LONDON — A new Star Wars-style aircraft could fly you from London to Sydney — and take you directly to the building you’re headed, rather than the airport. The Ranger vertical takeoff plane claims to travel farther than any passenger airliner, while traveling from rooftop to rooftop.
Able to stay in the air for 22 hours, the craft would be able to travel 11,000 miles (17,702 km) in one go — capable of making the 10,560-mile trip down under. The current longest nonstop flight in the world is the Singapore Airlines 9,527-mile journey from New York to Singapore.
San Francisco firm Aura Aerospace describes their vehicle concept as an ultra-long-range aircraft. With room for five occupants, it also features a kitchen and toilet facilities.
“Within the now wide landscape of EVTOL aircraft concepts proposed, the Ultra-Long range segment is yet to be properly addressed – these design considerations have not been successfully applied in a way that can compete with existing passenger aircraft options today,” officials for Aura Aerospace describe on their website.
How does the plane work?
The Ranger has wings that unfold to 75 feet to allow it to speed along at 510 mph, reaching a maximum altitude of 15,000 feet. Aura notes the craft uses sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to power its twin turbofan engines.
“Unlike purely electric aircraft, the Aura Ranger uses SAF-powered Jet engines to charge the VTOL batteries while in flight. This shift in battery requirements – we only need enough battery power to perform one takeoff or landing – is a paradigm shift for the flight reserves certification requirements expected to be required by regulators globally,” the company writes. “Unlike purely electric aircraft – the Aura Ranger can recharge its batteries and extend its loiter time, as required; by flying within a holding pattern, in forward flight mode. With sustainable aviation fuels and other innovations, there can be a net positive carbon impact and potentially be even cleaner than relying solely on batteries as the power source.”
Operational safety is supplied with full glide capability in case of engine failure. Traditional runways can also be used for takeoff and landing.
“The Aura Ranger is the perfect harmony of practical usability and sustainable design,” Aura concludes.
Production details for The Ranger have not been announced at this time.
South West News Service writer Dean Murray contributed to this report.