You’ve probably heard the expression, “The sky’s the limit.”
Well, that hasn’t been the case for quite some time. Since the Wright brothers first proved it was possible, people have been constantly improving on the ways in which we can defy gravity. In the years to come, though, futuristic aircraft may reach some truly unprecedented heights.
4 Examples of How Futuristic Aircraft May Work
No one knows what the future holds, but there is good reason to believe that the following four examples of futuristic aircraft may someday become the new standard for how we get around.
1. Bio-Recognition Technology
The vast majority of people – even those who don’t mind flying in the least – would agree that it’s not the most comfortable of travel options. Unless you’re in first class, the seats tend to feel a bit confining in a way many would actually describe as painful. Then there’s the lack of foot room and the constant jostling for rights to the armrest.
One futuristic aircraft from Airbus may have the answer. By using technology that can recognize individuals based on their biomarkers, the plane can modify its individual seats to ensure maximum comfort. It would work much the way it does today with many vehicles that automatically adjust the driver’s seat based on who is taking the wheel.
2. A See-Through Cabin
Not everyone wants to think about how high up off the ground they are and how fast they’re traveling when they get into an airplane. Many people don’t even like to have their window shade up during the trip.
However, Airbus is certain this is going to change, at least to some degree. The same model referenced above will also have a section of the cabin for people who want to relax during their flight. This will include everything from chairs that offer massages to a cabin that offers a panoramic overhead view of the sky during the actual flight.
Check out this video for a tour of this futuristic aircraft – literally called the Transparent Plane – which Airbus believes will be in operation by 2050:
As you can see, this plane may change the world of air travel in a number of other different ways, as well.
3. Personalized Experiences
Some in the industry believe that futuristic aircraft will offer far more than just seats that adjust based on your past preferences. For example, there are cabin designers who believe that the future of their field is all about a more comprehensive form of customization.
To them, the key is to introduce options more akin to the kind you find on trains and cruise ships. Passengers would be able to pick their style of cabin based on individual preferences or their needs as a family. There would also be lounge areas and dining sections.
Others believe the most efficient path toward a more enjoyable cabin is leveraging mobile apps for simple tasks like ordering coffee to more important jobs like monitoring the location of one’s child.
4. Traveling at Supersonic Speeds
Even after futuristic aircraft takes care of our comfort levels, there will be those who would still prefer they could get from point A to point B as quickly as possible.
Right now, the most promising plane for pushing the limits of speed is Boeing’s X-51 WaveRider. The name reflects the fact that it actually cruises over the top of its own shockwaves. It can also maintain hypersonic flight at speeds above Mach 5 for at least 300 seconds. That’s fast enough for the plane to travel 450 miles in a matter of minutes.
To put that in perspective, when the plane reaches Mach 6, it can travel from New York City to London in a little under an hour. Currently, your average airliner needs about seven hours to do the same.
While it will be a long way before commercial planes can offer passengers this kind of flight time, rest assured that there is no shortage of engineers working on the challenge.
4. Using Planes for Urban Travel
If your home resides inside the concrete jungle, you know that it can take an hour or more just to get a few miles some days. So it should come as no surprise that many companies are looking for a way that air travel could solve this problem.
One way forward may be leveraging MagLev technology. This is the same method used to propel magnetic trains quietly down their tracks. It’s possible that the same system could be used to launch small MagLev aircraft and allow them to land in the otherwise restrictive environments of a city.
The technology has so much potential that it may someday be the primary takeoff and landing system for commercial crafts, as well.
Futuristic Aircraft and Beyond
While these examples of futuristic aircraft may seem to border on science fiction, there’s also plenty of reason to believe that even more fantastical advancements are on the way. We’ll have to be patient for now, but there’s little reason to believe that this is the end of the list.
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