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(Smithsonian Magazine)   Forget glass bottomed swimming pools, check out this glass bottomed concept plane   ( blogs.smithsonianmag.com) divider line
    More: Cool, human skeleton, technology and society, fuselages, testimonials  
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5794 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 Aug 2012 at 9:49 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

Voting Results (Smartest)
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2012-08-21 11:02:09 AM  
1 vote:

Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: The engines will be a little quieter and burn a lot less fuel, which will have become more valuable than virgins' blood.

But still nowhere near as valuable as inkjet printer ink
2012-08-21 10:43:15 AM  
1 vote:
In 2050, you'll still be flying in a tapered cylinder with tiny portholes for windows, because that's the design with the least points of failure and the best cattlecar potential. The construction materials may change slightly, expect more composites in major sections of the airframe, but metal won't disappear.
The engines will be a little quieter and burn a lot less fuel, which will have become more valuable than virgins' blood. You'll have even less leg-room than today, because fuel will be so expensive, the airlines will feel obligated to cram as much meat into an aircraft is possible (and to compensate, expect weight-savings in everything from the thickness of the toilet seat lid to the amount of coffee in the galley).
Holographic entertainment will exist, but only as prototypes at Japanese consumer expos. By the time you're able to afford it, something else will replace it. Instead, the in-flight movie will have disappeared because frankly, you're just going to use your iDevices during the flight anyway, so that stuff gets tossed to free up more weight. But don't expect free wi-fi, airlines gotta make money somehow, and hauling your fat ass around at 400 knots ain't cheap.
Homeland Security will force everyone to surrender their clothes and change into identical, pocketless grey spandex bodysuits. This will be more horrifying than it seems, because in 2050, 95% of Americans will be obese. You'll also have to check in 3 days before your flight leaves, just in case anyone had made a hot-headed decision to blow up an airplane (similar to the waiting period after purchasing a firearm).
Annoyingly perky flight attendants will have been retired (good), only to be replaced with frustrating robot flight attendants (bad). The good news is, this saves the airlines enough money that they can still serve pretzels in flight (peanuts having been banned for allergy reasons) and still make a tidy profit. The pilot's only job will be to make the insurance company happy, as triple-redundant autopilots will be able to safely land the plane if one of the others fails. He will spend most of his time hitting on the first-class passengers.
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