This four-passenger spaceplane has been in the works for a decade. As it begins testing, we wonder if the future has already passed it by.
One of the most high profile airlines in the industry has decided to introduce wider seats in a bid to accomodate larger passengers.
Aircraft carriers have a really short runway, so to get the jets up to speed crews use special catapults to fling planes into the air. Now, Airbus is saying that we should be using similar technology with passenger jets, saving fuel while reducing noise for people who live near airports.
We've always appreciated Airbus' no-holds-barred approach for imagining the future of air travel, with machinations like its spectacularly improbable concept plane. But future air travel involves much more than just the planes themselves: it starts before take-off and ends after landing, and could be substantially faster, more comfortable and better for the environment than it is now. Here are five ways in which Airbus is working to make air travel better for everyone, including the planet, by 2050. And stick around after the gallery to check out a video of some of these concepts in action.
Clearly, someone over at the Airbus design department has been working just a little bit too hard coming up with patentable ideas. What you're looking at here is patent 8,157,204 (filed back in 2008, just approved) for a double fuselage, double swept-forward wing, double turboprop passenger aircraft. It's totally crazy, but actually pretty smart.
Battery-powered cars are a big deal all of a sudden, so why not a battery-powered plane? The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, better known for being the parent company of Airbus and Eurocopter, has been working on this concept aircraft which could be flying us around on battery power by 2035.
This is the cargo hold inside the Airbus A300-600ST, or Beluga. Originally known as the Super Transporter, this baby can take on pretty much anything.
Even Airbus admits that its concept plane is "not likely to come together" exactly how it predicts, but oh what a prediction it is: morphing, self cleaning seats; see-through walls; personalized, holographic decorations. Taking in all that and the plane's space-age looks, we think Airbus definitely has a right to call this an "engineer's dream."
Back in October of '08, Airbus launched the "Fly Your Ideas" competition, where teams would compete with one another to come up with the best idea to reshape the future of air travel. An amazing 2,350 students from 82 countries...