If you grew up watching The Jetsons, you’re probably disappointed that we’re still not flying around in personal glass-bubble spaceships that fold into suitcases.
Well, I’m here to tell you that someone has actually… sorry, just kidding. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to wait a little longer for that one.
I can, however, tell you about the newest transportation idea from Akka Technologies. It’s absolutely Jetsons-approved, and a film promoting the concept recently won an award in the Product Marketing category at the 2017 Aerospace Festival.
The innovative concept looks at creating a link between train and air travel. The idea is that, whenever you need to fly, you just go to the railway station and hop onto a tube-shaped passenger train that will take you straight to the airport.
Once there, the ‘train’ will roll straight out onto the runway and connect to a pair of wings and cockpit that is ready and waiting to go. The aircraft then takes you to your destination as per usual. On arrival, the pod will detach itself and roll back out of the airport and on to major railway stations.
“After cars go electric and autonomous, the next big disruption will be in airplanes,” AKKA CEO Maurice Ricci told Bloomberg.
The envisioned aircraft seats 162, with options for cargo delivery and a maximum payload of 21,000 kg. It has a projected cruise speed of Mach 0.78 and a range of 2,200 km. Current maximum cruise altitude sits at 39,800 ft.
One of the major concerns is of course security. How do you screen passengers without needing to set up a security point at every train station? Akka suggests using retinal scanning once passengers are seated.
The idea has been met with interest from various transportation companies. Akka currently works with companies like Airbus, Renault, and Dassault in Europe, but is hoping to connect with Boeing in an attempt to gain customers in the United States.
The reality of producing such a train/aircraft would take years, but is an intriguing and ambitious concept. Now all they need to do is figure out a way to shoot each passenger out of the aircraft in human-sized glass jars as they pass their desired destinations.