SE Aeronautics, a sustainable aviation technology company based in Birmingham, AL, has proposed a super-efficient, mid-market airliner concept, the SE200, that can carry up to 264 passengers with a range of 10,500 miles (16,900 km).
The twin-engine design is a composite monocoque molded wide-body airliner that promises significant advantages over current airliners including faster cruising speed, reductions in fuel consumption of 70% and CO2 emissions of 80%, and the ability to operate from airports with short runways.
These are the SE200 specifications published on the SE Aeronautics website:
The SE200 sounds like a breakthrough. A potential drawback to the design that I see is that all fuel is stored in a bladder located above the fuselage because of the super-thin, high-lift wings. If the bladder ruptures during a crash, the passenger compartment will be bathed in flammable jet fuel. That problem must be solved, if it hasn’t been already, before safety regulators approve the design for passenger travel.
If the SE200 short-field landing performance is as impressive as its stated takeoff performance — it needs only 1,500 feet (about 457 meters) for takeoff — potentially it opens small airfields that are more convenient for passengers like London City Airport to long-haul, wide-body flights.
The SE200 is very promising aircraft. I have not seen technical reviews of its capabilities or comparisons to current aircraft and SE aeronautics has not identified the engine it proposes to use on this aircraft. Competing with Boeing, Airbus, and a growing list of companies seeking to enter the market for commercial airliners won’t be easy even if SE Aeronautics overcomes any technical or safety issues. Although this post makes no predictions as to future stock price, one item that looks promising for the company is the stock price has more than doubled in the last year. I hope the concept proves feasible as the potential reductions in costs and emissions could be substantial.