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Elektra

The Concept

The Elektra is a radical regional aircraft concept that uses a distributed system to direct air into its wings and take off vertically.

The Background

Would it be possible to develop a commercial eVTOL regional jet one day? The Elektra explore this idea, it was inspired in part by the 1950’s Ouragan, the Mystère IV Fighter jet and more recently, by the Lilium electric jet.

How It Works

The Elektra uses a hybrid powerpack made of three components. The first one is a gas turbine that uses a recuperated Brayton cycle engine positioned in the nose of the aircraft. This turbine would be engineered to push air inside the wings of the aircraft as well as below or behind them.

The second component is an ion lithium battery that would handle peak power demands during take-off. Power from the batteries would be distributed to electric propellers embedded inside second set of flaps. These electric propellers would pull the air over the wings and direct it rearward or downward depending on the flaps’ position.

The third component would be a smaller turbine installed within the tail section that would be used to generate electrical power for the microprops as well as pushing and balancing the aircraft using thrust vectoring.

By using a distributive and hybrid power approach, it would be possible to increase the range of the Elektra compared to similar models. For instance, when taking off or landing at an airport gate, the Elektra could use power transferred from a base on the tarmac to save its onboard energy.

What It’s Used For

The Elektra could be used as a new generation of regional jet. With its eVTOL capacity, it would be able to land directly at the airport’s gate or even on top of urban commercial towers designed for this purpose.

The Designer

The Elektra concept was imagined in March 2019. 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 created the images of Fountainhead drone parking tower and the Solorocket launch complex.

Cubozo

The Concept

The Cubozo is a lighter-than-air (LTA) vehicle that combines light material with new types of propulsion, control and energy systems. It would be deployed to assist during disaster relief, and it would recharge drones’ batteries using the sun’s energy collected by the airship.

Origin of the Idea

In 2016, I worked on an LTA balloon concept named Medusa. I recently asked Adolfo Esquivel to revisit this idea to create a floating platform for drones.

How It Works

The Cubozo would be designed as a landing and resupply station for various kinds of drones assisting ground teams during a humanitarian crisis. Some drones would be tasked with delivering food, clothing or medical supplies while others would be used to ferry wounded persons or medical personnel. Smaller autonomous drones would handle safety and surveillance.

The Cubozo’s main deck would be made of graphene fibre, a new type of material 100 times stronger than the strongest steel. The airship would feature an ultra-thin membrane able to contract under electrical impulses to control and move the airship by learning how to use wind currents to move about.

Is it feasible to develop a biomimetic craft such as this one? Would it make sense to capture the sun’s energy with every available surface?

The Market

In addition to its original purpose, the Cubozo could be developed and sold for many diverse applications. What about a floating hotel over the rainforest or a base-jumping station for adrenalin-seeking adventurers? 

The Designer

The Cubozo concept was imagined in nov 2018. It was designed by Adolfo Esquivel, who created the 3D renderings. Adolfo holds a degree in industrial design and currently works as a freelance industrial designer based in Montreal. Adolfo is also the designer of the Magwa tailgate spa concept and the Zedix commuting bike.

Singapore Special

The Concept

The Singapore Special is a hypersonic business scramjet concept that would fly at an altitude of 90,000 feet at Mach 2.5. It could transport 18 passengers from New York to Singapore under 6 hours using hydrogen as a fuel source.

Origin of the Concept

The Singapore Special concept was created to inspire future engineers and designers to create the next generation of faster business jets powered by greener fuels.

How It Works

The Singapore Special is a fixed-wing aircraft with scramjet motors strong enough to push a medium-sized rocket into orbit. In normal trans-oceanic flight it would be less taxed, making it more efficient and placing less stress on the engine at hypersonic velocity.

The Singapore Special will be able to fly at speeds of 1,650 mph at an altitude of 90,000 feet. This aircraft also reduces weight by having a lighter landing envelope. At Mach 2.5 and with a 10,000+ mile range, the aircraft could be on the other side of the planet in less than 6 hours. This is beneficial not only for commercial travel, but also during emergencies. The Singapore Special will be able to transport people away from areas of danger or deliver relief supplies faster.

In subsonic, The Singapore Special could cruise at Mach 0.95-0.99, which would result in 20% faster regional flights and thus lower operating costs. The main gear will use load-tensioning brakes (similar to train locomotives), which reverse polarity. This provides rapid braking capability without the possibility of catching fire.

Potential Market

Flight time alone would make The Singapore Special very attractive to potential buyers. Its ability to burn hydrogen would also be a key selling point. This type of super-fast aircraft could also be adapted to transport patients or organs around the earth when speed is a crucial factor.

Acknowledgement

The Singapore Special concept was imagined in February 2019. It was designed by Martin Rico, who studied design at the University of Buenos Aires and who also created the PDM25 urban airport for Imaginactive.

Cloudraker

The Concept

The Cloudraker is a radical concept which combines both air and rail travel allowing passengers to reach their city centre destinations much more quickly and efficiently.

The Origin

Flying, disembarking and transferring to other modes of transportation is very time consuming. The Cloudraker concept tries to envision a way in which regional planes and regional trains can be combined. The concept was inspired in part by the opening scene of the book Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson. The name Cloudraker was inspired by a recent snowmobiling trip near Pemberton BC. One of the mountains nearby was named Cloudraker and it seemed like the perfect name for this radical and challenging concept!

How it Works

The Cloudraker is an aircraft that would be designed to safely approach and detach its fuselage on an automated train platform travelling on a city bound rail line. Once the aircraft has aligned itself and made contact with the platform, the fuselage would lock in place and the wings (and electric engines) would detach themselves from the cigar shaped cabin to fly away for another pick-up.

The passengers and crew would remain in the fuselage which would then travel on the electric train platform to a central transport hub where passengers would disembark.

Outgoing passengers would arrive at the city centre train station and embark onto the ‘traincraft’ cabin. After leaving the city’s suburbs, the flying ‘Cloudraker’ wing would make its approach and connect to the fuselage automatically. The Cloudraker would then lift off the fuselage, gain speed and begin its regional flight.

Acknowledgements

The Cloudraker concept was imagined in March 2019 by Charles Bombardier and designed by 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 in Mumbai, India. He also created the images of the Ascent concept for Imaginactive.

Ambular

The Concept

The Ambular is an emergency response drone designed to carry sick and wounded patients. The Ambular can lift patients and transport them safely across short to medium distances via the air. It is a concept that could be used by paramedics in cities and in the countryside were access by helicopter or by land is not viable.

The Background

The Ambular concept was based on the idea of a small aircraft, capable of flying one person in and out of a difficult to reach place. One obvious market for the Ambular was to be used in harmony with first aid responders who need to rapidly extract a patient from inaccessible areas. (like third floor with spiral stairs).

How It Works

The Ambular would be equipped with six propellers, each with a diameter of 1.2 meters. Each prop would be capable of producing 20 Kw of power. This power would allow for patients even in and above the 250 lb region to be safely extracted and transport over distances as far as 15 nautical miles. An autonomous flight system would be developed to carry the passenger safely to the nearest hospital autonomously.

The shape of the Ambular could be altered to optimize lift, and additional micro turbines or small jet thrusters could be used to provide additional boost to the aircraft for take-off. The frame of this vehicle would need to be as light and robust as possible, potentially using newly developed superlight materials. Landing skids could be deployed for landings on most surfaces and a winch and pully system connected to a confined space rescue kit will allow for rescues in the most challenging terrain.

The cockpit should be designed to sustain the life of a patient during the short flight and include vital lifesaving apparatus.

The Designer

The Ambular concept was imagined in November 2018 by Charles Bombardier. It was designed by Martin Rico who studied design at the University of Buenos Aires and works as an Industrial Designer for the Internation Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Martin also created the PDM25 concept for Imaginactive.

Ascent

The Concept

The Ascent is a portable rocket pod designed as an entry level experience for potential space tourists. Skydivers could also use it to jump at 12 000 feet… Spaceports around the world could sell this as a thrilling ride to experience lift off and landings with rockets.

How it works

The Ascent has a curved cylindrical body, which measures approximately 10 ft in height. This provides enough room for clients to sit in comfortably during the ascent. The fuselage of the Ascent has a large glass door that allows the passenger to view the scenery on the way up. It’s also used as a large exit door when a skydiver reaches his desired ‘freefall’ altitude.

The base of the jet pod houses turbine jets which provide extremely high power to weight ratio and allow the appropriate thrust required to propel the Ascent over 150 km/h up to altitudes of 15 000 feet.

Once the pod has reached the desired altitude (Or when the skydiver has excited the craft) the Ascent will automatically initiate a landing protocol. The aircraft will fire its engine allowing for a controlled descent to the ground or directly on a custom-built trailer. The Ascent would also be connected via an app to the customer’s smartphone or tablet allowing them to watch or broadcast live feed and track the craft’s descent and data.

The Ascent is small, compact and very lightweight when it’s not fuelled. A custom trailer would be designed to manoeuver the vehicle in position and owners could transport it with a car. The Ascent would also be equipped with two parachutes and airbags in case of emergency landing.

What is it Used For?

The Ascent could be used by skydivers to provide a more thrilling method of reaching high altitudes compared to a plane. The small compact nature of the Ascent means that it can easily be transported all over the country to designated controlled airspace.

Most importantly it could be offered as an ‘entry level ride’ at spaceport facilities. Would be space tourists could purchase a ticket ride on the Ascent to experience a brief but exciting lift off and landing (500 feet to 3 000 feet) without having to exit the aircraft. Such ride could provide a revenue stream and introduce future clients to the world of suborbital space flights.

Acknowledgements

The Ascent concept was imagined in October 2018 by Charles Bombardier. It was designed by Ashish Thulkar, an Industrial Designer from Bengaluru, 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. Both of them also created the ArcAngel surveillance aircraft and the Aerochk airport security system.

Ekranoto

The Concept

The Ekranoto is a gliding car that can reach speeds of over 300 kph and offers a seamless, comfortable and rapid method of transport.

The Origin

In the future, we think it will be possible to use highways for autonomous electric cars that can fly and glide at over 300 kph. Such cars could also glide over ice or water.

How it Works

The Ekranoto would float on a cushion of air above the pavement like a ground effect vehicle. This concept allows a completely smooth method of transport which would be extremely beneficial to people with disabilities as they would not experience bumps or potholes during transport.

The Ekranoto would be the width of 1.5 or 2 cars, meaning it would take the full space of a two lane highway and have a single side door that could tilt up like a gull wing. Part of the highway could thus be covered in solar panels to act as a green and renewable source of energy and recharge ‘on the fly’ the Ekranoto.

The cockpit would be based on the seating arrangement of a standard car but could be adapted based on customer’s needs. For example, as a method of public transport, the Ekranoto would have long rows of seats for space maximization. Alternatively, the inner cabin may be converted into a high speed ambulance that can care for up to two patients at a time. The air cushion provides completely smooth ride as it essentially acts as a shock absorber on a car.

When moving at slow speeds, the Ekranoto would use wheels which could be lowered or risen up and hidden inside lateral panels. These panels would also be used to keep air from escaping from the side and force it down to create an air cushion.

Acknowledgements

The Ekranoto concept was imagined in February 2019 by Charles Bombardier and 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 created the images of Fountainhead drone parking tower and the Solorocket launch complex.

Fountainhead

The Concept

The Fountainhead is a futuristic building designed to serve as a parking tower for autonomous cars and VTOL electric drones like the Ehang 216 and the Lilium jet. The Fountainhead would act as an urban airport for people commuting from their cottage during the weekend to their residence in the heart of the city.

Origin of the Idea

In September 2016, we published a residential tower concept that was engineered to receive drones on its balconies. This novel solution proved interesting, but it would result in increased noise near private residences. We wanted to create a newer concept that would allow for urban air traffic to be concentrated in a multi-story parking space for drones and autonomous cars.

The name of the concept, Fountainhead, was inspired by a book written in 1943 by Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead). The protagonist is a young architect who designs modernist buildings…

How it Works

The Fountainhead is a concept tower that would act as a multi-story car park for private flying vehicles and taxis. It could be designed for specific consumer needs and developed to have many new and interesting architectures to fit with the client’s structural vision.

Incorporated into the building would be an elevator system designed to bring the owners and their VTOL aircraft up to the take-off deck where they would easily be able to fly off. Another elevator connected to street level would allow autonomous cars to be parked in the multi-story building during flights. The drones and flying cars would be parked by autonomous conveyors able to move vehicles into small bays which allow for increased space utilization.

The Fountainhead would also contain elevators and stairs for passengers and a large lobby below the roof comprised of large panoramic windows offering a bird-eye view of the city. Units for coffee shops or restaurants could be incorporated along with public areas as well as a private waiting room while vehicles are retrieved.

It may also be possible to situate the Fountainhead near or on top of a transport hub allowing commuters to park their cars further outside the city and avail of affordable public transport. This would reduce travel times, traffic and stress for commuters.

Acknowledgements

The Fountainhead concept was imagined in March 2019 by Charles Bombardier and 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 a freelance designer. Jorge also created the images of the Odron plant watering drone and the Panoramair aircraft concept.

Solorocket

The Concept

The Solorocket is a Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) rocket. The rocket has the ability to fly one passenger or a payload into space and allow rendez-vous with an orbiting space station.

Origin

The Solorocket was inspired by the Haaas 2CA by ARCA which is a Single Stage to Orbit craft. This improved SSTO launch system designed by ARCA provides a more reliable and safer launch protocol compared to staged rockets. We tried to imagine using it to launch a single astronaut into low earth orbit.

How It Works

The Solorocket features a cabin, approximately 1.5 m in diameter equipped for a single astronaut. The passenger sits on a straddle seat akin to the SkyRider 2.0, which is being developed by Aviointeriors. The seat would allow for a more comfortable journey compared to a classic upright seat which would feel cramped in the small cabin space. The use of a straddle seat would be ideal for the short ride to space and would provide more hand mobility.

The Solorocket is small and compact allowing for good fuel economy and a small jet door on the side of the craft will allow easy access into the cabin. It is envisioned that Solorocket will be powered with cutting edge rocket fuels to allow for maximum efficiency. This will also reduce travel time from earth to the international space station from 6 hours which is currently the time taken for the Soyuz rocket.

Space travel requires robust materials in order to cope with the pressures and temperatures faced during re-entry. One such challenge is the type of material used for the rocket body. The fuselage needs to provide adequate protection and prevent distortion and melting during the exit and re-entry in the earth’s atmosphere. The Solorocket could be used to develop and test new types of materials like carbon nanotubes to coat this spacecraft.

What Is It Used For?

The Solorocket will be used to transport a single passenger or a 220-pound payload into low earth orbit. The target cost would be 1M per launch. Imagine the Solorocket docking to an inflatable space hotel engineered by Bigelow Aerospace or any government-owned space station for that matter. Imagine launch complex able to send multiple rockets safely on an hourly basis. That’s the vision behind the Solorocket concept, inspired by Arca Space.

Acknowledgements

The Solorocket concept was imagined in November 2018 by Charles Bombardier and inspired by the development program of the Haas 2CA rocket . The concept 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 a freelance designer. Jorge also designed the Meritis Super yacht and the Katroli helicopter concept for Imaginactive.

Odron

The Concept

The Odron is an autonomous drone designed and engineered to water and care for plants at home.

Origin

The ‘Roomba’ was one of the first autonomous robotic devices created for the home. It was designed to vacuum an entire house with one click of a button meaning the user did not have to complete the task themselves. We envisioned a device, now called the Odron, that would be able to act as a robotic gardener allowing users to grow beautiful and expensive plants without the worry of having to look after and care for them on a daily basis.

How it works

The Odron is able to analyze each plant in the users home via photo recognition or and other types of sensors. This would allow the Odron to create a schedule of watering and feeding so that the plants get the correct growing conditions that they require. The Odron features a range of detectors so that it can analyse soil & air humidity, sun levels and air temperature. Coupled with a mobile app, the Odron will be able to tell you if you need to move the plants into or out of the sun so that they are in their optimized environment.

The Odron is able to activate the water faucet on ordinary sinks in order to fill its watering tank and carry on with its daily tasks. The Odron is discrete and could operate when the user leaves the house. In turn this also means that if the user is away from the house for long periods of time, they do not have to ask anyone to look after the plants when they are gone.

Finally, the Odron will be able to communicate with other drones and share information on optimized conditions for all the plants in the Odron’s database.

Acknowledgements

The Odron concept was imagined in November 2018 by Charles Bombardier and 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 created the images of the Katroli helicopter and the Panoramair aircraft.

Elektra

The Concept The Elektra is a radical regional aircraft concept that uses a distributed system to direct air into its wings and take off vertically. The Background Would...

Cubozo

Singapore Special

Cloudraker

Ambular