Concept Aircraft

  • In an effort to spark the imagination of the next generation of aeronautical engineers, Airbus has unveiled its new Bird of Prey concept aircraft. The bird-like hybrid-electric, turbo-propeller regional transport aircraft features anatomical features of eagles or falcons.
  • When Gibson introduced the Flying V electric guitar in 1958, it divided opinion. A bold new aviation concept out of TU Delft is sure to do the same. Wearing the same moniker as Gibson's iconic instrument, the design is aimed at improving aircraft efficiency and sustainability.
  • ​As successful as the Rolls-Royce name has been in luxury cars, it's been far bigger in aeronautics. So when these guys announce a four- to five-passenger hybrid electric/turbine VTOL aircraft with a 250-mph top speed and a 500-mile range, it's worth listening.
  • Boeing has provided a glimpse of the future with the release of an image of its hypersonic passenger plane concept. It depicts a civilian aircraft capable of traveling at over five times the speed of sound and is intended to give the public some idea of what air travel could be like in the future.
  • Yes, that's a head poking out the end of this terrifying personal flight concept. Called the Dart Flyer, it's essentially a quadcopter with a winged pilot cocoon on top of it. Definitely not one for nervous flyers, it's been submitted as a contender in the GoFly challenge, sponsored by Boeing.
  • ​Biologists will already know that Neoptera is a major taxonomic group, which includes almost all winged insects. Now, however, it turns out to also be the name of a planned electric VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) light aircraft.
  • NASA is developing a series of new X-planes that include one concept that uses the air flowing along the fuselage to reduce fuel consumption. The STARC-ABL propulsor harvests a jet airliner's boundary layer to provide more thrust with a 10 percent increase in efficiency.
  • ​There are already drones that take off and land vertically, but switch to faster, more efficient fixed-wing flight once airborne. Working with students from Britain's Cranfield University, BAE Systems engineers have taken that idea and put a whole new spin on it – quite literally.
  • Conventional multicopter drones are excellent at hovering and VTOL, but they can't cover long distances as efficiently as fixed-wing aircraft. A team from the Singapore University of Technology and Design is trying to get the best of both worlds with the Transformable HOvering Rotorcraft (THOR).
  • The fruits of a collaboration between Airbus and Italdesign, the new Pop.Up concept blurs the line between self-driving car and VTOL flying car. Its removable passenger cell can drive on the ground or fly through the air with the help of modular power systems. Is this the future of commuting?
  • Bell Helicopter has dipped its toes in the concept waters for the first time with the FCX-001​. Unveiled at Heli-Expo 2017, the rotorcraft concept features an airframe crafted from sustainable materials, a hybrid power system, an artificial intelligence co-pilot, and morphing rotor blades.
  • When a hawk folds its wings, it plummets to the earth in a controlled high-speed dive. Not exactly the kind of scenario we’d imagine being ideal for modern aircraft. But wing folding can have advantages and NASA wants to make it happen.