Chapman Freeborn blog

Chapman Freeborn

What will commercial aviation look like in 2050?

One of the great things about working in an industry like aviation is the constant advances in technology and design. As an aircraft charter specialist we always have one eye on the next big market development – whether it’s the launch of a brand new business jet or the arrival of a new commercial aircraft with more fuel-efficient engines.

For this reason it was really interesting reading the latest installment of Future by Airbus – an industry paper describing the company’s vision for how commercial aviation might look in 2050.

With an emphasis on out-of-the-box thinking, the aerospace manufacturer explores how we might achieve more flights and quicker passenger journey times, as well as greater sustainability and fewer CO2 emissions.

Their ‘Smarter Skies’ vision consists of a number of new technological concepts including the idea of an Eco-Climb innovation – a ground based propulsion system to minimise noise and emissions on take-off.

While the thought of being launched into the air by what sounds like a giant catapult probably isn’t too appealing to passengers today – there are some good arguments put forward to explore the concept further.

Because aircraft currently climb in a series of incremental and inefficient stages which require more fuel, a new system could allow for an optimised aircraft to climb to its most efficient cruising altitude more quickly.

Airbus says that with less time and distance required for take-off, the runways could also be shortened by up to a third, minimising land use, and enabling airport capacity to increase or new micro-airports to emerge.

Elsewhere, other ground-breaking ideas include new developments of free-glide technology, ground operations and the use of sustainable biofuels.

Future by Airbus is also supported by a series of online videos which further outline some of these ideas. Find out more here