As a prelude to the Paris Airshow at Le Bourget which begins on June 20, Airbus has revealed its 2050 Concept Cabin, which would offer an entirely new flying experience inspired by nature.
In the Airbus 2050 Concept Cabin, personalized zones replace traditional cabin classes to offer tailored levels of experience. The manufacturer foresees that, while flying between destinations, passengers in 2050 could join an interactive conference; enjoy a game of virtual golf; read the kids back home a bedtime story; and recharge in a ‘vitalizing seat’ whilst watching the planet spread out beneath their feet.
This latest installment of ‘The Future by Airbus’ – a vision of aviation in 2050 – follows last year’s unveiling of the Airbus Concept Plane, which would feature a host of technologies to reduce fuel burn, emissions, waste and noise. According to Airbus, the Airbus Concept Cabin provides an idea of some of the innovations and technologies that will shape future passenger experiences on board.
The concept aircraft’s skeletal, bionic structure mimics the efficiency of bird bone, which is optimized to provide strength where needed and allows for an intelligent cabin wall membrane. This intelligent membrane controls the air temperature and becomes transparent via touch or neaural commands from passengers to give passengers open panoramic views.
Airbus’ 2050 Concept Cabin has an integrated ‘neural network’, which creates an intelligent interface between passenger and plane. It can identify and respond to passenger needs and enables bespoke features such as morphing seats which change to each passenger’s body shape.
New personalized zones replace the traditional cabin classes in the Airbus Concept Cabin to offer new tailored levels of experience. The ‘vitalizing zone’ offers well-being and relaxation, allowing passengers proactively to recharge their batteries with vitamin and antioxidant enriched air, mood lighting, aromatherapy and acupressure treatments, all while taking in a panoramic view of the world around them.
There are no limits to the kinds of social scenarios in the center zone of the concept cabin – the ‘interactive zone’. The virtual pop-up projections in this area can transform each passenger to whichever social scene he or she wants to be in, from holographic gaming to virtual changing-rooms for active shoppers.
Meanwhile, a ‘smart tech zone’ is tailored towards the more function-oriented passenger with a chameleon-style offering, to meet individual needs ranging from a simple to a complete luxury service, but all allowing each passenger to continue life as if on the ground
Airbus says that, by offering different levels of experience within each zone, airlines would be able to achieve price differentials and give more people access to the benefits of air travel with minimal environmental impact.
“Our research shows that passengers of 2050 will expect a seamless travel experience while also caring for the environment. The Airbus Concept Cabin is designed with that in mind, and shows that the journey can be as much a voyage of discovery as the destination,” says Charles Champion, Airbus’ executive vice president engineering. “Whichever flight experience is chosen, the passenger of 2050 will step out of the Airbus Concept Cabin feeling revitalised and enriched.”
Airbus says that more than 90 per cent of its annual research & development investment of over €2 billion ($2.87 billion) has environmental benefits for current and future aircraft. For example, due to advances in technologies the concept cabin will be 100-per-cent recyclable. It will have self-cleaning materials made from sustainable plant fibres which reduce waste and maintenance and will harvest passenger body heat to power cabin features.
Such technologies are already being developed and Airbus says that, while they may not be seen in the exact same manner as in the Airbus Concept Plane and Cabin, some of them could feature in future Airbus aircraft programs.
Visitors to the Le Bourget International Airshow in Paris will also be able to experience the Airbus’ Future of Flight film, a 360-degree planetarium movie – a vision of the transformations in air transport between now and the middle of the century. Airbus says the vision not only focuses on aircraft designs and innovations, but also addresses passenger expectations. The movie will be part of the planetarium’s program at the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace from June 20 to June 26.
To find out more about the Airbus Concept Cabin and The Future by Airbus visit www.thefuturebyairbus.com.