Given that we are unlikely to get past 2012, perhaps it's churlish to even think of what 2025 might look like.
However, the indelible optimists at NASA have revealed images of commercial aircraft designs that might well take to the air, should 2025 actually materialize.
It seems that in the darker parts of 2010, NASA gave Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Brumman money to ponder what improvements might be made to our current aerial cattle carriers.
The initial designs, published on NASA's own site, will make some drool and a few, perhaps, shiver.
For at least two of them make me think of, well, war--specifically, military aircraft--while the third seems plain peculiar.
Life might, indeed, be very peculiar by the time 2025 comes along.
And perhaps I am suffering the after-effects of mind-altering 2005 Amista syrah. But perhaps someone else might see in, for example, the Boeing design, a rather touching homage to the Stealth Bomber?
Then there's the design from Northrop Grumman. Please forgive me in advance (a phrase that does, actually, sometimes work for me), but doesn't it look just a little as if someone took two B-52 bombers and slapped them together?
Finally, the Lockheed design. This, perhaps, seems the most conventional of the three, at least from the angle in which it is presented.
Yet again, as someone who merely looks at planes at airports as they arrive late, I'm reminded just a little, by that engine at the back, of the Lockheed Tri-Star--which, oh, never moved me to paroxysms of joy.
I would naturally love to hear from those with a more intimate knowledge of both aircraft design and future times. Do these designs move? Or are they mere flights of fancy?