6 Aviation Trends in the Future of Passenger Airplanes

The design of passenger airplanes hasn’t changed much in the last few decades. Materials and engines have improved, and planes have gotten bigger and faster, but they pretty much look the same today as they did in the 1990s.

But what is the future of passenger planes? Are they expected to look the same over the next decades, or will their design evolve in different directions? With the rapid developments in aircraft maintenance software, we can also expect to see more technological innovations introduced in the future of passenger planes.

Let’s take a look at six aviation trends that represent the future of passenger airplanes:

1. Electric planes will be used like flying taxis

While many passenger planes are becoming larger to accommodate more passengers, smaller planes will eventually be used just like flying taxis, enabling a few passengers to travel between different locations.

These small aircrafts will be propulsed by electric motors, which will make them less noisy, and more affordable to operate than regular planes. These flying taxis will be able to cover short distances, which means they could eventually replace cars, buses and taxis.

Someday, people will be able to board an electric plane to go from one city to another, or even from one neighbourhood to another, in just a few minutes.

2. Windows could become larger and larger

Another future of passenger airplanes is the windows could become larger. Being able to look outside of their cabin improves the experience of passengers, who could feel trapped inside a windowless plane.

In fact, some planes are now being designed with larger windows, and some others might eventually allow passengers to enjoy completely transparent cabins. Everyone would have a window seat if the wall of the cabin was nothing but a large window.

Of course, transparent airplanes will not be flying in the sky anytime soon, but this is definitely an innovation that could become real in the future.

3. A blended wing body design could improve passenger experience

An airplane with a blended wing body design definitely looks futuristic. It reminds us of a spaceship, or of a gigantic manta ray.

The truth is that this idea has been around for some time, but it could very soon make a comeback and become reality. This fluid design could help save fuel, but it’s also expected to improve the comfort of passengers.

It could accommodate more passengers than a single-aisle plane, but the lack of windows on the walls of a blended wing body design could be a problem for some. However, this problem could be solved by projecting images on the walls of the large cabin of this futuristic aircraft.

4. Pilotless passenger planes could become a reality

As global air traffic is expected to keep increasing in the future, more plane pilots will be needed. However, some airlines could eventually turn to automation, which means that pilotless passenger planes that can fly themselves could become a reality in the future.

Those pilotless planes would be affordable, since the airline wouldn’t need to pay any pilot, but they could also be safer. Plus, air terrorism couldn’t possibly be a threat to an automated aircraft.

However, some are saying that an automated passenger plane could in fact rely on a safety pilot: a human pilot who would be able to take control of the plane if something unexpected happened during a flight.

Only the future will tell if we will someday see an airplane that can operate without the help or intervention of a human pilot.

5. Supersonic and hypersonic aircrafts could become the norm

Have you ever heard of the Concorde, a supersonic passenger airplane that was first flown in 1969? All the Concorde planes were retired in 2003, but some companies are now thinking about designing new models of supersonic planes that would allow passengers to enjoy the same speed as with the Concorde, but for lower costs.

Hypersonic aircrafts could also be developed in the future, allowing passengers to travel 25 times faster than the speed of sound. For now, the biggest challenge for the development of supersonic and hypersonic planes might be a lack of funds.

6. Passenger planes could become the cruise ships of the future

Even traveling as a first-class passenger can be boring, especially if the flight is very long. However, the passenger planes of the future could be designed to offer the same type of entertainment as cruise ships.

Imagine a large airplane that could feature live entertainment, comfortable sleeping accommodations, a delicious buffet, and of course, large windows so passengers can admire an amazing view while they slowly get to their destination.

There is no doubt that passenger planes will become faster, more affordable, more convenient, and more comfortable in the years to come. Hopefully, new developments and technologies will also allow airlines to have a smaller impact on our environment, even as global air traffic increases.