Technology is changing aviation and the future is already here it seems! Approximately every twelve months, computer and information technologies that use them, double their capacities. Twenty years from now, technological advancements will be hundreds of thousands to a million times more advanced. Forty years from now, technology will be a trillion times more advanced, and so on and so forth.
We’ve looked into some futuristic concepts in-store for the aviation industry, which are nothing short of incredible.
1. Bionic Structures
Future aircraft could be built using a bionic structure, which mimics the bone structure of birds.
Bone is incredibly strong yet light, carrying tension only where necessary. Using bionic structures would mean that the fuselage has the necessary strength it needs, but is also lighter, reducing fuel burn. Bionic structures would allow for extra space where required making it possible to have added features such as panoramic views and oversized doors.
2. Integrated Neutral Network
Today’s cabin electrical systems contain hundreds of kilometres of cables and wires. Integrated Neutral Network is a concept which can be most easily compared to the human brain. The network of intelligence will be absorbed into the structural materials of the plane, eliminating the need for today’s cables. Known as ‘Smart’ materials, they will be able to perform a variety of functions, one of which is recognising the passenger, enabling them to ‘connect’ to the plane.
3. Holographic Technology
If you’ve watched Star Wars: The Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones, you would have noticed they used holographic technology. Much like the movies, the future holographic technology will be able to show scenes of the flight destination, tropical forests or city skylines, projected onto the walls. Future holographic technology will have advanced to the degree that the virtual world won’t be distinguishable from the real world.
4. Self-healing Technology
This future tech would allow jets to quickly heal themselves from damage sustained in flight. The technology is a lightweight adhesive fluid inside a pattern of carbon nanotubes from which the aircraft is constructed. If the aircraft is damaged during the flight, the fluid is released and quickly ‘sets’ mid-flight to heal any damage. Such an advancement of materials will mean aircraft will be capable of completing even the most dangerous of missions, safely.
5. Morphing Materials
This technology is just as cool as it sounds. Materials will be able to change shape and return to their initial form. Morphing materials will potentially be metals or polymers that have a ‘memory’; or are covered with a ‘skin’ which instigates shape change. The materials will have a certain level of artificial intelligence allowing them to adapt to the passengers’ needs.
In just a few decades, the world will be very different from today. Our travel needs will evolve and with them, so will transportation. If you found this blog about technology and it’s impact on aviation interesting, check out some amenities from the past we no longer see on airlines!
[Featured Header Image Source: nasa.gov Credits: NASA/The Boeing Company]