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What will aircraft look like 20, 50 or even 100 years from now? While we may have to wait to see them in reality, here are some very interesting futuristic aircraft designs that might just be the norm in the not too distant future.
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What futuristic planes are there that could soon be a reality?
So, without further ado, here are some examples of futuristic design aircraft that could soon be a reality. This list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. Have you seen the Airbus "MAVERIC"?
The Airbus Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls, or MAVERIC for short, is one amazing example of futuristic planes that could be with us soon. Consisting of, essentially, a giant wing with no fuselage, this plane really does look like something from the distant future.
This "blended wing design" is Airbus' gamble for the future of commercial aircraft. It was unveiled at the Singapore Airshow 2020 and its interesting shape should have the potential for reducing fuel consumption -- according to Airbus.
The plane's engines are also not where you might expect to find them. Instead of being mounted under the wings, well wing, they are attached to the rear stabilizers on top of the craft. According to Airbus, the design should reduce fuel consumption by 20% compared with other aircraft designs.
It should also allow smoother airflow over the aircraft.
2. This truss-braced Boeing concept really does look like something from the future
Another futuristic aircraft design is the Boeing Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW). While most of the plane's design is nothing you wouldn't expect, it does feature a novel truss-bracing to its wings.
According to its designers, this feature should allow the plane to fly higher and faster than non- and other truss-braced wings concepts.
"The new configuration is designed to offer unprecedented aerodynamic efficiency while flying at Mach 0.80, which is consistent with the speed of many of today’s jetliners.
From end-to-end, the folding wings measure 170 feet (51.9 m). The high wingspan is made possible by the presence of a truss, which supports the extended length of the ultra-thin wing." - Boeing.
3. ZerO certainly is a plane from the future
This next plane certainly does look and feel like a futuristic plane. Called the HerO Zero Emissions Airplane, developed by Joe Doucet, it has been dubbed the "Tesla of the Skies".
Apart from its interesting design, this plane is intended to be a zero-emission electric plane, hence the name. While currently only a concept plane, this could be kind of plane that all of us could be traveling on in the not too distant future.
At present, the concept envisages the use of batteries and electric generators to power everything on the plane, including it's three rear-mounted propellers.
4. Meet the "Flying-V" airplane of the future
Yet another very futuristic airplane is the so-called "Flying-V". This concept plane has been developed by KLM, and, interestingly, its designers envisage sitting passengers in its wings.
Whether or not the design was inspired by Jetliners from Fallout 4 or not is anyone's guess, but this certainly is an innovative design concept. Much like Airbus' MAVERIC, this setup should significantly reduce fuel consumption over longer distances.
This is because it will both reduce the overall weight of the craft as well as improve aerodynamics.
5. Check out the EADS VoltAir futuristic plane
The EADS VoltAir Plane is yet another futuristic-looking aircraft concept. This all-electric passenger liner is both sleek and sustainable and could help revolutionize air travel forever.
It is intended to be fully powered by batteries and could be taking to the air as soon as 2035. It is also touted as being an incredibly lightweight craft and would only make short trips carrying just 50 to 70 passengers if ever realized.
6. This futuristic airplane looks very organic indeed
Victor Uribe's A350h Airliner certainly wouldn't look out of place in a sci-fi film. Looking more like a living thing than a machine, this airplane was apparently inspired by the shape of a dolphin.
This concept plane is designed for vertical takeoff and landing which, if ever realized, would save the need for long runways. According to the designer, this is also an eco-friendly plane being powered by cryogenic hydrogen stored in high-pressure tanks.
7. Check out this "Aquatic Jet" plane
Designed by Tomas Brødreskift, this concept plane really does fit the bill as a futuristic airplane. This futuristic plane is, according to the designer, a SeaSTOL VLJ (Short Take and Landing Very Light Jet), STOL VLJis his vision of the future of seaplanes.
"The SeaSTOL VLJ is designed to travel at the altitude and distance of a light jet aircraft without sacrificing a seaplane's unique ability to land on water. The craft has a small pod for a cabin that can seat five to eight people and rests on two skiffs. The wheels for a ground landing pop out of the skiff and stay safely tucked inside during water landings." - Trend Hunter.
8. The Synergy Aircraft is incredibly fuel-efficient
Designed and developed by John McGinnis, the Synergy Aircraft reportedly only used 10% of the fuel of a regular jetplane of the same size. Featuring both a very futuristic design and technology, it can fly at 40 mph per gallon.
While only a small 5-seater plane, this futuristic airplane also looks great, and its design is very aerodynamic.
9. This dual winged jumbo jet design is very futuristic
This concept jumbo jet certainly looks like something from the future. Designed by Phil Pauley, this dual winged commercial jetliner really is something else.
As jetliners are getting bigger and more fuel-efficient over time, this airplane design features a whopping quad deck to cram in as many passengers as possible. Called the "Monsterjumbo", this futuristic plane design certainly looks the business.
10. Have you seen "The Progress Eagle"?
The "Progress Eagle" certainly does appear to be a plane from the future. Designed by Oscar Viñals, this, he believes, will be the future of jetliners.
Its design is very unique, and, according to Viñals, has seating capacity for 800 passengers over three decks. The plane is also eco-friendly by being powered by six hydrogen fuel engines, as well as sporting rear electric wind generators and integrated solar panels.
According to Viñals. Materials like carbon fiber, graphene, ceramic, aluminum, titanium, and a shape-memory alloy would increase efficiency by making the plane lighter. It also looks pretty awesome if we do say so ourselves.
11. The "Spruce Whale" looks like something out of this world
And finally, this concept plane might just be the very definition of a futuristic plane. Designed by Reindy Allendra, the "Spruce Whale", WB-1010, is an interesting vision of the future of aviation.
The plane, according to the designer, would be built from yet-to-exist materials and technology and is envisaged to be a reality sometime towards the end of this century. Weight is also reduced by pumping helium into its fuselage.
This futuristic plane can also harvest wind energy during flight using its rear-mounted energy converter module.