Flocks of super planes: Airbus’s vision of future travel

Airbus, a France-based airplane manufacturer that produces approximately half of the world’s jet airliners, has revealed its vision for the future of air travel.

While most of the company’s future concepts are motivated by the growing need for efficiency and the reduction of CO2 emissions, that does not make them any less spectacular, with the prospect of numbers of jet aircraft flying in formation in order to deliver greater numbers of passengers to popular destinations at the same time, just one of the developments being considered.

The plans, which Airbus say could materialise as soon as 2050, also include the reduction of journey times with steeper take-offs, and a reduction in noise and emission pollution by the introduction of glide-in landings. Add to this intelligent aircraft that could select their own most efficient routes, and Airbus predict that average journey times between America and Europe could see a reduction of 13 minutes by the middle of this century.

In a typical year, such a time reduction would save not only five million flying hours, but also nine million tons of fuel and 28 million tons of CO2 emissions.

Airbus engineering executive vice president, Charles Champion, was reported by the Daily Mail as saying, ‘Our engineers are continuously encouraged to think widely and come up with ‘disruptive’ ideas which will assist our industry in meeting the 2050 targets we have signed up to. These and the other tough environmental targets will only be met by a combination of investment in smarter aircraft design and optimising the environment in which the aircraft operates. That is why our latest Future by Airbus Smarter Skies concepts focus on not just what we fly, but how we may fly in 2050 and beyond.’