Futuristic Passenger Jet? Take a Flying Leap!


Airbus A380

Image by peter pearson via Flickr

Last week, as I perused tweets, I stumbled upon a story that drew me in.  Having traveled far too much in my career and seen the evolution of air travel from pleasure to pain, I am always intrigued by new attempts to comfort passengers who were just subjected to invasive TSA frisking or viewed naked as they walked through high-tech body scanners.  The story (http://read.bi/iMtquL) was about a 2050 concept plane from jet maker Airbus.  Among the many features of this plane are the following:

  • Transparent plane walls for panoramic views of the sky.
  • 100% recyclable materials used in interior.
  • Self-cleaning cabin materials made from plant fibers.
  • Body-heat harvesting to generate power for cabin comforts.
  • Virtual golf course for passenger entertainment.
  • Mood lights.

In theory, this description is appealing to somebody, but to me, it is laughably off target.  I want to get where I am going safely, on time, and with some modicum of friendly customer service.  A Superman-like view of the sky, earth-friendly materials, and video games onboard are just novelties.  Mood lighting?  This is not a date!  Self-cleaning materials?  Bill of goods!  I am intrigued by the bio-fueled power.  Can they harvest all the gas passed onboard?

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2 responses to “Futuristic Passenger Jet? Take a Flying Leap!

  1. I wouldn’t expect to see Delta airlines jump on this anytime soon. A flight attendant friend who works there taught me a new acronym this week: D-E-L-T-A (Don’t Ever Let Technology Advance). So unless they could someone persuade those middle-seated passengers to pay more for the “scenic sky view”, I don’t think we’ll see them flying out of Minneapolis any time soon.

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    • Great perspective from your Delta employee friend. I have often wondered how many people would feel comfortable driving cross country in a car that is 10-20 years old, or older. Some might be concerned. Then consider that the average age of the aircraft fleet for the major carriers is WAY MORE than 10 years. There is something about a breakdown at 30,000 feet that is unsettling. That said, I do miss the First Class cabin on DC-10′s–HUGE Barcalounger-like seats, comfortable, wide.

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