Aerospace Technology Institute

FlyZero

Led by the Aerospace Technology Institute and backed by the UK Government, FlyZero is intensive research project seeking to deliver zero-carbon emitting aircraft by 2030.

 

Orson Associates were responsible for the development of the cabins, ensuring that the technical and experiential aspects of the passenger spaces would meet the needs and aspirations of future markets.

Year

2022

Services

Industrial Design

Aircraft Certification

Design for Sustainability

Exploration

The three FlyZero aircraft embody a multitude of new technologies which have a profound effect on the design of the passenger cabin. At the same time, novel approaches to aerodynamics and the distinct mission profiles of each aircraft place demands on the cabin’s scale and overall form.

 

To prove the viability of these aircraft, our responsibility was to create designs that satisfy the relevant certification requirements and meet the needs of the airlines that will operate them. Beyond this, we were determined to demonstrate that as cabins evolve to meet the requirements of sustainable aviation, the necessary changes can significantly improve the passenger experience, rather than introduce any compromise.

FlyZero Midsize

One-stop global connectivity

Able to travel from London to Auckland with just one stop, the Midsize concept challenges the notion that for long range travel, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is the only option. The large diameter liquid hydrogen tank drives a wide, twin-aisle cabin arrangement providing all of the layout flexibility and product choice that airlines benefit from today.

FlyZero Narrowbody

Effortless flow

Seeking ultimate efficiency, the Narrowbody’s spheroid fuselage tapers gently towards the nose from the large hydrogen tank in the tail, providing aerodynamic benefits and an outstanding passenger experience. The Narrowbody matches the capacity and performance of an Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 but the cabin provides several distinct advantages.

 

Passengers boarding the aircraft will turn left into a premium cabin or right into economy, and those entering economy will have the use of two aisles to reach their seats rather than one. As well as providing a more refined and stress-free boarding experience for all passengers, these characteristics will minimise the operationally critical aircraft loading and unloading times. Digital simulations also indicate that emergency egress will be faster and therefore safer. The twin aisle layout provides 40% more overhead bin space than today’s benchmark aircraft, further supporting speedy boarding and reducing the anxiety and inconvenience associated with today’s oversubscribed luggage bins.

 

Finally, the unique form of the cabin encourages more characterful interior designs. The widebody style entrance space allows crew to greet passengers and provides space for distinctive furnishings, the premium cabin provides true exclusivity and a more intimate environment, and economy passengers will enjoy the wide, open space with its gently curved walls and ceilings.

FlyZero Regional

Further into the future

Where the Midsize and Narrowbody aircraft rely on familiar turbofan engines, the Regional explores more radical territory by using its liquid hydrogen fuel to generate electricity in a bank of fuel cells. This electricity then powers six electric motors distributed along the length of the wing.

 

Compared to today’s benchmark aircraft (ATR 72-600), the Regional has a wider fuselage, again driven by the tank size. This provides a more spacious feeling cabin with a 3-2 seating arrangement and over 50% more overhead luggage space.