Technologies such as supersonic flight, pilotless robot aircraft and even flapping wings are poised to reshape the way we fly.
DailyMail.com spoke to travel experts about how air travel will be revolutionized in coming decades.
Some of these technologies – such as a rebirth for supersonic aircraft – are nearly at the testing stage now, others rely on more futuristic technologies that will evolve this century.
Supersonic aircraft will cut travel times
Supersonic aircraft will take to the skies sooner than you think (Midjourney/Rob Waugh)
Supersonic aircraft will return to the world’s skies, drastically cutting travel times, predicts former pilot and Non-Executive Director at Panache Cruises Andrew Hayward.
Companies such as Boom Technology aim to create supersonic passenger aircraft, which will be capable of flying 88 passengers at 1,304mph.
Hayward says,’The main developments will be ducted fan engines (lower emissions), truss braced wings (more efficient), use of more composite materials (weight saving), and the re-introduction of supersonic travel.
Planes with bird-like wings
The aircraft of the future could flap their wings like birds (Midjourney/Rob Waugh)
The planes of the future will have pneumatic shape-memory alloy wings which will flap like real birds – reducing fuel consumption and flying more efficiently.
Travel expert Sarah Murphy, founder of Explore More NC, told DailyMail.com, said, ‘If we talk about design, we’re inching closer to an approach where our planes adapt to the sky just as birds do.
‘Advancements in Shape Memory Alloys and pneumatic actuators are making morphing wings more than a mere concept (Yes, I’m a bit of a book worm when it comes to birds).
‘These adaptive wings offer a myriad of benefits, from enhancing flight performance to achieving noteworthy fuel savings and emission reductions.
‘It’s as if Mother Nature herself has handed us a blueprint for smarter, more sustainable flight.’
Air taxis and hovering cars in every city
Air taxis will become a fixture of the urban landscape (Midjourney/Rob Waugh)
Hovering vehicles will fly through the skies in cities, with traffic jams a thing of the past, said travel expert Sarah Murphy, founder of Explore More NC.
Murphy, ‘As for the concept of Urban Air Mobility, it’s not merely a pipe dream. The dream has always been a near future where electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing aircraft are an everyday reality.
‘These nimble vehicles are primed to transform the way we move around our cities, enabling point-to-point travel that cuts through the clutter of urban congestion. Say goodbye to the hours lost in traffic; soon you could be taking off from a rooftop near you to reach another city district or even a different town altogether.
These advancements signal a transformational period for aviation, one that combines cutting-edge technology with inspired natural designs. The sky, as it turns out, is not the limit.
Electric planes will be like floating airport lounges
Electric planes could have VERY luxurious interiors (Midjourney/Rob Waugh)
Electric planes will become more like floating airport lounges, says Liz Ho, founder of travel website Camping Guidance.
Instead of cramped interiors, some electric planes will be luxurious, offering restaurants and areas to relax, Ho believes.
Planes could even have virtual reality gyms, where passengers could (for instance) climb the Himalayas.
Plane interiors could even offer sit-down restaurants and vape lounges to entice passengers.
She says, ‘Electric planes will become an everyday reality sooner than we think. We can make the seemingly impossible possible.’
Hydrogen-powered planes will take to the skies
Hydrogen-powered planes could revolutionise transport (Midjourney/Rob Waugh)
Hydrogen-powered planes and planes powered by carbon-negative biofuels will be a big part of the future of aviation, says Carl Broadbent from Travel Spock.
Spock said, ‘The aviation industry is at a crossroads; with burgeoning demand and sky-high fuel prices, it’s time to pivot toward sustainability.
‘It’s not just about making air travel greener; it’s about making it viable for the long haul. We’ve got packed skies and crowded airports, and the question on everyone’s minds is how to keep up with it all without wrecking the planet.