In the summer of 2015, we brought you a report on the Clip-Air project. The Federal Polytechnic Institute in Lausanne, Switzerland has been working on it since 2009 and the concept is simple: a modular aircraft, a flying wing in fact, that three capsules can be clipped up to. These three capsules are completely independent and could be configured in completely different ways. A huge plus for carriers who are looking to match demand as closely as possible.
In order to achieve this, researchers have been focusing for a year now on how the capsules are transhipped. They are moved along to below the wing in rolling carriages equipped with jacks and then clipped on to the flying wing above them.
Originally intended for commercial aviation, the Clip-Air project could first be applied to business aircraft, which is a more realistic target in the short term. In this way, a mono capsule would be clipped to a flying wing the size of a jet. This would be a good way for aircraft leasing companies to configure their aircraft differently and at lower cost.
However, we're going to have to be patient. Clip-Air won't be flying soon as it will take another five years of R&D not to mention 1.5 million euros before it takes shape. To this we have to add seven million euros to build two small-scale prototypes to demonstrate the feasibility of the concept. The word is out for sponsors and investors.