Instagram is a great place to meet people who share your passion and I have the pleasure of sharing with you today the work of a young and talented argentinian designer and entrepreneur: Juan Garcia Mansilla.
This is a little bio by himself:
I graduated in Industrial Design at the University of Buenos Aires in 2012.
After working for 3 years at BCK doing Product Design Firm I ventured into UNIT 1: A startup devoted to creating value through innovation.
On my free time I still work as a Freelancer, I’m always looking for cool projects to bring to life. While my day job involves real world Product Design, in my spare time I explore the realm of plausible fiction that is Concept Design. This is the stuff of the imagination.
I like to live on both worlds: The real world, with problem solving, feasibility constraints, end-user needs and real impact on people and business. And then, the world of imagination, where boundaries are just guidelines and there’s no end to what is possible.
This duality between the concreteness of everyday work and the aspirations of fantasy is a recurring theme of mankind. Not everyone is able to fantasize and dream but Juan made it clear he also has a soul capable of imagining how the world around him should be regardless of the actual state of technology.
Among his creations, the first thing that I noticed is the Paradoxal. It is a commercial supersonic/hypersonic passenger aircraft concept capable of flying on a sub-orbital parabolic trajectory between distant parts of the globe within hours. Sidney to LA would be covered in 3 hours of flight time. This magnificent airplane resembles the Northrop Grumman B2 Spirit stealth bomber and is set to revolutionize the air travelling by overhauling the traditional concept of a “tube with wings”. It was conceived by numerous scientists and engineers, also by NASA and Juan was contacted to give the project a final form.
This is how it works. Source: http://imaginactive.org/2016/12/paradoxal/
It uses a Rotary Ramjet engine as the air-breathing engine and then converts to a rocket to reach a suborbital altitude. A line of counterflowing jets of air on the aircraft’s leading edges reduces heat and drag during the ascent and re-entry phases of the flight.
The Paradoxal would to take off directly from any airfield using two Rim-Rotor Rotary Ramjet Engines (R4E). These turbines produce significant thrust in a single-stage by spinning ramjet thrusters at supersonic speeds (tip speeds up to Mach 3) held together by a carbon-fiber rim-rotor.
The R4E engines have a high power-to-weight ratio and could be manufactured at relatively low production costs (similar to today’s automotive turbochargers). Efficiencies are similar to piston engines and low pressure ratio gas turbines (20-30%).
The air-breathing engines would provide enough power to lift off, climb to 60,000 feet, and reach Mach 3. At this point, the engine would turn into a rocket engine by injecting liquid oxygen (LOX) into the gas exhaust port that would continue pushing the Paradoxal at supersonic speeds up to an altitude of 40 miles, setting it on a parabolic sub-orbital trajectory towards its distant destination.
In mid-flight, you would see earth’s curvature and the plane’s multiple onboard cameras would grant you access to video feed of the view along with the best pictures. You would even get to experience weightlessness for one brief minute before heading back towards earth.
The leading edge of the plane’s wings would be fitted with linear ‘Long Penetration Mode (LPM) nozzles’ so that air could flow out of them to create a ‘paradoxal’ effect whereby the plane could fly faster. As the speed increased to first supersonic, then hypersonic velocities, the engines or onboard tanks of compressed air would supply air to the LPM nozzles along the leading edges of the plane. As the Parodoxal accelerates and climbs, the LPM effect would reduce thermal loads while also reducing overall drag.
For this reason, the Parodoxal has a flying wing or blended wing body shape with one long leading edge. Passengers sit in one large, theatre-like cabin.
For the cruise part of the trajectory, the passenger plane would fly well above the stratosphere, at the very edge of black space. Hundreds of passengers would enjoy spectacular views of our planet.
About 45 minutes before landing, the LPM flow would be restarted using air from compressed air tanks. The LPM effect will cool the plane during atmospheric re-entry and allow it to slow gradually to subsonic velocity. By the time it returns to 50,000 feet in altitude, Parodoxal will again use air-breathing turbine engines and flying below Mach 1 for its final approach to its destination.
It’s not only super fast, it’s also a romantic experience to observe the earth and seas from so high above that Earth curvature is noticeable. I have always been fascinated by futuristic airplanes and spaceships, they represent the freedom and the quest for a better world. For these reasons the Paradoxal immediately gained my attention, I think that someday humans will leave our planet on board of aircrafts we would now consider magical like this one. Its design is so beautiful for the reason it is inspired by nature as you can deduce from this stunning comparison between an hawk and a b-2 bomber.
As for all the artists, their work speaks for themselves. Among his many creations i have selected three of them. You can enjoy the relative images on the gallery below.
- The Beeonic robotic bee concept, conceived to relieve the declining bee population worldwide and assist these tireless creatures in their fundamental task. Designing is not for its own sake. It is not just how something looks but also how it works, therefore it has a high social value in helping humanity overcome actual and future challenges.
- The Amelia 7 Fighter Jet, based on WWII aesthetics and with added futuristic elements. The result is a science-fiction concept that is as historic as it is timeless. It’s like a WWII plane with Star Wars weapons, cool right?
- The RDSV is a 2 seater high speed vehicle for use in any polar environment. It would aptly serve polar exploration, rescue missions, medical emergencies or even sport applications. The whole idea started with the traction system, something that could allow high speeds across Antarctica but could also climb up a mountain for an avalanche rescue operation. Then the whole vehicle was built around it. There’s a big debate about the starting point in designing and engineering. The first approach is providing the best technology and then give it a decent user interface so that it can become usable by everyone. The second approach starts from the purpose the tool should serve and from how the most easy and efficient user interface should be conceived. Then the engineers work their way back to the technology needed for the magic to happen.
Juan didn’t confine his interests to mere designing. Sometimes you enjoy an activity but you need something that doesn’t really exist. That’s how during his ski sessions he had the idea for an helmet with detachable headphones that can be used independently. Why skiing without safety or music if you can have both? It was the start of Unit 1: a startup devoted to innovation. This is how many successful companies were started and being able to use your own product and seeing people enjoying their time with it it’s the dream of every entrepreneur.
If you want to know more about him and his work click on the links below. I will keep you updated on his future projects and Juan will certainly be featured again on princeple.me.
All the credits to Juan Garcia Mansilla and the other organizations/individuals involved.
Juan’s official website
Juan’s Instagram page
Juan’s Behance page
A selection of images will be published on The Princeple Instagram page
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