If there is one thing you can say about discoveries, inventions or innovations, it is this: even a single one can change the dynamics of how the entire world operates. Here, we will cover only a few innovations that have re-shaped air-travel, forever. Let’s begin…
If anything has revolutionized air travel, credit goes to the iPad. Before the iPad hit the scene, aeronautical manuals were used by pilots which contained volumes and volumes of data – stacked in the cockpits of their planes! Pages were filled with technical and not-so-technical information that ranged from how to handle a baby’s delivery while in-flight, to weight distribution, to charts indicating details of all major airports in the entire world!
Thankfully, aeronautical iPads, known as Portable Electronic Flight Bags, emerged as an off-shoot of the ever-popular iPad. They operate, seamlessly, with the press of a button where any information is available at a pilot’s fingertips. And let’s not forget GPS capabilities available on a slew of electronic devices and Portable Electronic Flight Bags, as well! For pilots, this means replacing paper maps with powerful and precise directions to, virtually, any location on the planet.
The Electronic Ticket and On-Line Technology
Yes, paper items are, indeed, being replaced by all-things-electrical. It was in the early 1990’s that e-ticketing emerged; and today, that means no longer having to wait for paper tickets to arrive – can you imagine? Instead, the internet allows us to print off tickets from our email or use the ticket, embedded in our devices, for check-in purposes.
Internet booking engines are revolutionizing travel distribution. Booking a flight can take, mere, minutes; and if language barriers exist, on-line magic will translate any language, check the exchange rate, change your flight, book a hotel, and give you a weather up-date so you can keep, or modify, your plans for the day – whether in Greece, Africa, or Japan, or anywhere!
The Newest Aircraft
Traveling in safety and comfort is what any passenger desires as they are catapulted, miles high, more than 500 mph. Some aircraft, which are considered ‘new generation’ models, are offering passengers some surprising amenities. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus’ A350 XWB, for example, are forerunners in this technological age that are constructed from a carbon-fiber reinforced polymer, aka, CFRP. This amazing material is impervious to corrosion and does not suffer from fatigue like traditional aluminum fuselages do. Additionally, the cabin can tolerate higher degrees of pressure; and what does this mean for the passengers? It means they are subjected to pressure equal to about 2,000 meters which is about 600 meters less than a traditional plane. This translates into increased oxygen to breathe and more moisture in the air, all, making for a more comfortable flight. Other little extras include advanced lighting systems that are gentler on the eyes, larger windows, quieter engines and more peaceful cabin environments.
The Airbus 380 has some cool passenger-friendly extras, too: fully-enclosed double beds, on-board bar and lounge areas – yes, you can literally belly-up to the bar – complete with bar-tender who can concoct any drink under the sun, showers with heated floors plus toiletries and shower-attendants during long-haul flights, and last – but, certainly, not least – a pre-booked, private, 3-room suite with living room/bedroom/private bath & shower.
Yes, things have certainly changed since 1903 when the Wright Brothers’ four brief flights at Kitty Hawk took place with their first powered aircraft!