Through its investigations, Clip-Air is calling into question commercial aviation as we know it. Beyond the scope of the plane itself, lie airports, railway stations, and passenger and freight transport, which will have to be revisited as well. The move towards a modular approach opens new avenues, but these new avenues are unlikely to impose themselves in the near future.
It would take between 40 and 50 years for Clip-Air to become operational using three capsules – a considerable amount of time. The project seeks to study the modularity by phases. A prototype the size of a private jet plane could, for example, be developed in the next five to ten years. Then, the goal would be to develop a more simple wing design that could attach to a capsule with 150 seats, about the size of an A320. This could be achieved over 10 to 15 years. A wing carrying three capsules could take flight within 40 to 50 years.
Peering even further into the future, it could be foreseeable to use the carrying capacity of the large Clip-Air wing as a launch pad for rockets carrying small satellites into orbit.
For the time being, Clip-Air is an exploratory project, and as such it is seeking to open new avenues of thought, regarding both the concept of commercial aviation and the use of existing technology, in order to fundamentally rethink tomorrow’s means of transportation.