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Prospective Concepts AG

The media talked about a "flying stingray" when Prospective Concepts AG finally unveiled its secretive technology demonstrator in May 1998. Stingray is indeed an appropriate name for the groundbreaking aircraft designed by this small Swiss company. The Stingray has a revolutionary wing that derives its rigidity from compressed air. Later versions will be filled with helium. The second radical concept developed especially for the Stingray is a pneumatic catapult to be placed in the aicraft's tail. The concept has been tested on the "Kangarou," a light airplane with slow flight characteristics similar to the Stingray's: a cylinder that extends to 5 meters catapults the craft right into the air and accelerates it from standstill to flying speed at 1.5 g.

The Stingray on approach for landing.

As the founder and president of Prospective Concepts Andreas Reinhard notes, the Stingray constitues the high end in the use of pneumatic structures. It is thus a showcase and the pionneer of a technology which uses high strength fiber materials and air pressure as its components. With the use of this technology, rigidity and flexibility can be combined, a union that seemed contradictory up to now. The Stingray was developed as a people moving concept taking off from standstill and landing on the spot and it is a hybrid between an airplane and an airship. According to the company, a significantly larger successor to the Stingray is also planned. It will derive 25 percent of its lift from helium in its wing and integrate propulsion and the gondola into the wing. Development of the Stingray was supported by the German pneumatic conglomerate Festo.

For more information please visit the official Prospective Concepts website or contact Prospective Concepts directly.

Technical Data for the Stingray
  Stingray Stingray successor
Wingspan 13 m (? ft ? in) ? m (? ft)
Length overall 9.4 m (? ft ? in) ? m (? ft ? in)
Wing surface 70 m2 (? sq ft) ? m3 (? sq ft)
Volume 68 m3 (? cu ft) ? m3 (? cu ft)
Max. speed 130 km/h (85 mph) ?
Endurance ? ?

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