Airplanes are efficient because they can cram a lot of people on to a single flight and expend minimal energy getting passengers from one destination to the next. While experiments with more efficient aircraft have provided some promising results, other ideas take the whole efficiency idea to the next level; a mobile, flying airport to cover long distances across continents and oceans, with short regional flights landing and taking off on the move.
The concept Airborne Metro sees one of these flying airports on a continuous circuit across the norther hemisphere, flying in proximity to major cities like London, New York, and Chicago. You’d hop an express plane to the flying metro, relax on board the comfortable facilities, and as your destination approached you’d hop another local flight down to the ground airport of your choice. A nuclear reactor would mean, in theory, the flying airport would never have to land. The strain of flying on the materials likely means otherwise, if this concept ever leaves the concept phase.
The designers envision fuel savings of 50% to 80% per flight, depending on the length of the trip. Of course the idea of a flying nuclear reactor might be unsettling to some…but we are also living in the 21st century. I say it is high time we start living like it.