It may be nearly half a century old, but Airbus isn’t resting on its laurels. The aircraft manufacturer has been churning out one cutting edge idea after another as it aims to define the future of flight (and do it before Boeing gets there first).
Once, twice, three times an Airbus
Actually, what we’re talking about here is A³ or “A-cubed,” Airbus’ Silicon Valley outpost tasked with dreaming up the next big thing in air travel. Launched in May 2015, the venture capital fund and innovation center aims to “disrupt Airbus, its competitors, and the entire industry” by identifying and investing in the world’s most innovative new air travel concepts and technology.
A³ is responsible for many of the futuristic projects announced by Airbus recently. Although A³'s ideas may seem like science fiction, the company is investing serious time and money into bringing them to market. If successful, flying will be easier, faster and more comfortable.
Multitasking business travellers will be particularly fond of A³’s latest creation: an in-flight gym. Why spend your commute fidgeting in cramped airplane seats when you could be taking a spin class or stretching it out in downward-facing-dog? Namaste indeed.
The sky gym is part of A³’s Transpose project, which uses removable modules to give air carriers and their passengers more interior layout options. Rather than the standard rows of confined seats, the Transpose interior would be comprised of movable pods, such as a sleeper cabin, dining room, spa, office space and, most recently, a gym complete with stationary bikes and a tiny yoga studio.
Now all they need are some in-flight showers...
Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads.
Airbus is determined to make that traffic-filled, rage-inducing daily commute a thing of the past. Its Project Vahana envisions "urban airways" with VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) self-flying taxis transporting passengers wherever they need to be.
In addition to taxiing people to and fro, the Vahana vehicles could also be used for cargo delivery, as ambulances and for more efficient search and rescue missions.
The private jet to end all private jets
Now this is luxury. Photos of Airbus’ new jet ACJ319neo (aka “Infinito”) released in May 2017 reveal exactly what $87 million gets you in the private jet market. Turns out, it gets you quite a lot. And unlike the A³ projects, this jet is available to purchase now (so start saving!).
Designed in partnership with Italian supercar manufacturer Pagani, the interior of this ritzy jet features soft leather carpets, wooden flooring and sculpted metal light fixtures. Rooms are separated by clear walls that turn opaque with the flick of a switch.
It doesn’t get much snazzier than Infinito’s edge-to-edge screen ceiling, onto which a live video stream of the surrounding skies is projected (or any other image of your choosing). From fluffy cumulus clouds to twinkling constellations, the sky ceiling creates a light and spacious ambiance—far from the average air travel experience.