Can the aviation industry experience the same tech driven disruption so common in other markets? This past month, an odd-looking aircraft was spotted flying in Southern California. It was small with thin wings, bullet like in shape and had a rear facing propeller on the back. From a profile view the plane easily could be mistaken for a flying saucer. What in the world could it be?
This small aircraft is the Celera 500L built by Otto Aviation. The Celera just completed its thirty-first test flight and is positioned to disrupt the aviation industry. So what makes this unusual airplane so special? It’s a private plane that can fly passengers for about the same cost of a commercial flight!
What pain point does the Celera 500L solve?
Cost is the prohibiting factor for traveling by private plane. Most chartered private flights cost around $3000 an hour to operate. However, the Celera 500L is a hybrid electric plane and costs 7 times less to operate. It’s special design also allows it to consume 8 time less fuel than other aircraft and travel at cruise speeds equivalent to similar-sized jets. It also has a nautical mile range of 4,500 which means you can easily fly from coast to coast without the need to stop and refuel.
What make this plane so different?
The real secret to the Celera’s performance is in the plane’s design, which centers around the principle of laminar flow.
Laminar flow is the minimum drag solution for aircraft surfaces, and features smooth layers of airflow with little to no mixing of adjacent layers. The design of the Celera fuselage takes advantage of an optimum length-to-width ratio to maximize laminar flow. These benefits will not scale for large jet transports and are therefore well suited for an aircraft like the Celera.
Who are the intended customers?
So what industries is the Celera aimed to affect? Commercial aviation travel will surely see a hit as this plane removes the cost barrier that prevents many people from considering flying private. I’m sure we’ll see many successful entrepreneurs and family offices trying to put their current planes on the market as they’ll be looking to acquire one of these babies as well.
There’s no word on price or the availability date from Otto Aviation yet, however before you run out to buy one, make sure you first speak with your family office tax advisor, as there are tax strategies that you can benefit from when purchasing a private jet. Also, you may need to make your plane its own entity to ensure proper protection from the liabilities that come with owning an aircraft.
If you have any questions regarding whether you have the right structure in place to mitigate risk, or need other family office advice (we never sell investments), please consider contacting us here at Info@GROCO.com. Or, visit our website at www.GROCO.com to learn more about us. Unfortunately, we no longer give advice to other tax professionals gratis.