Seaplanes And The Future Of Intercontinental Flights
Presented By Wingz – Scheduled Airport Rides
“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.” — Albert Einstein
The future of intercontinental flights could be smooth sailing. Any coast can be the runway, and we will no longer have extensive infrastructure for the airports.
According to Dr. Errikos Levis, a researcher in the Department of Aeronautics at Imperial College London, seaplanes could be the answer to at least two of modern aviation’s greatest hardships: airport congestion and noise pollution. The team is working on the design of a family of seaplanes that could accommodate anywhere from 200 to 2,000 passengers. Very ginormous planes!
“Seaplane development basically stopped after the mid-1940s, because they were substantially less aerodynamically and structurally efficient than land planes,” said Dr. Levis. But the new radical designs will envision a flying wing that will hold hundreds of passengers, and they will be uniquely suited for water landings. The future of a floating airport is, therefore, not too far!
Dr. Levis doesn’t believe seaplanes would replace land planes, and he notes that there is still no significant difference in terms of fuel efficiency at smaller sizes between a seaplane and a regular airplane. However, at the larger sizes, such as a 2,000-passenger seaplane, these seaplanes could even use the more environmentally-friendly hydrogen fuel to operate. “There would need to be some research, but it’s not like we’re using anti-gravity! The vast majority of the things we used to design these planes are there,” Dr. Levis explained carefully. “What’s really lacking at the moment is the will to try something new!”