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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sky Whale concept is a three-deck aircraft with serious moves

The latest aviation concept from the mind of designer Oscar Viñals, the Sky Whale looks more like something thought up for the Transformers movie franchise than a legitimate aircraft. But all those curves and extra ducts are actually precisely positioned to reduce drag and get this three-deck behemoth off the ground in record time.

The Sky Whale is outfitted with four main engines, two of which are located at its tail. All four of these engines can rotate up to 45 degrees, giving the aircraft a serious boost in lift during take-offs. A unique hybrid turbo-electric engine system would also help provide the oomph needed to get the Sky Whale aloft. Solar cells mounted on the aircraft's roof would power the in-flight electronics, as well as providing a little extra energy to the hybrid engines.

Once airborne, the Sky Whale would be capable of transporting 755 travelers at a time across three separate decks. First class passengers would get the top floor, business the middle floor, and coach would make up the lower level. All passengers would be treated to a quiet, quicker ride, including shorter take-offs and landings when compared to today's aircraft. All told, the Sky Whale would reduce weight, drag, engine noise, fuel consumption, and flight times. If the concept ever actually makes it to production, Viñals even has a space tourism version (Space Whale?) of the Sky Whale waiting in the wings.