What will the future of airplanes be?

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Offline thedoc

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What will the future of airplanes be?
« on: 29/10/2014 14:19:37 »
What does the future hold for travel? Check-in by robot?
Transparent fuselage? Airbus tell us what's to come...
Read a transcript of the interview by clicking here

or [chapter podcast=1000890 track=14.10.28/Naked_Scientists_14.10.28_1002880.mp3] Listen to it now[/chapter] or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 29/10/2014 14:19:37 by _system »


Offline CliffordK

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Re: What will the future of airplanes be?
« Reply #1 on: 28/10/2014 18:30:16 »

Great picture.

What about transparent below our feet.  Like one is walking on a cloud.  Except, of course, that many people don't  like heights.

There are a lot of issues.  First of all, people want the capacity to cram every free cubic inch of space with luggage and stuff.  The overhead compartments exist because of the cylindrical shape of the fuselage, and the requirement for more height in the aisles than above the seats.  And, people don't necessarily want transparent luggage compartments to see all of our junk all the time.

Larger windows would be nice.  I'm not sure about all of the skylights though.  Imagine having to bring along sunscreen just to take a plane flight.


Offline alancalverd

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Re: What will the future of airplanes be?
« Reply #2 on: 29/10/2014 09:28:40 »
Longhaul aircraft don't need windows at all (except at the front, of course). Most of the time it's either dark or above cloud; on climbout or descent you spend a fair bit of time in cloud; in an 8-abreast configuration only 2 passengers can see out of the windows; and practically everyone is watching a movie or asleep. So why bother with windows at all? A windowless fuselage gives you a lighter, stronger, safer structure.

No baggage holds. Fly the baggage in a separate freighter, half an hour before the passengers take off. Saves time loading and unloading (you can load passengers and freight from both sides if they aren't mixed), no waiting for baggage at the destination, more passengers on the "people plane" = more efficient use of cabin crew.

Minimal hand baggage allowance. You are going to spend most of your 14 hour flight asleep, watching television, or possibly reading one book, in a shirtsleeve environment. What on earth do you need 20 kg of "stuff"for? Toothbrush and razor, fair enough, but why fill space and annoy everyone during boarding with your surfboard, skis, and evening dress? I carry my toolbox aboard because I don't want to pay someone 30 to drop it on the tarmac, but I'd be perfectly happy to shove it in the hold myself - I'm not going to repair anyone's linear accelerator whilst we are airborne. If you must carry stuff on board, put it under your seat so I don't have to help you get it out of the locker.

Shorthaul - yes, plenty of windows, please! The British Isles are beautiful.
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