Environment

Opportunity

Warrior recognises valid reasons for the messages to travellers to ‘fly less!’, this assuming that the aircraft operation leaves a net carbon footprint. The more valuable and purposeful message is to ‘fly less or fly right!’.

Warrior is taking every step to make both operations and ‘cradle to grave’ manufacture and disposal of the Ocean seaplanes, sustainable. There is an opportunity to set the bar higher than achievable by any equivalent landplane, helicopter or seaplane, in the Ocean seaplanes;

  • cruising more efficiently than current seaplanes and helicopters.
  • increasing straight-line ‘start-point to final destination’ operations, reducing net distances travelled.
  • reducing needs for secondary transports at start and finish, reducing net energy requirements for air travel.
  • reducing requirements for infrastructure needed by secondary transports, thus reducing the physical footprint and leaving nature alone and trees standing.
  • reducing or wholly removing needs for airstrips and airfields, also to leave nature alone and trees standing.
Ocean Environment Trees
Through these advantages and with the engagement of carbon-neutral power systems, the Ocean seaplanes will enable travellers to ‘fly right’ more than any other type of aircraft.

Power options

The volume, useful load and cruise efficiency advantages of the Ocean seaplanes make them exceptionally suited to carbon-neutral power systems and green energy sources. With the high market value attached to seaplane functionality, the Ocean seaplanes promise viable applications.

Warrior is developing the Ocean seaplanes in readiness to receive any of the following technologies. 

Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF)

Synthetic or bio SAF may be used in current engines, provided costs allow viability. However, the cost of SAF is high. Exceptionally for the Ocean seaplanes, this is offset by the work efficiency advantages of the Ocean seaplanes. The viability of SAF is also aided by many seaplane applications being both high-value and short-haul, making the viability calculation relatively insensitive to fuel costs. Hence Ocean services will be viable using SAF in many circumstances where landplanes and conventional seaplane services will not.

Hydrogen or ammonia

The same conventional powerplants, with modification, may be powered by green hydrogen or ammonia. The less-promoted potential option in ‘cracking’ hydrogen from ammonia may be inexpensive and easy to both store and transport, also having established infrastructure through its extensive use in agriculture.

Either may also convert to electricity to power electric motors via fuel-cells.

Battery electric

The Ocean seaplanes are exceptionally accommodating of electric power, having greater useful load to accommodate batteries than equivalent aircraft and this is aided by cruise efficiency advantages. 

However, the anticipation is confined to short-haul operations, given the realities of (as opposed to hopes for) batteries, in terms of weight, capacity and life.  

A rigorous through-life assessment will be maintained in integrating these systems, with considerations including mining and processing raw materials, manufacturing, operations and disposal. 

Hybrid electric

There are promising forms of hybrid using the above technologies, which are likely to suit up to medium-range applications.

Warrior will prioritise power systems that are certified and become viable in the market, soonest. Viable options in SAF for combustion engines and battery electric are anticipated within the course of Ocean development timescales.

Noise

The Ocean seaplanes serving coastal operations will generally be able to approach and climb well away from population centres. Where they replace landplane services, this will greatly reduce overflight risks and the noise footprint imparted on populations. Noise reductions will be further increased by reduced power requirements for take-off and flight.

This is aided by the Ocean seaplanes suitability for fast taxing on the surface and tolerance to waves outside harbour or estuary confines.

Manufacture

All materials, processes and technologies are being considered with respect to cradle-to-grave life-cycles.

Airframe manufacture is expected to use new resin-infusion and other composite airframing technologies which enable complex airframe parts to be manufactured using only one heat cycle without the use of energy-demanding autoclaves. These technologies also require less factory time and less energy managing factory humidity and temperature than most current practices.

Already proven with early-generation aircraft composites, the airframes will have a life of at least 40-years, at the end of which the carbon-fibre content will be recyclable.

Resin infusion fuselage
Warrior’s resin infusion fuselage manufacture experiments - whole aircraft sides (double skin ‘sandwich’ with ribs) in one low-energy cure cycle.