Airbus Looks at See-Through Plane Design

Posted Sep 20th 2010 01:07 PMUpdated Sep 20th 2010 02:43 PM


Talk about feeling like you're floating on air. Engineers at Airbus have come up with a design for the future that involves a passenger plane that could be made completely see-through.

It works like this: Once in flight, the captain would push a button that would send an electrical current through a futuristic high-tech ceramic skin. The skin would peel back revealing windows all around.

The result would be amazing views including the stars above and city lights below.

"Passengers in an airplane like this would experience flight in a completely new way," Axel Krein, 49, head of research and technology for the European aircraft manufacturer, tells Der Spiegel.

Yes, it sounds like science fiction and the "Concept Plane" is not actually being manufactured, yet.

But it's one of the ideas that developed when Airbus engineers were asked to let their imaginations run wild.

"What emerged were completely realistic visions of flight in the year 2050," Krien says. "Our people are grounded in reality, after all. And most of the necessary technology already exists."

Another idea for the "Concept Plane" is an outer skin that could repair itself in the case of a crack, using sensors that would trigger microscopic capsules containing a high-tech adhesive.

"The airplane almost becomes a living organism this way," Krein says.

The futuristic plane also features streamlined engines that would be embedded in the fuselage rather than attached to the wings.

Airbus photo
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Wild mustache rider

let me think about it ...naaaaaaaaa !

September 22 2010 at 4:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Warren Ward

How about an airplane that takes off and lands on time. I know that would be well in to the future, but something we all dream of.

September 22 2010 at 1:27 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Never gonna happen...ever.

September 22 2010 at 12:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Another example of technology inspired by comics. Wonder Woman flew an invisible plane.

September 21 2010 at 8:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Erin Michele

I am terrified of flying, and it has nothing to do with heights; but the though of everything being invisible is a lil more than alarming. How about instead of spending useless time of their creativity, lets think up ways to get better, more comfortable seats in, and stop squishing people in like sardines. All airlines want to do is add more and more people, regardless of how they then treat those customers. I can see it now... They think an invisible plane is awesome because they will be able to stuff more people in, let the plane become invisible, and it wont look as claustrophobic. If this is the future, then looks like just as I'll be hitting retirement and my 60's I will have to stop traveling by air.

September 21 2010 at 7:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Glad I'll be dead by 2050. It is hard enough to get onto a plane and feel turbulence. Can you imagine going through a thunder storm? No, glad I won't see it.

September 21 2010 at 7:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joel Bell

'And now back to our regular scheduled broadcasting : in the news today 50 kids died this past hour in Cambodia"

September 21 2010 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ugh, just what we need, more things to go wrong and cause further delays.

September 21 2010 at 7:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great. The super plane will be ready for my 115th birthday. Please reserve 2 seats.

September 21 2010 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sounds exciting!! Only wish I could still be around to experience such a flight! Remindes me of the "Bubble" copter rides I have had.

September 21 2010 at 7:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply