In the modern age of very light jets, models like the Cirrus Vision SF50 and the Honda HA-420 HondaJet rule the skies. These planes boast speed, range, and efficiency that leave little to be desired. They represent the pinnacle in single- and dual-engine performance. Now, they face a competitor in the Celera 500L from Otto Aviation. This new prototype jet offers better range, efficiency, and emissions … all packaged in a rare pusher prop design. It’s an unlikely competitor, to say the least.
Meet the Celera 500L
Even if you weren’t aware of the impressive technical specifications of Otto Aviation’s flagship, the prototype Celera 500L would turn heads on its own. In an industry dominated by jet engines and turboprops, the Celera stands out. The new plane effortlessly combines modern innovation with old-school know-how to create a futuristic jet rooted in the foundations of aviation.
If you’re not familiar with a pusher prop setup, the idea is relatively simple. Where a turboprop has a propeller at the front of the vessel, pusher props like the Celera put the propellor at the rear. The pusher prop design has been around for decades. In fact, the final propeller-driven aircraft tested by the Air Force was a pusher prop called the XB-42. Unfortunately for the XB-42, technological drawbacks of the time and the advent of the jet engine conspired to largely shutter the development of this intriguing aircraft.
Enter Otto Aviation, whose Celera looks like something a swashbuckling, heroic sky pirate might fly. The prototype for this pusher prop has completed 31 test flights, and the manufacturer is confident about the future.
In theory, the benefits of the pusher prop design come down to one major design choice: the placement of its propeller. In a traditional turboprop, the propeller at the front of the plane disrupts the air’s natural flow, causing the wings to lose crucial flight efficiency. By placing the propeller at the rear of the aircraft, the wings can slice through undisrupted air and make the most of their natural shape.
The Celera 500L takes things several steps further in terms of its physical design. Every precaution has been taken to reduce drag on the plane; the result is a bullet-shaped aircraft that soars through the skies with ease.Compared to the competition, there is no competition. Otto Aviation’s prototype gets 18 miles to the gallon at a minimum. Comparably sized jet aircraft only get three miles to the gallon on a good day. Not only does that improve fuel efficiency, it dramatically increases the craft’s range. What’s more, the Celera 500L costs about $330 an hour to operate. Jet aircraft cost about $1800 an hour to maintain. It’s a major leap in efficiency across the board.
Private aircraft for the masses
The Celera 500L is a plane with a purpose. Otto Aviation maintains its commitment to bringing private travel to the masses. By the time the Celera 500L reaches the market (anticipated in 2025), Otto Aviation hopes to deliver a private jet experience at commercial aircraft prices.