For car makers who have conquered everything the ground has to offer, the skies offer new frontiers for exploration. Hot on the heels of the HondaJet, Aston Martin unveiled its own private jet concept in July 2018 in the form of the Volante Vision Concept which was designed in collaboration with Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solution and Rolls-Royce. The space age-style design features vertical take-off and landing capability, can seat three adults and was created with the idea of offering a futuristic alternative to cars and reducing inner city road congestion in mind. The aircraft is powered by a gas turbine hybrid propulsion system along with a tri-rotor propeller system, while an integrated battery pack would mean short trips can be completed using only electric power, with Aston Martin estimating the Volante Vision would be able to travel non-stop for up to 250 miles at a speed of 200mph.
The most amazing private jet concepts
Just as with wild superyacht concepts, many designers can’t resist trying to push the boundaries of flight with outlandish and incredible private jet concepts. From vertical take-offs and Mach 24 speed, to lowering carbon emissions and providing panoramic views, here are some of the most amazing private jet concepts in development now.
Aston Martin Volante Vision Concept
Dutch concept PAL-V Liberty is adopting a gyroplane principle. In drive mode, the propeller tucks into the rear of the vehicle and rotors fold and store on top; all with dimensions no larger than an average car. The first prototypes have already been displayed around the world, and customers are now being invited to pre-order their models, retailing at around €499,000.
Lufthansa Airbus A330 EXPLORER
First teased at the the 2021 Monaco Yacht Show, Lufthansa Technik has revealed plans to design a wide-body private jet inspired by explorer yachts for intrepid owners. The concept features a number of elements reminiscent of superyacht design, such as a folding veranda that extends up to four metres for guests to get closer to the outside world while enjoy an al fresco drink on landing or pre-departure. The model also boasts an explorer-worthy flying range, offering up to 21 hours of flight time without refuelling while carrying 25 passengers. Other details include a lounge, gym room and medical centre to ensure guests have everything they need on board.
There are currently two configurations options to chose from, with one a layout for 12 guests in VIP cabins or alternatively, room for 47 passengers with a master suite.Read More/Lufthansa reveals 'superyacht of the skies' private jet concept
AeroMobil flying car
Slovakian motor and aviation company AeroMobil unveiled the latest generation in flying car technology at the Top Marques Monaco supercar exhibition in April 2017, and is anticipating the model's arrival for 2023. Although there are a number of similar car/plane hybrid concepts around, AeroMobil believes its design really could be the future and is already taking pre-orders starting at $1.2 million. Designed to be used as both a normally functioning car and a private jet with a range of 750km, owners will require both a driving and pilots licence before purchase while space restrictions mean only one other passenger can be carried. The innovative design sees wings with a span of nine metres unfurl from the car's streamlined profile allowing it to reach a cruising air speed of 260km/h and affording its owner the ultimate in travel flexibility.
Designed by industrial engineer Charles Bombardier, Paradoxal is a supersonic jet concept capable of taking passengers from Los Angeles to Sydney in less than three hours thanks to its ability to fly at suborbital altitude. Designed with feedback received from his earlier Skreemr and antipode concepts, Bombardier believes the science behind Paradoxal makes it a viable proposition for the new era of aviation which addresses the issue of cost, practicality and heat build up which have plagued other supersonic jet concepts.
In layman's terms, Paradoxal would use two R4E engines to provide enough power for lift off and the climb to 60,000 feet where the jet would reach Mach 3 speed. At this point the engine would inject liquid oxygen into the gas exhaust turning it into a rocket engine and propelling Paradoxal to supersonic speeds at an altitude of 40 miles. At mid-flight the Earth's curvature would be visible and - should a panoramic rooftop capable of withstanding heat and stress be created - could treat passengers in theatre-style seating to incredible views.
The demise of Concorde has been well documented, but several companies are intent on bringing back the famous supersonic jet. Denver-based start-up Boom, backed by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, aims to have its demonstrator XB-1, or “Baby Boom,” in the air by the end for test flights by 2026 and flying passengers by 2029. While not technically a private jet, it’ll fly from New York to London in three hours 15 minutes with tickets costing the same as a business class flight - which is undeniably useful for frequent flyers.
Improvements on the original Concorde design include a carbon composite shell, a more aerodynamic profile and even a quieter supersonic boom. Nasa and Lockheed Martin, the US-based aerospace company, are also working on breaking the 767mph sound barrier, focusing on almost entirely reducing the boom to open up overland routes, and halving transatlantic flight times. The first model was unveiled in October 2020.
XTI Trifan 600
Beginning life as one of the best new start-ups, the XTI Trifan 600 promises to combine the benefits of a private jet and a helicopter by being the smallest aircraft in the world to offer vertical take-off and landing. With a range of 1,200 miles and a top speed of 400mph, there’s every chance it could mean direct flights from home to yacht helicopter deck for many superyacht owners. The project is currently undergoing a second round of crowdfunding but, after quickly reaching its target the first time, could easily become a reality.
Not so much an entire concept as an intriguing addition to your existing private jet, the SkyDeck has been designed by American firm Windspeed Technologies to offer a new entertainment option to both private and commercial planes. Somewhat akin to a car sunroof, the SkyDeck features two swivelling chairs encased in a glass bubble allowing users 360-degrees views of life above the clouds. With a patent already filed this is one concept that could be appearing at an airfield near you very soon.
As with Tesla’s innovative new supercars, many believe the future of eco-friendly air travel lies in electric powered aircraft. Developed at NASA’s Langley Research Centre, LEAPTech (Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology) is an experimental system which sees a long narrow wing fitted with a large number of battery powered motors and propellers thus producing less noise, low operating costs and zero in-flight carbon emissions. Although still under development researchers say they hope this system will become the industry standard.
Conceived by Canadian designer and engineer Charles Bombardier, in collaboration with Abhishek Roy of Lunatic Koncepts and a scientific research team from Wyle, Antipode is a luxury business jet concept capable of reaching Mach 24 – a speed 12 times faster than Concorde. Using rocket boosters attached to its wings, Antipode would reach Mach 5 during its climb to 40,000 feet, once there the rockets would detach and fly back to base while the jet’s supersonic combustion engine ignites accelerating the jet to Mach 24. If it were to become reality Antipode could carry ten people at a speed of up to 12,427mph – meaning you could fly from New York to London in just 11 minutes.