3 Airplane Technologies That You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

We live in an age of aeronautical wonders; and some of the technological advances that are earmarked to be incorporated into private jets and commercial airliners are truly astonishing.  Here, you will be introduced to three tech wonders that will not only change how you and I would fly, but they are guaranteed to grab your attention.


Planes that are Transparent


Transparent airbuses will be just that:  see-through.  The concept involves a windowless interior in that walls that once had windows will have none, at all.  Instead, panoramic sheets of clear LED panels would wrap around the top and both sides of commercial airliners.  This would allow passengers to fully view the outside from every possible angle.  Also, in-flight services could be initiated on the screen beside you with a simple tap that would produce a pull-down menu – waiting for a crew member to come by to take your request for an extra drink etc. would become non-existent.


Part of the see-through technology involves exterior cameras that project a real-time view of the outside, whether it is cloud formations, the Rockies, or a lit-up skyline, at night, up ahead.  For business jets, these LED panels, or ‘smart screens’, are being designed to be used, also, as huge video screens where movies could be watched or video conferencing could be viewed, in real time.  Seating configurations would change and each passenger –  whether seated along the side of the plane or not — could use their screen to check email, watch television or surf the net.   But it goes deeper than that –  these screens can display any conceivable, simulated environment – from flying just above the tree tops of an Amazon jungle to flying through outer space while observing planet Earth, from afar.  Each passenger would have the opportunity to ‘live’ the panorama in which he or she has selected.  The sky would be the limit on what views passengers would be able to observe and experience –  no pun intended.


Planes that are Self-Healing


Scientists and engineers at BAE Systems are sharing tidbits of one of their technologies that actually permits a plane to repair exterior wing damage that may occur during mid-flight.  Planes with this self-healing ability would be equipped with adhesive, light-weight material that would flow through a grid of carbon-fiber nano-tubes, thinner than a human hair.  If a wing were damaged with one or more hairline cracks, for example, the fluid would receive an instant alert to be released to the compromised area and repair it quickly, bypassing any potential flight problems and enabling the plane to continue its course.


The idea of self-healing aircraft has its genesis in the human body’s remarkable ability to heal itself when a cut is produced on the skin.  Blood coagulates and forms a protective scab.  The adhesive material used in self-healing planes becomes hardened, also, once it covers the damaged area.  Research indicates that the healed area that is ‘glued’ is as strong, or stronger, than before any crack was formed.


Planes that have Detachable Cabins


Airbus SAS of France has come up with a new way to drastically reduce time between a plane’s fights.  Detachable cabins have been designed that can be swapped in and out of accommodating aircraft.  It works like this:  passengers would board a detached cabin from a docking station.  Passengers would seat themselves while their luggage is stored in the detached cabin before their actual plane has even arrived.  This would dramatically minimize and simplify processing time for boarding.  Once the empty aircraft arrives at the terminal, the cabin with passengers on board, would be lowered into an empty cavity on the topside of the waiting plane.  Once the cabin becomes fully locked, the plane would depart, as usual.  Upon reaching the destination, the receiving gate would have the ability to lift the occupied cabin and place it in an awaiting docking station and passengers would exit.  Once again, the empty plane would be, immediately, available to take on a new cabin of passengers.


Every moment a plane is stationary, is a moment it isn’t making a profit.  Boeing says cutting an airplane’s time on the ground by a mere 10 minutes would equates to a profit of $8.27 per passenger; and it adds up to huge figures.  With removable cabins, the time a plane would spend on the ground is drastically reduced.   The designers and engineers at Airbus are dreaming BIG!