It’s a supersonic era, Oscar Viñals has submitted his future vision of a futuristic supersonic jet that might be a common thing in the next ten years. This futuristic concept is called SZZ Superb “ZunZún”, a name that’s inspired by a little and fast bird, which usually can be found in Cuba and The Bahamas. You can read more details from Oscar below.
A new era of supersonic flight is almost here. If things go as planned, in the skies we could see supersonic airplanes again in ten years. But first, we will have to find solutions to today’s obstacles that make the return of supersonic airplanes possible only in future concept designs or in an “embryonic state”.
Obstacles such as:
- To build efficient and “greener” engines
- The problem of the sonic boom
- New materials capable to resist high temperatures during long flights
- International regulation about altitude and zones where those future airplanes could operate…and a few more…
The SZZ Superb “ZunZún” is a concept design about the future supersonic business/private Jet planes. Its name comes from a little and fast bird that is found in habitats from Cuba and The Bahamas. Is a species of hummingbird in the family of the Trochilidae.
Imagine we are in a century that we could define as “the great and fast change”, it’s not sci-fi… return to the Moon, travel to Mars, Space tourism. In this 21st Century we could find as “familiar” words and definitions like, Nuclear Fusion Reactor, AI systems (Artificial Intelligence), Plasma devices, Nano structures of Graphene, Supercapacitors, nanocomposites or Gallium Nitride semiconductors/power converters, and many more…that will come. This represents the beginning of a New Era on Aerospatiale & Aeronautic Industries.
How could the SZZ Superb “ZunZún” be? How special could it be?
In ten years the return of supersonic flights could be a reality, maybe the first airplanes to achieve this goal could be the “little members” of aeronautical family, the private or business Jets. Today, there are some projects that have started the way to build again civilian supersonic airplanes. Those, could be faster and eco friendly as a remarkable abilities/gifts and obviously much safer. This concept plane could be “Tony Stark’s private Jet”.
The SZZ Superb “ZunZún” description:
1. Two Hybrid turbofan engines (based on GE Affinity Engine –under develop-) and two Ramjet engines for supersonic speed, could be the “core” of this Jet, in order to reach a maximum speed of Mach 2.2 (2,716 kph). Powered by hydrogen fuel and electric energy (via manganese-hydrogen batteries, based on carbon fibre & platinum with a liquid solution – today under develop, by Stanford University CA, locates under the Jet’s fuselage).
The cruise speed could be around Mach 1.7 (2,099 kph) at 18,000 meters of altitude (tested with a 3d model by CFD –computational fluids dynamics-). The range of flight could be about approximately 18,500 km, covering distances like, from New York to Paris in 3 hours or New York to Sydney in 7 hours and a half. All of these trips with a very comfortable conditions.
Made with materials that could reduce the turbofan exhaust noise, during the flight and take off.
And thanks to the location of its engines, inside the fuselage, the business Jet could be very quiet.
2. The business Jet could transport up to 11 passengers and 3 crew members. One of its most novel and cutting edge aspects, could be a secure system capable to keep save in any crash situation (flying, take off & landing maneuvers) these passengers and the crew. The EERS system (Emergency Ejection & Rescue System).
This system could act like an abort space crew capsule’s rocket system, the Jet’s fuselage could be split in two parts, passengers section (A) & engines section (B). The EERS sys ejects the “A” section and at the same time a capsule inside the SZZ Superb “ZunZún” is propelled out the fuselage and 8 strong cables made of carbon fibre and nylon, hold/carry up the (A) Jet’ section, then the capsule redirects the section during the fall and land safely over any surface, thanks to be equipped by special thrusters and a big parachute. Also, the “B” section could land thanks to two parachutes located under the fuselage.
3. Thanks to plasma actuators on the Jet’s fuselage and an AI system (Artificial intelligence) to control those when the Jet is flying, this could control the air flow over its fuselage in all conditions (speed, pressure, temperature, etc), in order to reduce the drag an increase or improve the flight’s performance, getting a better laminar flow and reducing the micro turbulences (Reynolds number ratio –Re-) that becomes in a bigger turbulences. So, the Jet could save fuel and energy during the fly and also control the situations with turbulences, getting a more safer flight. In the night time, the SZZ Superb “ZunZún” could look like a little tenuous star surfing the skies.
The plasma actuators are devices capable to “control” the laminar flow trough plasma flow. Today, there are some projects (including NASA) that apply these devices over the edge of the wings, improving its performance thanks to control the laminar flow.
4. All the next generation of supersonic planes being developed use slightly different technologies in order to obtain better performance in flight and maximizing its security and its environmental impact (eco friendly & quiet).
In order to have a safer travel, this concept Jet could be equipped with special systems of guidance and atmospheric predictor. A 3D microwave radar that could report altitude as well as azimuth and distance of a target or inform about atmospheric situation in real time with 3d image.
An Atmospheric Laser Doppler Instrument (ALADIN), Micropulse coherent Doppler lidar system, could predict the wind turbulence strength in order to prevent “dangerous vibrations” that could affect the stability of the airplane. The aircraft could detect areas of turbulence including a new method that allows estimating the intensity of turbulence in the atmosphere at a distance in a clear sky.
5. The sonic boom is a “handicap” for supersonic flights specially over populated areas. The SZZ Superb “ZunZún” could minimize this supersonic effect thanks to its fuselage’ shapes, with special devices like, canards, special diffusers, a very sharp “nose” (front side) and the plasma actuators, all of those under the supervision of an AI system. Also, thanks to have its engines inside the fuselage and special rear diffusers, besides of the special rear tails and sharp shapes on the edges of the central fuselage in both sides (right/left).
The Jet’s nose (front side), could be used to produce electric energy, converting the waste heat from the air friction (the Concorde’s nose could reach 128ºC at supersonic speed). Thanks to a system of heat accumulator and nano TEG (Thermo-electric Generators). The amount produced couldn’t be very big but enough to feed Jet’ subsystems.
The SZZ Superb “ZunZún” could have a vectoring nozzles system (Ramjet Engines) that would give to it much more control & capacity of maneuver during the supersonic speed flight.
Adaptative Winglets, that could reduce the drag and give more stability at supersonic speed. With a “micro” laminar section on the tip of the wing and a special device to control the vortices.
- Cruise speed: Mach 1.7 (2,099 km/h) max. speed, Mach 2.2 (2,716 km/h) -Ceiling: 18,000 m / 59,055 ft
- Range: 9,989 nm / 18,500 km -Crew: 3 -Passengers: up to 11 -Engines: 2 Hybrid Turbofan & 2 Ramjet
- Wingspan: 26.40 m (86.61ft)
- Length: 40.70 m (133.53 ft)
- EERS Secure system (Emergency Ejection & Rescue System)
- AI system
- Air flow control via Plasma Actuators & AI system
- Battery storage (under Jet Fuselage and as a part of its structure)
- TEG system (Thermo-Electric Generator –nose/front side-)
- Quiet than current Supersonics Jets, thanks to its engines and its special isolating materials and its location, on the rear part of the fuselage
- More Eco-friendly than current Supersonics Jets
- 3D guidance system
- Sonic boom “eraser” (low sonic boom noise)
All images courtesy of Oscar Viñals
Tuvie received “SZZ Superb ZunZún Supersonic Jet Concept” project from our ‘Submit A Design‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their design/concept for publication.