Short Take Off and Landing on any Surface
Using rescue aircraft has always been the best way to send supplies to disaster areas or help in rescue missions. The problem in these planes become pretty useless in conditions where runways are washed out or destroyed, and there is no place to land.
So what can be done about this? The ESTOLAS Project, or European Commission’s Extremely Short Take Off and Landing on any Surface Project, aims to make an aircraft that can overcome these obstacles.
ESTOLA Conventional Look
The ESTOLAS aircraft looks like a combination of a helicopter, an aircraft, a hovercraft and an airship! Well, that’s not surprising because the aircraft is in effect exactly that. This plane has been designed so that it can take off and land on very short runways. It also has the ability to land on various kinds of surfaces right from snow to marsh land and even on water!
Working of the ESTOLAS Plane
The ESTOLA engineering team is already experimenting with different sizes of planes, from a small aircraft weighing about 3.3 tons right up to a super-heavy craft that could weigh about 440 tons. The small jet will probably be able to take off and land at distances of only 75m while the super-heavy jet will probably need about 175m.
The team will now start demonstration models of this aircraft and conduct testing in a wind tube. This 24 month project will then also test the plane through radio-controlled flight tests.
After that they will also have to obtain their various licenses and look at venture capital to make the ESTOLAS a reality.
ESTOLA Multiple Use
If the plane manages to pass every test and shows a lot of promise, they will start to look at other applications for this aircraft besides rescue missions.
These applications could include defense use, tourism and business use. Due to the low fuel consumption and the ability to land and take off in small areas, it will be a great help for connectivity to smaller towns that do not have commercial airports.