The Coming of the Transparent Airplane?

The Coming of the Transparent Airplane?

If it hadn’t come from aeronautics heavyweight Airbus we wouldn’t be writing this post. But it was the giant European airplane manufacturer that, at the Farmborough Airshow, announced it was developing an airplane with a translucent fuselage!

transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane?


transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane?
transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane?
transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane?

The idea isn’t exactly to recreate a real life version of Wonder Woman’s invisible jet. But the result comes surprisingly close.

transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane? transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane? As currently envisioned, the body of this futuristic craft would be comprised of a lightweight ceramic material; the seating areas would be subdivided into private cabins. At the push of a button, passengers could send electricity shooting through a cabin’s ceramic exterior thus causing a chemical reaction that renders the ceramic transparent. Not only would passengers be able to see completely out of the side of the airplane but also directly above and below!

The transparent fuselage is the most notable new item Airbus is aiming for, but it isn’t the only trick up the aeronautics giant’s sleeve. Among the other features planned for this yet unnamed aircraft: self-cleaning seats, nano-capsules that automatically seal structural fissures, engines embedded into the fuselage (to reduce external plane noise), energy-gathering solar panels on the wings and in-cabin holographic projections of virtual decors.

Airbus officials insist their futuristic plane is a serious endeavor and that the company already possesses “most of” the technology needed to build it. That may be true. Or it may be bluster intended to frighten Boeing. (The history of the companies’ rivalry makes for riveting reading).

Regardless, it seems to Spot Cool Stuff that an airplane like Airbus is proposing would not be close to economically viable. Granted, it would be as amazing to fly high in an invisible aircraft as it would be terrifying to land in one. Still, there’s no other advantage to a transparent plane exterior. Further, the planned in-fuselage engines would be much harder to maintain and replace than on-wing ones. And private cabins and see-through floors would reduce precious passenger and cargo space.

Airbus has targeted 2050 as the release year for this airplane of the future. Until we see it—or don’t see it, as the case may be—our expectations for this craft will remain nearly undetectable.

published: 21 Sept 2010
transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane?

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transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane? transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane?

transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane? transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane?

transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane?


transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane?
transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane?
transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane?

SEE AIRBUS WEBSITE | JOIN US ON TWITTER / FACEBOOK

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transportation concept  The Coming of the Transparent Airplane?


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