The EcoJet represents a simple concept that would likely present Aquarian engineers one of their greatest technical challenges. Put simply, it would be an attempt to overcome the gaps commercial air transit suffers in both modest scale intercontinental range transit and the use of renewable energy using fixed wing aircraft technology. The EcoJet would be a commuter/regional class size aircraft with a 20-40 passenger capacity that can take off and land with no more than a 1000ft runway, fly at speeds between 200-400mph, with a range of at least 5000 nautical miles running entirely on renewable fuel and producing little to no contrail. The point to this aircraft is simple, to create an intercontinental range jet aircraft that can be powered by Aquarian energy resources, can operate from the small airstrips a marine settlement may easily be able to support, and is suited to the economics of scale of a relatively modest sized marine colony. Sounds simple, but given existing aircraft technology a plane with this capability would be completely impossible today and so it is likely to be more technically challenging than any other form of transportation described in this subsection. In fact, given that this would be targeted for realization before the Asgard phase of development, this is probably a more speculative proposition than even the Circum-Equatorial Transit Network.
If such a vehicle is possible at all, it would likely employ a radical airframe design based on nanofiber composite materials and would use such propulsion methods as integral vortex wing jet engines driven in combustion or thermal modes. If using hydrogen fuel, it would require radically different fuel storage with much higher density than simple cryofuel –perhaps based on something like a recyclable lithium hydride –ideally in some catalytic suspension form akin to liquid borohydrides– that can store 8 times the energy density by mass of methanol. Or perhaps it might even use something as exotic as the recyclable chemical mixtures of megawatt chemical lasers, such as deuterium fluoride and chemical oxygen iodine lasers which would be used to drive a non-combustion thermal jet engine.
Owing to the very exotic nature of its propulsion, the EcoJet would be unable to operate independently of another transportation infrastructure supplying its fuel to an exclusive set of airfields. So it is likely to have a special use role in the spectrum of Aquarian transportation, most likely focused on passenger and emergency transit. Variations on the concept may also include a WIG-hybrid configuration that attempts to minimize the scale of airstrips needed for take-off by transitioning between WIG and normal lift flight modes, which would likely call for a sophisticated transforming wing system. VTOL is another even more challenging possibility but which may not be entirely impossible given a sufficiently low airframe mass thanks to nanofiber composites and a much higher power-to-weight engine ratio using more solid-state acoustic vortex jet technology. Of course, any community able to pull-off something as challenging as a VTOL EcoJet would most certainly be the world leader in aerospace technology and be well able to move on to space.
- Solar Ferry
- Solar Wingsail Cruiser
- Relay Archipelago
- Aquarian Airship
- Aquarian Personal Rapid Transit System
- Aquarian Personal Packet Transit and SuperStore
- Aquarian SE Downstation
- Circum-Equatorial Transit Network