Zeppelin-shaped business jet is tipped to transform the aircraft industry

Design offers more fuel efficiency over longer distances

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A Zeppelin-shaped business jet that can travel at speeds of up to 740kph is being described as the future of transport.

The Celera 500L is described as the world's most fuel-efficient passenger aircraft by its manufacturers, Otto Aviation.

The six-seater aircraft has a range of almost 7,250km and a fuel economy of up to 9.4 litres per 100km.

The chairman and chief scientist of the US company said the goal of the project was to make the private aircraft experience more affordable, which could transform the travel market.

"Our goal was to create a private aircraft that would allow for direct flights between any city pair in the US at speeds and cost comparable with commercial air travel," said William Otto Sr, chairman and chief scientist of Otto Aviation.

"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 that when the price of private air travel is competitive with commercial air travel, an enormous market opportunity will result.”

He said the plane's reduced fuel consumption would make it the most environmentally friendly aircraft in its class.

The Celera 500L is said to offer an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions compared with similar business jets.

“We believe the Celera 500L is the biggest thing to happen to both the aviation and travel industries in 50 years,” he said.

“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.”

The aircraft has a push-propeller design, which allows it to avoid turbulent airflow across the fuselage.

The unique design of the fuselage and wings helps to create uninterrupted airflow, which reduces the drag by up to 60 per cent when compared with a similarly sized business aircraft.

The Celera 500L also has unusually long wingtips, which allow it to fly above weather and other air traffic, doubling its airspeed in the process as it climbs between 4,500 metres and 15,250 metres.

The engine is placed behind the cabin with the use of a rear prop allowing for a quieter than usual flight experience.

The rounded shape allows the installation of six seats while the 1.88m headroom is comparable with that of a midsize jet.