Airbus is to be commended, once again, for taking the strategic view and examining how aviation might look in 2050. Its concept plane, as described in the attached article, includes futuristic aspects as ultra-long and slim wings, semi-embedded engines, a U-shaped tail and as well described in this article:
“…intelligent membranes that turn from opaque to transparent on command, to do away with windows and provide a panoramic view of the sky. Enhanced reality projection could add to the scene, or even turn it into images tailored to suit each passenger. Indeed, Airbus imagines palm-recognition check-in, so the aircraft would know each passenger intimately and, thanks to its smart materials and neural networks, be able to learn their preferences for, say, cabin lighting, or even seat shape.
Other ideas may be less esoteric. Bionic-inspired structures that mimic birds’ bones – strong where needed and light everywhere else – are already on the drawing board, and energy-harvesting techniques to capture passengers’ body heat to power onboard systems are already in use in the Stockholm metro.”
The Flight Globe story includes visions of new ways for assisted aircraft take-off, formation flying (riding in another aircraft’s slipstream) and other out-of-the-box thinking.
While it may be premature to be buying the tractors that Airbus envisions may be pushing the 2050 take-offs, aviation professionals would be well advised to be aware of these potential new ways of doing business in the strategic planning of airports, regulations and education—all of which require long lead times.Share this article: