Airbus Shows Off Concepts For 2050 Air Travel

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What do you think planes will be like in 2050? You’re probably wrong. I’d definitely be wrong. And Airbus is probably wrong too, but they’re in the business, so they might be a little closer to the mark. At the very least it’s a sneak peek at what the aviation giant is thinking about for its next next generation of airliners.

To begin with, the plane itself will be fashioned from a material that mimics bird bones: light yet rigid (and described as “bionic” by the Guardian, which I think is not accurate). Parts of the material would also be able to switch between transparent and opaque, something that exists already to some extent.

The cabin would feature form-fitting seats and built-in high-speed internet connections. Notice they don’t mention price!

Then there are several zones: “vitalising,” with vitamin air and acupressure therapy; “interactive,” with games and shopping; and “smart tech,” which I think had to remain somewhat vague, as no one knows what “tech” will look like in 40 years.

It’s all very silly, since the next few decades will likely bring changes we have no precedent or expectations for, but it’s fun to think about anyway — just as it was fun to think about the year 2000 back in the 40s and 50s. (Those future visions and also the decadent air of the period were brilliantly satired in Bruce McCall’s “Zany Afternoons,” which I highly recommend).

More info and weirdness at Airbus’s future stuff site.