Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.

What Will Commercial Aircraft Look Like in 2050?

Airbus Concept Plane

Boeing's 747-8 jumbo jet may represent the best of what engineers have to offer now, but Airbus has reached 40 years into future and come back with a design that barely resembles the aircraft of today. The Concept Plane, revealed this week at the U.K's Farnborough International Airshow, is a mash-up of future aerodynamics, materials, cabin design, and engine technology.

Some of the Concept Plane's more intriguing features (courtesy of Wired): a U-shaped tail, engines wrapped up in lightweight fuselage, long wings, shape-shifting seats that adjust for maximum comfort, walls that become see-through at the touch of a button, and even holographic projections for passengers. And of course, the Concept Plane incorporates alternative energy, including solar power and passenger body heat.

We are clearly a long, long way from seeing anything like this roll off production lines, especially considering the turtle-like timeline of aircraft manufacturers. But it's always fun to think about, right?

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.

Add New Comment