acknowledgements

The Glico concept was imagined in September 2018 by Charles Bombardier and inspired by Marco Merens. It was designed by Jorge Ciprian, an Industrial Designer from Argentina. Jorge graduated with a degree in design from the University of Buenos Aires, and he currently works as freelance designer. Jorge also designed the Panoramair twin deck supersonic wing and Onyx flying car concept for Imaginactive.