Blog

July 31, 2018

Future of Air Transport

Aviation is developing. Seriously. Well, which direction will it progress?

There are many aspects of it.

If we collect in some main titles, it might be possible to make a generalization like this;

Paper documents

Aviation has serious paper documents. Although the concept of scanned copy is widespread today, all of the scanned paper itself is still in use. This means the whole burden of archiving, the need for trees from nature and the necessity of paper processing (printer, scanner, ink, toner etc). They are working intensively on applications that will completely remove the paper from the industry.

For the cockpit documents, this application has been well received. Maintenance documents have also begun to be partially applied. However, all of the aircraft's archives are still in the form of printed, signed, stamped papers. The whole industry cares about these records and takes direct account of the value of the plane. It looks like it will bid farewell to aviation paper use in the near future. Just like paper tickets are almost completely gone now.

Security

I guess it would not be wrong to say that the aviation has the most queues and X-rays.

- Traffic queue at the airport
- X-ray queue on entry to terminal
- Check-in queue
- Luggage X-ray control queue and baggage loading queue (not visible to passengers)
- Departure passport queue
- Boarding queue
- Disembarking queue
- Arrival passport queue
- Baggage claim queue

Even though all these queues are moving fast, too much detail is involved in the process, slowing down the whole process, when it comes to clothes, liquids, weight and size. Since they are all a part of a chain reactions, each step that slows down the process affects the entire process. As a result, we have to give 3 hours for a 1 hour flight.

Thanks to new technologies, private cameras will have already checked us until we get to the airport and get to the plane. Neither X-ray nor passport or check-in for boarding will be needed. Even our location on the plane will be automatically detected by the sensors.

Thanks to our own chips or barcodes, we will be able to send our baggage with the same procedure everywhere. On all flights, just like our driving licenses or passports, we will have a private label and we will be able to deliver our luggage directly without any action. The system will automatically take our baggage up to our aircraft.

Speed

The speed is steady in an interesting way. It was even halved by Concorde's withdrawal from service. Neither the manufacturers nor the airlines have a clear demand for speed increase. Because speed means more fuel at the beginning, then new technologies, new programs, new tests and regulations. Ticket costs are the biggest problem. It is intimidating in today's conditions. The most promising project of our day is called “Boom”. Preserving the current Business Class logic, aiming to speed up the supersonic region. Although the fuel tank cannot make long flights without refueling due to the limited capacity, it is the most realistic Concorde candidate to bring the supersonic speed back to the air transport. (https://boomsupersonic.com)

Of course, it does not make much sense to crave for the speed of the 1960s. We will be able to make spaceships that are called hypersonic and can reach 5-10 times the speed of sound. We will be able to fly around the whole world in 1-2 hours, just like the satellites. We will live in Europe and be able to do daily works in Asia or America.

Flight and Maintenance Crew

Commercial flights can be made with two pilots, captain and co-pilot. In fact, airlines have to employ 6 pilots per aircraft due to the rest periods. A single-pilot concept means the current pilot demand needs to be reduced by half. This development, which could be a huge savings in terms of airlines, is of course not very attractive for pilots dreaming. But the projects will be pushed in this direction and sooner or later, we will be flying with a single pilot and then in a pilotless aircraft.

Similarly, maintenance requirements force airlines to employ a large number of employees because they are separated by aircraft and engine types. The maintenance itself and the ability to keep track of it is very easy with computer software, but it is still based on the compatibility of many people. Maintenance-free and self-following maintenance parts will remove the human factor.

The "type" on airplanes is just like the chargers of mobile phones. At first, all brands had their own chargers, but now almost all of them use common chargers. Thus savings, efficiency and partnership were achieved. Flight & maintenance crew / equipment and rationale will change in the same way. So just like cars, the systems and control of all planes will be the same, and the concept of aircraft type will come to an end. Each pilot will be able to easily use every aircraft and maintenance requirements of each aircraft will be the same.

Alternative Fuel

The biggest cost for airlines is fuel. A cheaper fuel alternative has an irresistible appeal. Any kind of investment and work to be done on this occasion promises a great future. Biodiesel, hydrogen, electricity, the sun, or a combination of several of these alternates will surely be come true. Perhaps a whole new era will open and we will be able to levitate with gravity. But surely, the concept of fossil fuel will be completely erased from aviation in the long run.

Lighter Materials

Another irrefutable attraction is of course lightness. A lighter aircraft means more passengers and luggage, and therefore more revenue. Just another advantage that works in reverse of fuel. With airplanes made of light materials like feathers, we will be able to fly much higher and much faster. Concorde will become an airplane where everyone can afford to pay for the ticket.

In conclusion, although aviation is often a pioneer industry, in some areas, the change is very slow. However, in all these main titles we list, an incredible work is exhibited currently. Thinking about how the second century will be compared to the time we have completed the first century of aviation is enough to excite us.