Is the Falcon Solar airplane concept a glimpse of the future of aviation?
Product designer Laszlo Nemeth of Budapest-based firm Lasky Design drew inspiration from nature to create the Falcon Solar airplane concept, a solar-powered airplane for the future. It does appear to be a cutting-edge technological marvel, but will it become the future of sustainable aviation?
The sleek design of the Falcon Solar airplane concept is inspired by the birds of prey, with gigantic upward-curving wings and a pointed cockpit and tail. The fuselage, in addition to the big wings, provides a large surface for solar panels while also creating “significant lift”, according to the designer.
“We want to bring a new perspective to solar sustainable aviation,” Nemeth told Robb Report. “I believe that modern technology is sufficiently advanced to allow us to fly on solar power. This could be a reality before self-driving cars.”
Solar is not usually seen as a sufficient form of mass transportation, particularly for commercial and private flights. Solar-powered planes can only carry a limited cargo and travel at significantly slower speeds when compared to conventional planes.
“Flying above the weather in the jet stream and the strong winds, as well as darkness at night, are what cause problems for contemporary solar-powered aircraft,” said Nemeth. “How do we overcome these problems? Fly higher. Solar-powered aircraft typically fly at higher altitudes, whereas propeller propulsion is more likely to provide sufficient efficiency and use the energy from altitude to slowly descend in the evenings.”
Unfortunately, the Lasky Design’s Falcon Solar airplane concept has no visible takeoff propulsion system and no wing flaps or ailerons for lift or turning. It lacks rudders and stabilizers, which are essential components. Also with a small cabin, it’s difficult to determine how it might perform in the actual world. Nonetheless, its unique design might serve as inspiration for a brand new type of commercial aircraft in the future.