NEW 📗Story: Island Hopper

A “Horizon Wing” Atomic Passenger Jet

Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

Click here for a view inside the wing.

Although the CN-1 Horizon Wing passenger jet was not a “flying wing,” that didn’t stop Comen Aeroyards, the manufacturer, from celebrating it as such. Much like similar large-wing aircraft from McDonnell and de Havilland, the CN-1’s large vertical stabilisers and obvious centre fuselage precluded it from qualifying as an authentic “flying wing,” which were already common in many air forces at this time. To argue the etymology, however, is to miss the point entirely — the “flying wing” is a style of flying, not a technical appraisement.

Vekllei Overseas Airways (VOA), a subsidiary of the Vekllei Air Service, operates many types of aircraft for different markets. You can see their uniforms here. Some of these are small and propeller-driven. Others are particularly expensive and unusual — the astroplanes used to reach cities on the moon are among the more fantastical. The CN-1 occupies a space between the needle-like supersonic jet for business and the large airship for leisure travel. It allows the wandering family (or the comfort-conscious individual) to make good time while retaining the liberty to eat, smoke, read and wander comfortably about the aircraft. In the wings you’ll find a canteen, a bar, a reading room, and sleeping cabins that can be booked in advance. Because of these amenities, the CN-1 serves only long-distance international routes originating from the Vekllei World Jetport, including to Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Cairo, Moscow, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Sydney.

The power plant aboard is a 6MW air-cooled molten salt reactor using an indirect air-cycle system. The CN-1 is nicknamed “the hunchback” by mechanics for its large air intake atop the main fuselage. The air-cycle system, aided by sunburst-style radiators courtesy of General Reactor, limits radioactive pollution in operation and does away with most of the heavy shielding required by early nuclear passenger jets at the turn of the 21st century. Her large wing gives her tremendous lift and a smooth glide, allowing low-power flight at cruising altitude for a quiet trip. Although she is the first in a series of aircraft for the New Salmon Design Bureau and Comen Aeroyards, she is largely adapted from the XCn-series of military prototypes that have been languishing in development for nearly a half-century. Though the design is sound, her military applications are less certain, and so now the CN-1 flies folk around the world peacefully.

The front-facing glass in the common areas lend to vistas never seen before by the ordinary person. For a citizen of Vekllei, flying with VOA is as simple as phoning ahead to reserve a seat. For those around the world, your options for getting on the CN-1 are grim — Vekllei is a closed, protectionist country and, save for a handful of CN-1s operating with CAAC Airlines in China, your only option is to purchase a ticket to Vekllei for an exorbitant price, which can run as high as US$10,000 today’s money for a one-way ticket.

I’m working on a few more aircraft for r/vekllei’s SkyMonth. Let me know if you have any questions.