June 14, 2011 weblog
Airbus shows off a see-thru concept plane (w/ video)
(PhysOrg.com) -- Airbus has begun to show off its version of the plane of the future. It is somewhere between cool and disturbing, depending on who you ask, but it definitely represents some interesting new technology that could make flying more energy efficient and a give you something a lot more interesting to look at then the in-flight movie.
The presentations, which took place in London, feature concept art from the design that the company hopes one day to make into a flying model. The plane would be almost completely see-through, thanks to the creation of a biopolymer membrane. This membrane would make every seat into a window seat by default and allow you to see the world below as you pass it by.
The real power saving innovation was alluded to by Charles Champion, head of engineering for Airbus. When he described the plane to Telegraph he described a section of the plane known as the SmartTech zone. In this zone users body heat is converted in to power for the plane. Mr. Champion was not specific about in which systems would use body heat as a power source and which would not, which has raised some speculation as to what exactly humans will be the power source for.
The plane is not expected to be released until the year 2050, if it ever makes it off of the drawing board to begin with, so do not expect to be getting rides in a see-thru plane any time in the near future.
© 2010 PhysOrg.com