The passenger aircraft industry has experienced a bumpy kind of expansion over the past 100 years.

Specifically, from World War 1 to the end of the Cold War, countries around the world competed against each other to produce the most technologically advanced aircraft on the planet.

However, from the 1990s until today, passenger aircraft have experienced only modest developments when compared with early 20th-century innovations. Planes have certainly gotten faster, larger, and more comfortable, but not significantly. Turbulence still happens, carry-on baggage is still somehow lost, and the ventilation on board is tolerable at best, toxic at worst.

But, these inconveniences may soon be a thing of the past. In this article, we discuss the future of passenger aircraft, focusing on current trends that we think will take off in the near future.

Self-Flying Aircraft

Google first popularized self-driving cars back in 2009, and at the time it was a totally novel concept. Now, with Uber venturing into the self-driving market, the concept has almost become mundane.

It’s not farfetched to imagine planes going the same automated route in the near future. This could potentially make them safer as well as more resilient to terrorism.

Additionally, this could make airline companies more profitable, as they would no longer have to pay pilots, who earn 6-figure salaries on average. Yet, that would also mean a lot of unemployed, angry pilots.

Localized Aircraft Taxis

We think that as technology develops, cars will become aircraft and aircraft will become cars. The boundaries between the two will dissolve, and there will be modes for either depending on the circumstances. This means aircraft will drive on streets and cars will fly to their destinations. This would add a whole new meaning to the phrase “road trip”.

We can certainly imagine a more globalized world where you can order a taxi on your smartphone from Los Angeles and 10 minutes later arrive in New York City. 

These supersonic passenger aircraft would also change the game for ride-sharing, as you and 1000 other friends could potentially split the fare.

Recreational Components

We think planes might be the cruise ships and resorts of the future.

We think resorts are great, but they are too stationary and limit guests from experiencing the rest of the world. Cruises are perhaps slightly more dynamic, but they are also slow and too marine based.

Why select a cruise ship or resort when you can experience the benefits of both? Future passenger aircraft will feature luxurious vacation options that will allow you to dip down and observe the oceans while also flying high and venturing into space. They will also allow you to engage in a number of aviary activities like sky-diving, bungee jumping, and perhaps even on-board flight training.

For certain prices, these luxurious aircrafts would also allow passengers to discharge from the plane and go on their own flying expeditions.

This means that these aircrafts would have to be massive. But this isn’t unrealistic, especially in light of Airbus’ A380, which is the largest passenger plane ever created. It is specifically designed to allow 900 passengers on board.

The future is already here. We just have to finetune it.

Space Travel

Elon Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 with the vision of facilitating the colonization of Mars. He plans to send two uncrewed spacecraft to the planet by 2022, so recreational space travel is certainly not too far off either.

We envision a future where you can experience affordable flights to planets within our solar system. But, even that would only be the beginning. As technology develops, new types of planes would enable long-haul flights to other galaxies, and perhaps, other periods of time.

We are approaching multi-dimensional aircraft travel.  Imagine buying a one-way to Ancient Greece, or a round-trip to the dawn of mankind.

Theme Parks in the Sky

We think future technology will allow companies to design passenger aircraft not only for transport but for scaring the living daylights out of you. Why ride a roller coaster that is confined to a track when you can ride a plane that flirts with the moon?

We are especially excited about aircraft that are completely transparent and feature only windows, offering riders an enlightening perspective on their planet.

The views that transparent aircraft offer could also lead to innovations in a number of health-related fields like yoga, meditation, and even all the religions. Why pray in a synagogue when you can chant mantras near Jupiter’s Rings? Future aircraft will be geared towards engendering mystical experiences, all for the price of an admission ticket.

Our Final Thoughts on The Future of Passenger Aircraft

We think the sky is the limit when it comes to the future of air travel, or perhaps, other galaxies are the limit. We can envision a future when passenger aircraft are no longer inaccessible or unenjoyable but instead available to every member of the human species.

We think future aircraft will also be more amenable for traveling with pets. Perhaps future planes will even feature zoos on board to help calm anxious fliers, or gardens for passengers to source their meals in case the in-flight vegan options are dissatisfactory.

Overall, we love where the world is heading, and just hope it can arrive there without burning out and crashing first.

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