With air travel accounting for 2.5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, the pressure is mounting on airline companies to find a better way to fly. One such improvement is in how short-haul flights are conducted. HER0 is one design that might just be the solution airlines are looking for. Put together by New York-based designer Joe Doucet, HER0 is a zero emission passenger plane designed for short flights.
Doucet’s idea is heavily influenced by the past of aviation. HER0 is a propeller plane that puts the propulsion system in the back rather than in the front. The result is that the propellers push the plane rather than pulling it. While the plane may be better for the environment, it does result in a slower plane. But that was a conscious decision on Doucet’s part. He willingly traded off speed in order to get cleaner air. Hence placing the propellers at the back to push the plane. Propellers placed in the front focus on speed, while rear placement optimizes fuel efficiency.
“Current solutions to air travel, although expedient, are less than ideal for the planet,” says Doucet. “Carbon emissions from plane travel, focused as they are in the upper atmosphere, are considered amongst the greatest contributors to global warming. The plane’s innovative design and material composition work together to minimize weight and maximize aerodynamics, allowing the electric engines to achieve required minimums in distance and duration for flight times. Every aspect of in-flight travel has also been considered, with sustainability at the core of refreshments and service offerings.”
HER0 gets its power from three massive propellers that are battery powered. Doucet also envisions a solar or wind generator that could be added to the system to help boost power when the batteries start to run low. Doucet also placed the wings higher up on the plane’s body and farther back, similar to gliders, which should help the plane to fly more efficiently.
The plane is a concept, and Doucet his keeping his hopes reasonable. “It’s a conceptual billboard that arrest people for a moment,” says Doucet. The hope is that people will start to question why we don’t have electric commuter planes, and to get bigger companies to start researching the possibility.