Air travel in 2050 could be very interesting if Airbus have their way. Body heat powered seat systems, morphing seats, no ‘class’ cabins, a transparent fuselarge and the ability to play golf on board are just a few of the innovations.
Airbus, in advance of the Paris Airshow “Le Bourget”, have today shown what passengers of 2050 may discover on board its future Concept Cabin – a whole new flying experience inspired by nature.
Personalised zones replace traditional cabin classes to offer tailored levels of experience. While taking a hop between destinations, according to Airbus, passengers in 2050 could join an interactive conference; enjoy a game of virtual golf; read the kids back home a bedtime story; and recharge in a ‘vitalising seat’ whilst watching the planet spread out beneath their feet.
This latest instalment of The Future by Airbus – a vision of aviation in 2050 – follows last year’s unveiling of the revolutionary Airbus Concept Plane, packed with technologies to reduce fuel burn, emissions, waste and noise. The Airbus Concept Cabin now gives further insight into some of the innovations and technologies that will shape future passenger experiences on board.
The aircraft’s bionic structure mimics the efficiency of bird bone which is optimised to provide strength where needed, and allows for an intelligent cabin wall membrane which controls air temperature and can become transparent to give passengers open panoramic views.
The Concept Cabin has an integrated ‘neural network’ creating an intelligent interface between passenger and plane. It can identify and respond to passenger needs and enables bespoke features such as morphing seats which change to your body shape.
New personalised zones replace the traditional cabin classes in the Airbus Concept Cabin to offer new tailored levels of experience. The “vitalising zone” is all about wellbeing and relaxation allowing you to proactively recharge your batteries with vitamin and antioxidant enriched air, mood lighting, aromatherapy and acupressure treatments whilst taking in the infinite view of the world around you.
There are no limits to the kinds of social scenarios in the centre zone of the concept cabin – the “interactive zone”. The virtual pop up projections in this area can transform you to whichever social scene you want to be in, from holographic gaming to virtual changing rooms for active shoppers.
The “smart tech zone” is tailored towards the more functional oriented passenger with a chameleon style offering, 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. By offering different levels of experience within each zone, airlines would be able to achieve price differentials and give more people access to the benefits of air travel with minimal environmental impact.
Showcasing the innovative interior design, Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering, said: “Our research shows that passengers of 2050 will expect a seamless travel experience while also caring for the environment. The Airbus Concept Cabin is designed with that in mind, and shows that the journey can be as much a voyage of discovery as the destination. Whichever flight experience is chosen, the passenger of 2050 will step out of the Airbus Concept Cabin feeling revitalised and enriched.”
More than 90 percent of Airbus’ annual research & development investment of over €2 billion has environmental benefits for current and future aircraft. For example, due to advances in technologies the concept cabin will be 100% recyclable. It will have self-cleaning materials made from sustainable plant fibres which reduce waste and maintenance and will harvest passenger body heat to power cabin features.
Such technologies are already being developed and, while they may not be seen in the exact same manner as in the Airbus Concept Plane and Cabin, some of them could feature in future Airbus aircraft programmes.
Visitors to Le Bourget International Airshow in Paris will also be able to experience the Airbus’ Future of Flight film, a 360 planetarium movie – a vision of the transformations in air transport between now and the middle of the century which not only focuses on aircraft designs and innovations, but also addresses passenger expectations. The movie will be part of the planetarium’s programme at the Musee de l’Air et de l’Espace from 20 – 26 June.