The future of air transport: Airbus unveils concept airplane for 2030

Posted: August 27, 2011 in Aircraft, Airliners, AVIATION, Commercial

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has unveiled its Concept Plane, an “engineer’s dream” machine that envisions the future of air transport in 2030.

The plane imagines what the airplane would look like “if advancements in existing technologies continue apace,

” with consideration to the design of aircraft materials, aerodynamics, cabins and engines.

The aircraft has long, slim wings, semi-embedded engines, a U-shaped tail and a lightweight, “intelligent” body that all target greater fuel efficiency, fewer emissions and less noise.

The plane was announced at the 2010 Farnborough International Airshow.

“It’s not a real aircraft and all the technologies it features, though feasible, are not likely to come together in the same manner,”

said Airbus executive vice president of engineering Charles Champion in a statement.

“Here we are stretching our imagination and thinking beyond our usual boundaries.”

It’s an honorable goal. The airline industry rates pretty high in terms of adverse environmental impact, and the future of green transportation often overlooks the plane for cars, buses, streetcars and high-speed trains to reduce urban congestion.


But planes are still necessary for long-haul transcontinental travel, and rethinking them can make a big difference for countries and corporations alike.

A look into the future, by Airbus:

  • Seats made from ecological, self-cleaning materials that change shape for a snug fit
  • Walls that become see-through at the touch of a button, allowing 360-degree views.
  • Holographic projections of virtual decors, allowing travelers to transform their private cabin into an office or bedroom.
  • Use of green energy sources such as fuel cells, solar panels or even our own body heat to power some aircraft systems.
  • Rethinking the flight itself: aircraft may even fly in formation like birds to reduce drag, fuel burn and emissions.

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