Airbus in 2050: transparent fuselage and self-cleaning seats?

We missed this when it first came out of Farnborough this summer, probably just as we began our own preparation for EAA Airventure. Other outlets apparently did as well, however, and we thought it was too interesting not to pass up a second time.

German outlet Der Spiegel’s online version recently sat down with Airbus research director Axel Krein to discuss what its jetliners might look like by mid century.

Included among the possibilities listed in Airbus’s 2050 concept plane: a ceramic fuselage that can turn transparent, giving passengers a view of the world’s wonders below and the constellations above; self-cleaning seats that can shape shift to fit a passenger and sterilize themselves after use; an airframe skin that can detect cracks and repair itself with nano-capsules much like our own skin when cut; and holographic scenes of a bedroom or spa in a passengers’ in-flight, private cabin.

Wired Magazine noted that such concepts are common among commercial aircraft manufacturers, just as they are among automobile manufacturers.  If anything, such visions allow us a look at what we may see in coming years.

Such a trend supports greener, quieter aircraft that offer more efficiency to users and more flexibility to passengers. If anything, we can look forward to industry advancements in the next several decades that are just exciting as those we have seen in past decades of aviation.

Read the Der Spiegel interview here.

Check out Wired’s analysis from July here.