Thursday, June 16, 2011

See-through plane by 2050?

PARIS - A see-through plane that gives passengers a "panoramic" view of the earth and sky may sound far-fetched, but it's a vision for air travel in 2050 being touted by Airbus.

The aircraft manufacturer unveiled the futuristic plan this week ahead of the Paris airshow.

In addition to walls that can become transparent, the so-called "concept cabin" includes vitamin and antioxidant-enriched air, aromatherapy and morphing seats that change with the passenger's body shape.

In a release, Airbus says the passengers of 2050 will "recharge in a vitalizing seat whilst watching the planet spread out beneath their feet."

The cabin, still in the concept stage, would also allow travellers to play a virtual game of golf or join an interactive conference.

"There are no limits to the kinds of social scenarios in the centre zone of the concept cabin — the 'interactive zone,' " the company says.

"The virtual pop-up projections in this area can transform you to whichever social scene you want to be in, from holographic gaming to virtual changing rooms for active shoppers."

The cabin, Airbus adds, will also have mood lighting.

Details of the concept cabin follow an Airbus announcement last fall about the concept plane it would be housed in. The aircraft, the company said, would feature environmental benefits, including reduced fuel consumption, emissions, and noise.

The aircraft's structure "mimics the efficiency of bird bone," and features an "intelligent cabin wall membrane which controls air temperature and can become transparent," it said.

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