Is This the Airplane of the Future?

Today, air travel is as ubiquitous as taking a cab. The planes we know haven’t changed much in overall design and shape in the last century. Most children could pick up a crayon and draw one: the tubular fuselage, two wings on each side, the tail section, and the round windows. But in the future, that image might change as designers and engineers begin looking at the next generation of flight.

Windowlesschungking / Shutterstock

1. Windowless

When you check in at the airport, you could be asked where you prefer to be seated: aisle, middle, or wall. Wall seats? Yes, to cut down on drag and weight, those tiny little windows will be the first to go. With advanced digital technology, outside-mounted cameras can capture the brilliance of the sun, the lights of the approaching city, or the surrealism of cumulus clouds and stream it right to your personal entertainment device.

The brilliant view may even be projected along the walls of the cabin to make you feel like you’re Superman or a Zen monk attuned with the natural world around you, which is in fact what Boeing is aiming for: to be “inspired by an array of natural structures, organs and materials…of the natural world [which] will continue to be a powerful source of inspiration in the future.”