Ever had the crazy idea that you might be able to sit in a bus sized capsule from your doorstep and fly off to another country within hours? If so, then you are one of many engineers who are practically proposing this airplane. This plane was designed by Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and now the company is gearing up to build a small-scale test vehicle as a prototype.
This Clip-Air craft is composed of two major components, first being the flying component which includes the airframe, cockpit, and engines; and the second part constituting of capsules, which are kind of detachable pods that can be used to carry passengers or cargo loads.
This first prototype is estimated to be just 10 meters long, and its main purpose is to help the engineers test and experiment with their theories and ideas on the performance maximization of this Clip-Aircraft. The company’s original concept is to design an airframe constituting a flying-wing design sitting well above the ground. This would leave sufficient clearance for up to three capsules to attach, thus increasing the performance capabilities. Versatility and applicability makes this design a very attractive one, as a single plane can carry out multiple functions and tasks. For example, a couple of passenger modules can be carried via an airframe to transport people. Then, additional cargo modules can be attached for the return trip, or for another destination.
This has some serious potential to revolutionize the way humans travel via air. The modules can be easily transported from one place to another using a variety of vehicles, like trains and trucks, so it increases its applicability for remote areas or for difficult to access regions. These capsules can also be attached and detached from the airframe quite easily, so it is very much a possibility that passengers ride a Clip-Air pod and be carried away by a train and an airframe within a single trip.
Here is a video of the realization of this concept:
What part of Capsule Clip-Aircraft intrigued you? Comment below!