Airbus showcases plane of the future

  • June 27, 2011
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Airbus is giving the world a glimpse of things to come this week. The aeronautical giant is staging an elaborate concept of futuristic air travel at the Paris Air Show. The current display is part of a series entitled ‘The Future by Airbus’ – the company’s vision of commercial flight in the year 2050.

So what does the jetliner of the mid 21st century look like? Pretty incredible, according to Airbus.

There will be little distinction between window and aisle seats in the cabin of 2050. Airbus anticipates that the whole exterior shell of the the plane will be transparent – offering views that only pilots and skydivers enjoy today.

Forget about economy, business and first. Cabin classes are out, personalized zones are in. The Concept Cabin is divided into three unique sections, each of which offers a tailored experience to the passenger.

The Vitalizing Zone aims to take the stress out of flying. A mechanism inside the seats administers acupressure massage, while the air is laced with vitamins and antioxidants for a vitality boost. In the Interactive Zone, passengers have access to hologram projection pods, and can immerse themselves in just about any virtual experience they like. Shopping? Round of golf? The Smart Tech Zone offers seats that mould perfectly to the passenger’s body shape. The emphasis is on personalized comfort for every individual.

Airbus is pushing its green credentials with this futuristic concept. The company claims that 90% of its research and development budget is allocated to improving sustainability and minimising the environmental impact of air travel. Should the 2050 Concept Cabin become a reality, it will be constructed entirely from recyclable materials. Seats and interior decor will be made from self-cleaning fibers, and the cabin will harvest electricity from the body heat of passengers.

While the Concept Cabin might sound like science fiction, Airbus claims that much of this technology is already in the works, and will begin making its way into production aircraft in the not-too-distant future.

So we have a glimpse of what flying might look like in 2050. Here’s another question we would like to see Airbus take a crack at: Forty years from now, how much will flying cost?

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