BBC News takes an in depth look at the future of passenger air transport in a age of carbon conscious traveler and fuel efficient airlines. As new technologies emerge Acumen discusses how these changes will enhance the passenger experience as well as addressing the airlines needs:
Concept sketch showing how with LCD and OLED screens becoming thinner and lighter passenger will become better connected to the outline worldInitial development sketch exploring impact of technology on economy class aircraft interiors.
Perhaps the most radical innovation in aviation, though, is happening inside the cabin.
For example, Spike Aerospace has talked about getting rid of windows completely and replacing them with digital screens relaying camera images of the view outside or any other media the passenger wants.
Removing windows would reduce the weight of the aircraft and improve aerodynamics, the company believes.
And the general trend is towards wireless connectivity and interactive displays, says Jared Shoemaker of BAE Systems, although this will present extra security challenges.
“Traditionally, cabins have been closed worlds not connected to anything outside,” says Mr Shoemaker, director of cabin systems.In these luxury suites for Etihad Airways you could forget you were on a planeEconomy class could become more luxurious once planes go wireless, believes Acumen Design [Associates]
“But now it’s all about connectivity and interacting with the crew and other passengers through personal devices.”
Removing heavy wires will save weight and allow for more innovative cabin layouts, argues Anthony Harcup of Acumen Design Associates, the company behind the Airbus A380′s interior.
“The next big revolution will be creating true comfort in economy,” he says.
New smart materials will allow passengers to take complete control of their environments, setting lighting and heating levels, for example, while seats will mould themselves to your body shape, he believes.
Read the rest of the BBC News article HERE