We've come a long way in the last 50 years when it comes to making faster, bigger and better jets but it seems that the basic structure and the foundation of aircrafts have remained the same, and the future of aviation seen on sci-fi films, seem but a distant dream.
So the makers of the Airbus A380, reputed to be the best commercial jets in the world today, have got together to predict what air travel will be like in 2050 and that includes plenty of zones dedicated to relaxing and playing games, panoramic windows and seats that collect body heat to power in-cabin features.
Airbus said passengers will be able to relax in massaging seats that also serve drinks and vitamins autonomously and offer either a sea breeze or a scent of fresh pine. The planes will also feature sound showers that will help passengers fall to sleep, with special shades to keep out the light.
Unlike today’s jets where the windows provided are barely big enough to keep one entertained, passengers will have a viewing area on the upper deck with panoramic windows, which can become transparent at the wave of a hand or remain opaque in certain areas thanks to an integrated neural network which can identify and respond to the specific needs of each passenger.
Even the jet's fittings and furnishings will be responsible for their own cleaning and repairs thanks to dirt repellent coatings and self healing covers.
An ambitious project, it seems.
On the aircraft the social areas will also be more accessible, while pop-up pods will provide passengers with more private spaces that can be used for anything from business to private needs. Airbus also predicts that it will have features like virtual shopping walls and virtual gaming walls, where fans can play tennis, baseball and even golf.
According to Airbus research, every flight in the world could, on average, be approximately 13 minutes shorter, saving around nine million tones of excess fuel annually, which is equal to over 28 million tones of avoidable CO2 emissions. It would also save passengers more than 500 million hours of excess flight time on board an aircraft.
This would make air travel not only cheaper, but more efficient, safer and a lot more exciting.