The transparent Airbus powered by your body heat

Airbus believes that planes of the future will use your body heat and not have classes, but instead quiet and SmartTech zones. You will also be able to "live the panorama in which you are flying."

Some people believe the future is something to look forward to. And, indeed, there is some evidence that, for a small number of people--especially those who work at Facebook--that might well be true.

However, there are certain aspects of futuristic technology that might make you blanch a little over as you contemplate the difference between what you are now and what you might become.

For example, Airbus has today been in London presenting some of its more advanced dreamings about the future of air travel. They seem to revolve around a plane that has a see-through fuselage, no first class, and a desperate need for your body heat.

Please hark at how Charles Champion, head of engineering for Airbus, described it to the Telegraph. While you do, please imagine how you might feel exposed to the elements, while working like a corporate puppy in the SmartTech zone.

You see, Champion would prefer the air travelers of the future not to be class conscious.

Instead, he believes that there will be two zones. One will be called SmartTech, in which all corporate employees and 10-year-olds will sit. The other will be more of a Vitalizing/Relaxing Zone, in which all the people who want to keep a death grip on their sanity will be accommodated.

This seems to leave no room for parents with babies, although Airbus doesn't seem specific about that.

Still, as you watch the video, you might be enthralled or alarmed (especially if you happened to be on the Southwest plane with the gaping hole in the roof) at the idea that the plane would be largely see-through.

Champion preferred the idea that this would allow you to "live the panorama in which you are flying."

It's an interesting idea, one apparently made possible by a biopolymer membrane. Although anyone who regularly takes a window seat might say that there really isn't all that much to see out there, save for other planes that seem to go by at far greater speeds than the one on which you are actually flying.

I, however, was a little more disturbed by another of Champion's fascinating notions. When describing the SmartTech section, in which you will be so ergonomically comfortable that you will never have need of a chiropractor again, he said the plane would use some revolutionary power.

"The heat of your body can be used to power the aircraft," were his exact words.

I hope that what he specifically meant was that your body heat would be used to perhaps fuel the lighting system, rather than the engines. Just because of an irrational fear that if, say, a couple of people in the SmartTech zone died on the plane, it might conceivably mean see-through curtains for everyone else.

Still, I suppose by the time 2050 comes around, some high-minded genius might have found a way to turn the kilojoules engendered by just 10 people eating a thousand peanuts and potato chips into enough energy to power this joyously futuristic cruise ship of a plane.

 

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