Our modern concept of the airplane seems to have remained unchanged for the past few years. This can roughly describe the common layman’s understanding of airplane development. We don’t notice too many changes as we’re only the ones traveling in them, not building them. However, there are a few airplane changes looming on the horizon that may change how we travel.
New Seat Arrangements
With the number of travelers growing each year, airlines are brainstorming new ways in which to accommodate more passengers. This has led some companies to consider various seating alternatives to what we now are used to. One method is known as, “mezzanine seating,” would seat passengers quite literally stacked on top of one another. Seats would replace overhead bins and there would be a two-tiered system. If that’s not worrying enough, another system suggests the idea of standing or “saddle” seats that allow passengers only enough support to lean their weight against the chair.
Spacious Cargo Bunks
If you’re already feeling claustrophobic, don’t worry too much. Airbus has already been playing with the idea of turning those massive cargo holds into spacious areas for relaxation with beds and even a playground for kids. The idea would be to rent out time to passengers at intervals to take advantage of the extra room. Designs of this concept were revealed at the Aircraft Interiors Expo held in Hamburg, Germany. If the alarmingly crammed seating arrangements are realized, passengers may be much more willing to pay for such space.
Virtual Reality Entertainment
With the world of virtual reality becoming more common in the public, airlines have taken note of the popularity. In fact, Airbus has patented a helmet that creates a 3D environment in which users can play games, watch movies and relax. We can imagine this as the future of in-flight entertainment. Instead of watching our favorite movies on a small screen on the back of a headrest, we may have an immersive world of entertainment.
The airplane has undergone countless renovations since its original inception. The airline industry is constantly growing and changing. These transitions come with natural changes to the airplane itself. We can only hope that these changes don’t sacrifice too much comfort, as traveling on a plane already isn’t the most comfortable experience in the world.