With its see-through aircraft cabin, passengers of the future will get a get a window on the world as they fly through the sky.
For this plane with its ‘intelligent’ cabin wall membrane and interactive games, may be everyday air transport in 2050.
The futuristic concept for travel in 40 years’ time was yesterday unveiled in London by Airbus – and it’ll terrify those who already have a fear of flying.
Window on the world: Gone are the small aircraft windows in the ‘vitalizing zone’ which provides a panoramic view for passengers
Flight of fancy? Artist’s impression of an x-ray of an ‘intelligent’ concept cabin of an aircraft of the future
First, business and economy cabins are replaced by zones for relaxation in the front, work in the back, and a fully-stocked bar for socializing.
Passengers will be able to see everything to the sides and in front of them. So blindfolds might be handy come take-off and landing time.
The aircraft’s walls change according to light conditions. There are holographic pop-up gaming displays and in-flight entertainment powered by the heat of passengers’ bodies.
The technology could mean travelers might even be able to read bedtime stories to their children back home.
Most of the basic technology such as moulding seats and ‘head-up displays’ already exist, but how Airbus plan to make the plant-based, transparent ‘skin’ of the plane remains a mystery.
Starry skies: The cabin wall membrane controls air temperature and can become transparent to give passengers views throughout the day and night
Voyage of discovery: Artist’s impression of how the aircraft of 2050 will look on the outside at night
The concept cabin would be a bionic structure that ‘mimics’ the efficiency of bird bone, claims Airbus.
It would provide strength where needed, and also allows for an ‘intelligent’ cabin wall membrane which controls air temperature and can become transparent to give passengers open, panoramic views.
Airbus believes that mid-century passengers might be able to enjoy a game of virtual golf or take part in interactive conferences, while the cabin ‘identifies and responds’ to travelers’ needs.
The cabin of the future follows last year’s unveiling of the Airbus concept plane, packed with technologies to reduce fuel burn, emissions, waste and noise.
In the cabin concept, the ‘vitalizing zone’ helps passengers relax, with vitamin and antioxidant-enriched air, mood lighting, aromatherapy and acupressure treatments.
Passengers will be able to play virtual golf in the interaction zone on the plane
In the ‘interactive zone’ there are virtual pop-up projections taking passengers to whichever social scene they want to be in, from holographic gaming to virtual changing rooms for active shoppers.
The ‘smart tech zone’ is tailored towards the more functional-orientated passenger with what Airbus describes as ‘a chameleon-style offering.’
It aims to meet individual needs ranging from a simple to a complete luxury service, but all allowing you to continue life as if on the ground’.
Airbus engineering executive vice-president Charles Champion said: ‘Our research shows that passengers of 2050 will expect a seamless travel experience while also caring for the environment.
‘The concept cabin is designed with that in mind, and shows that the journey can be as much a voyage of discovery as the destination.’