There’s a lot of talk about how modern airliners will need to evolve for more efficient flight and function. But what specific changes will take shape over the next few decades? How will changing global flight demands and limited fuel resources drive aircraft innovation?
There are plenty of ideas: from concepts with slight modifications to designs that look like something out of science fiction. While the looks vary, aerospace and engineering leaders all seem to agree that computer technology, better materials, and more efficient prolusion will be big factors in the future of air travel.
“The adoption of any new aircraft technology – from research, to design sketches, to testing and full integration – is typically a decade-long process. Given that the combustion engine will be phased out by mid-century, it would seem to make more economic and environmental sense to innovate in other areas: airframe design, materials research, electric propulsion design and air traffic control.”
From the wings to the propulsion system, what major factors will change the look and performance of your average passenger or freight plane– fifty years into the future? Tell us what you think in the comments.