Ecologic Aircraft concept is part airship, part plane

The craft’s helium-filled envelope would provide lift, and turbines would propel it, according to the designer.

(Credit: Daphnis Fournier)

If you enjoy dreaming up fanciful ways of tooling around, here’s something out of the ordinary: an all-electric plane with a helium-filled balloon topped by photovoltaic cells.

It sounds more like a sci-fi prop, but the Ecologic Aircraft Design Concept by French industrial designer Daphnis Fournier is intended to explore new ideas for prototypes that fly.

After all, we do have a flying car that works, so why not this airship-airplane?

About 71 yards long, the craft would be supposedly be able to achieve speeds of 750 mph propelled by four electric turbines while carrying up to 324 passengers. The idea is that it would mostly fly above the clouds, where the solar cells would capture sunlight to generate electricity.

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