• Otto Aviation's bullet-shaped Celera 500L. (Otto Aviation)
    Otto Aviation's bullet-shaped Celera 500L. (Otto Aviation)

US company Otto Aviation surprised the aviation world this week by lifting the wraps on their innovative bullet-shaped Celera 500L single.

The first prototype had already completed 31 test flight in California before the company announced it to the world.

Otto Aviation has said that the flights have validated the Celera 500's performance, which gives it a top speed of 390 knots and a maximum range of 4500 nm. The company is predicting a fuel consumption of only 94 litres per hour, thanks largely to the aerodynamic shape and laminar-flow wings.

The Celera 500 is powered by a 550-hp RED AO3 V-12 engine mounted in the tail in pusher configuration, burning jet fuel and controlled through a single power lever.

"Innovation at its core is solving a problem without conventional bias," said William Otto Sr Chairman and Chief Scientist of Otto Aviation. "Our goal was to create a private aircraft that would allow for direct flight between any city in the US at speeds and cost comparable to commercial air travel.

"In many cases individuals and families will be able to charter the Celera 500L at prices comparable to commercial airfares, but with the added convenience of private aviation. We believe when the price of private air travel is competitive with commercial air travel an enormous market opportunity will result."

The Celera 500L is configured to carry six people in first-class style with a built in toilet. The cabin has been designed so that passengers can stand up.

Otto Aviation is claiming environmental benefits from the aircraft, citing an 80% reduction in carbon emissions over other business aircraft in its class and 40% less emissions than current commercial aircraft.

"We believe the Celera 500L is the biggest thing to happen to both the aviation and travel industries in 50 years," Otto added. "Beyond using our aircraft for passenger travel, it can also be used for cargo operations and military applications.

"Since the results from our prototype test flights have been so promising, we're ready to  bring the Celera 500L to market."

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