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Aerospace & Aviation Innovations

  • by: Conor McKeon
  • On: 8, Nov 2017
4 min read

Following the Dubai Air Show, VHR highlight the future of aviation technology.

6 Aviation Innovations Set To Influence 2018

With the likes of Dubai being the first nation in the world to introduce pilotless taxi drones, what other aviation innovations are there set to take flight in the upcoming future?

Many customers are now looking beyond the price of the ticket (especially for long-haul flights) and focusing more on the experience and comfort of a flight. Airlines have been focusing for many years now on improving interiors, efficiency, sustainability and cutting edge technologies to set themselves apart from their competitors; the underlying principle that innovation is at the heart of the aerospace industry couldn’t be more prevalent today. VHR considers 6 of the most important changes that could continue to shape the future of the aerospace industry. 

The Future Of The Aerospace Industry: 
 

Flying Taxi Drones:

Back in February this year, it was announced that Dubai planned to take to the sky in a progressive innovation, known as a ‘taxi drone’. This new technology plans to transport people across the city by avoiding roads, offering a taxi service from above. The vehicle can carry one person weighing up to 100kg and apart from the touch screen destination option, there are no other controls within the vehicle. 

According to the RTA (road and transport authority) in Dubai, they will begin a five-year test period commencing at the end of 2017.  The 'Volocopter' ensures that you will never need the onboard emergency parachute as there are nine independent battery systems to ensure its safety; that being said, the taxi can reach a top speed of 100km/h with a maximum flight duration of 30 minutes.

Green Airplanes:

As recognized by VHR, the new face of aviation is investment in environmentally-friendly vehicles, set to revolutionise the transport industry. 

Travel makes up between 4 – 9% of all man-made greenhouse gases; therefore, its never been more important to find a sustainable way of propelling people through the sky.  An electric-powered flight is one of the most exciting solutions to come forward from this industry problem. The solution may see our loveable, familiarly loud jet engines get replaced with clean, quiet motors as a result.

In April this year, a company called Zunum Aero suggested the idea of using battery-powered commercial jets; although this plan may seem a little risky, the idea has been backed by both Boeing and JetBlue Ventures who claim to have a working hybrid prototype by 2020.

Gourmet eating:

Lufthansa are embracing aviation innovations by making flight-safe cookers that not only steam rice and toast bread, but also fry eggs at 30,000+ feet. Additionally, Lufthansa plan to cover all angles and go the extra mile to satisfy customer needs by installing a fume hood to remove all potential unwanted food smells from the aircraft and supply locks on to trays to ensure your steak doesn’t shuffle down the aisle during turbulence!
 

Sanitised Aircrafts:

By using technology that’s already successfully disinfecting water within hospitals, the GermFalcon plans to ‘zap’ ultraviolet light across the aircrafts cabins in order to sanitise armrests, tray tables and even toilets. An entrepreneurial team are hoping their new invention will revolutionise the cleaning of aircrafts and help airlines win the battle against growing bacteria. The machine itself resembles a beverage cart with arms that covers the width of the aircraft, spraying ultraviolet rays over all the seats.
 

Friendly materials:

In the long term, environmentally friendly aviation innovations are an investment worth placing. Even though there are a variety of new airplane models rapidly emerging, one of the most exciting new trends within the aviation sector is the move towards using smarter, more friendly materials.

For example, graphene is a material most MRO’s and manufacturers are getting excited aboutThe benefits of switching to a more environmentally friendly material like graphene are reduced fuel consumption, better aerodynamics, and increased plane speed thanks to a stronger, lighter body.

Toasty seats with wider spacing:

Sliding their way in to the future, moving seats in an aircraft are another aviation innovation. Included in one of the many ideas is the reconfiguration of cabin aisle seats - allowing the middle seat to move during boarding - meaning a wider corridor for passengers. 

Additionally, these sliding seats also boast to be the industry’s widest and most comfortable yet being a width of 21 inches and being positioned further back from the neighbour in front. Aviation innovations continue further as tech and aircraft interior experts like Panasonic and Gentherm have already started to work on temperature regulation within the seats. It’s not uncommon to experience changes in temperature whilst on-board an aircraft; because of this, the innovation of heating and cooling seats (similar to those in cars) are now on their way to both private jets and some business/first class cabins.

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