Scared of flying? Then you might not like the airplanes of the future.
Sure there are some terrifying-sounding features (transparent cabins and harvesting body heat) in the proposed designs for future planes, but the decisions to go greener are all ideas we can get behind. So go ahead, take a look at the future:
1. See-through cabins.
2. No more waiting at the gate.
Not only might airplanes become cooler in the future, they could also become greener. Airbus envisions technology that would both allow planes to turn off their engines sooner and "optimize an aircraft's landing position," which in normal-people terms just translates to getting off the runway faster and boarding speedier at the gate. Yes please!
3. Even SPEEDIER boarding.
As Gregor Dirks, corporate innovator for Airbus, told CNN: "We could think about city center check-in and actually transport little pods to the airport where the passengers are already in and just slide the pod into the airplane." How are we going to wait 36 more years for this?!
3. "Harvesting passenger body heat" could become the norm.
So if that whole "transparent cabin" was a terrifying concept for you, Airbus came up with a way to absolve your fears. Just sit back and let your body heat power your own holographic pop-up pod, instantly blocking your view of the sky. Next up? Holographic golf for in-flight entertainment.
4. Self-repairing wings could take to the sky.
Fliers of the future might board the AWWA Sky Whale, another proposed design dubbed the "greenest aircraft imaginable." In addition to being super green, the revolutionary plane would hold 755 passengers, be able to take off vertically, and even come with wings that can fix themselves (though what that truly entails is a bit unclear).
5. Passports may become a thing of the past.
While experts say there's an 80 percent chance of this actually happening, we're 100 percent behind this futuristic prediction. As technologies like electronic chips and biometric data storage systems become more prevalent in air travel, passengers may simply need to just swipe ID cards or show finger prints instead of pulling out passports.
6. Lighter planes mean eco-friendly planes.
The use of 3D printers has risen in the medical industry, and now it could make a big difference in the manufacturing of airplanes. By using 3D printers, cabins could soon be made up of titanium brackets, causing planes to not only weigh less, but also cut down on gas usage.
7. Flying cars will work even better (and be a lot quieter).
Okay, so flying cars technically already exist, but Elon Musk might try his hand at the technology, and if he does we'll be one step closer to having airplane-like machines as our daily travel mobiles. As Musk told The Independent, "We could definitely make a flying car – but that's not the hard part. The hard part is, how do you make a flying car that's super safe and quiet?"
As we're sure Elon Musk will probably figure all of this out soon, we're inclined to echo Kevin Roose's thoughts on Musk's insatiable ambition:
— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) June 9, 2014