Otto Aviation CEO Talks Avionics, Connectivity Suppliers for Celera 500L

Otto Aviation has proven the performance of its overly laminar flow over the course of 31 flights and is now in the process of considering avionics and connectivity suppliers for the Celera 5000L, CEO Bill Otto Jr. told Avionics International.

Otto Aviation has proven the performance of its overly laminar flow over the course of 31 flights and is now in the process of considering avionics and connectivity suppliers for the Celera 5000L, CEO Bill Otto Jr. told Avionics International.

Celera 500L’s bullet-shaped design is the result of the use of extensive laminar flow over the fuselage, wings and tail surfaces, according to an Aug. 26 press release published by the Yorba Linda, California-based company. The aircraft has a maximum cruise speed of 450 miles per hour, a range of over 4,500 miles, with the goal of Part 23 type certification and entry into service by 2025.

Celera 500L’s rear-mounted propeller engine, the twin six-cylinder all-aluminum diesel burning RED A03, has already achieved EASA and FAA type certification, according to the company. (Otto Aviation)

“Innovation at its core is solving a problem without conventional bias. Our goal was to create a private aircraft that would allow for direct flights between any city pair in the U.S. at speeds and cost comparable to commercial air travel,” said William Otto Sr., Chairman and Chief Scientist of Otto Aviation. “In many cases, individuals and families will be able to charter the Celera 500L at prices comparable to commercial airfares, but with the added convenience of private aviation. We believe when the price of private air travel is competitive with commercial air travel, an enormous market opportunity will result.”

After covering the emergence of the Celera 500L from stealth in August, here, we feature our full question and answer session with Otto Jr.

What type of cockpit avionics systems/configuration is featured on the Celera 500L? Who are some of the avionics systems suppliers that Otto Aviation is using for communications, navigation and surveillance systems on the aircraft?

Otto Jr.: We are currently using the Garmin G-500 in the prototype. Otto Aviation will be announcing avionics and other suppliers in the near future. Avionics on the aircraft will be comparable to other aircraft in its class including the PC-12, King Air and Citation Jets.

Are there any specialized electronic systems or instruments featured on Celera that would not be featured on a traditional business jet?

Otto Jr.: The flight deck will be world class but is not expected to introduce new technology not found on other aircraft. Emergency auto-land and synthetic vision systems are being considered.

Will the Celera 500L feature in-flight Internet/connectivity access for flight crews and passengers? How ‘connected’ will the Celera 500L be and how will you enable operators to exploit the use of connectivity?

Otto Jr.: Passengers will enjoy state of the art connectivity to Iridium-class satellite communication systems and Wi-Fi datalinks. Maintenance information data linking is also being considered. Each of these systems is currently available from suppliers, and we’ll announce supplier networks in the future.

What aspects of the engine and the overall aircraft design help Celera to achieve such low emissions? How have you demonstrated the 80/40 percent lower carbon emissions compared to other aircraft as claimed in the overview below?

Otto Jr.: Laminar flow is the key enabling technology to achieve the dramatic fuel consumption reductions demonstrated in our proof-of-concept vehicle. Engineers have known since the dawn of flight that significant fuel savings are possible with laminar flow, and the combination of smooth composite construction coupled with favorable design choices minimizes aerodynamic drag. The use of the RED A03 engine significantly improves fuel consumption and integrates well with this aircraft. We have demonstrated this through direct measurement of drag and comparative fuel burn relative to our chase aircraft.

What is the type/certification status for the Celera 500L (Part23/25?) When do you expect the aircraft to be available for passenger carrying service and has a purchase price been determined yet? Does Otto Aviation already have a first buyer/operator?

Otto Jr.: The Otto Aviation Celera 500L will be certified as a Part 23 aircraft. We expect entry into service in 2025. Members of the aviation press may be invited for flight experiences prior to that. We are not announcing any buyers or operators at this time.

It’s significant to note that the Celera 500L delivers unprecedented fuel efficiency while simultaneously delivering unprecedented cabin comfort with more passenger volume than anything in its class.

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