Undoubtedly, one of the fields where the least aesthetic progress has advanced in its development over the 1950s has been that of civil aeronautics. To the worldly eyes of an ordinary traveler, today's airplanes are practically the same as those we saw soar through the sky half a century ago.
For this reason, it seems that the next great field of advancement in aeronautics is not how we travel but where. Transparent and even 3D printed airplanes are some of the projects that are drawn in the future of civil aviation . With fields such as safety and comfort at fairly high levels, design avenues are currently being explored with new materials and the latest technological advances to manufacture airplanes with the same guarantees while creating lighter and more efficient aircraft. Since a modern airplane is one of the most polluting and least environmentally friendly transports . In turn, a reduction in consumption would mean substantial savings for the airlines.
Airbus and the bionic future
The French giant of civil aeronautics is the company that has framed in the long term a series of projects that could resemble the bone structure of birds. A way of making airplanes that is called bionic structures and could be a reality in the next 30 or 40 years.
A bird manages to fly through its bones. Its bones are strong but hollow, porous. Making a bone structure like that of a human lighten by many kilos without losing volume. That is the concept that is intended to be implemented in the aircraft of the future. A virtue that if taken to the plane would allow to increase the useful space inside the aircraft.
The step to the transparent plane?
This modification in the structure of the aircraft would have an obvious impact on their design. So you might imagine ships with much larger boarding gates, giant windows ... Even, made to dream, transparent planes that offer the traveler 360-degree views.
Some of the concepts that are considered in these Airbus of the future are, for example, the installation of biopolymer membranes in the windows. A technology that would automatically control the temperature and the amount of natural light that penetrates inside the aircraft.
But not only in its structure would the future of civil aviation move. And because the hyper-modular manufacturing mode with which most aircraft are manufactured today would also be replaced by a three-dimensional printing.
A type of manufacturing that engineers assume is faster and cheaper for this type of materials and constructions. Currently, there are more than a thousand parts (almost all of them accessory) printed in 3D on the Airbus A350 . So the trend to start printing critical parts of the aircraft in the short term is very likely.