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.’


VisitEngland’s Travel Guidance for 2013

Visit England, the official travel promotion agency for England, has reported that literary tours, Science adventures, historical tours and tours to movie sets will remain the favourite motivations for tourism to England in 2013.

Literary tours have see an increase in popularity, with 2013 being the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and 2012 being the bicentenary of Charles Dickens and the year of the World Shakespeare Festival. These tours typically offer visits to the literary figures’ residences and work places. Norwich is the first English city to be awarded a UNESCO City of Literature honour, and is only one of six cities in the world with that distinction.

History tours are an attraction for tourists, especially those tours that visit the darker pages of history, including Jack the Ripper walking tours of Spitalfields and Petticoat Lane in London, a Gangster Tour that involves a trip around London’s past criminal underworld with Stephen Marcu, and the newly opened, Blackpool Dungeons. The year 2013 will mark 125 years since Jack the Ripper was last at large in East London.

The year is also of special interest to tourists who are interested in science fiction tours, as 2013 marks 50 years of Doctor Who. Tourists will also be visiting the newly opened, Star Wars Miniland Experience at Legoland Windsor, the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham, and The Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Visitors are also recommended to include a Warner Bros Studio Tour in their itinerary, featuring The Making of Harry Potter, which opened in 2012, and a visit to Pinewood Studios, where most of the James Bond films were shot, and where expansion plans are underway.