Airbus engineers have outlined their vision of what passengers could expect from air travel circa 2050 - and it sounds like a lot more fun than today's cattle class experience. The Airbus Concept Cabin focuses on high levels of customization tailored to suit individual needs including auto-morphing seats and personalized entertainment. Passengers' body heat would also be harvested via the use of smart materials that integrate the electrical system and do away with the need for conventional wires.
The Concept Cabin is an extension of the company's future plane design first canvassed last year. The transparent plane design would be lightweight, bird-bone-like structure, covered by bionic skin membranes.
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Once on-board, a passenger would simply touch the wall to be identified by the plane's "neural network" which would then track the person and enable the auto-morphing seats, personalized digital access and automatic responses to personal needs.
Instead of traditional cabin classes, Airbus sees the aircraft interior as being divided into a number of zones. The "Vitalizing Zone" would cater for relaxation and well-being with massage and acupressure-enabled seats, antioxidant enriched air, mood lighting and a panoramic view of the sky. There would also be a "Smart Tech Zone" and an "Interactive Zone" which would imitate any possible social scene, meaning passengers could arrange a virtual business meeting, play a game of virtual golf, go virtual shopping, or read a bedtime story for their kids back at home.
The cabin would also be 100 percent recyclable and feature self-cleaning materials made from plant fibers.
"Our research shows that passengers of 2050 will expect a seamless travel experience while also caring for the environment," says Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering.
The company says some of the Concept Cabin technologies are already in the development phase and the ideas presented in the concept will influence future designs.
The Airbus Concept Cabin project is to be showcased during the up-coming 49th International Paris Air Show (20 - 26 June, 2011) in the form of a 360-degree planetarium movie - we'll be sure to stop by for a closer look.
Airbus provides an overview of the 2050 plane in the following video: