he video: Airbus is offering a sun-splashed view of what air travel might look like in 2050. On Tuesday, the European aircraft maker released its concept for a futuristic jet cabin with a skeletal structure that mimics bird bones, and cabin walls that become transparent to "give passengers open panoramic views." (Watch a video below.) Passengers wouldn't be divided into cabin classes, but instead hang out in several "personalized zones," where they could host interactive conferences, virtually shop for clothes, breathe in "vitamin and anti-oxidant enriched air," or even play virtual golf. Seats would adjust to each person's body shape and, if the plane is less than full, they would redistribute themselves to maximize legroom.
The reaction: The notion "of hurtling through the sky in a transparent airplane" could "unsettle" some people, says Max Eddy at Geekosystem, but this vision of future air travel "at least seems hopeful. Except for the whole on-board virtual golf thing. That's just stupid." Well, if Airbus can really make this happen, flying in the future will be "pretty awesome," says Julie Zeveloff at Business Insider. But the truth is that "such an imaginative new plane seems more like science fiction," says Scott McCartney in The Wall Street Journal — especially because history suggests "that when manufacturers envision grand dreams for passenger comforts, airlines simply see more room for cramming in more seats." See the Airbus video:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Israel and Russia are getting along. Have the neocons noticed?
- Why I'm a pro-life liberal
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science
- If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- There's a number of reasons the grammar of this headline could infuriate you
- How Ukraine can fend off the Russians, in 7 simple steps
- How to be more satisfied with your life, according to science
Subscribe to the Week