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Airplanes are incredibly fascinating achievements in human engineering. Human beings can hop aboard an airplane and take to the skies, traveling thousands of miles in a matter of hours. It is an industry that is forever advancing and innovating. I figured I would share some very impressive and inspirational design concepts or technology that are either coming to the industry, or are currently being implemented.

New Seat Designs

Have you ever been in the middle seat of a flight and hated it? It’s understandable. Depending on your company, it might be an extremely uncomfortable feeling. Squished between two strangers on a long flight is not exactly ideal, particularly if you are already uneasy about flying. Luckily, designers are working on fixing that. Molon Labe Designs has designed an alternative to the standard airplane seating currently available. The brand new seats, dubbed the “Side Slip Seat”, are specially designed to make the middle seat the best in the house. The seat is three inches wider than the 18 inch wide window and aisle seats as well as lower and further back than its counterparts. This gives the middle passenger more room during the flight. Because of the lower middle seat, the aisle seats can also be slid inwards during boarding, allowing for easier access to the overhead compartment, as well as better movement through the cabin. The seats have completed safety training, but are currently being inspected by the FAA.

AirBus’ Bright Future

As one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world, Airbus is a key contributor to the aviation industry. The manufacturer is well aware of this, and that is why they are constantly working on new and conceptual designs aimed at moving the aviation industry forward. In an article published by Airbus, the company is looking forward to the future with a plan simply—and aptly— titled “The Future.” While the project may sound simple, it is anything but. Aimed at easing the environmental concerns of average passengers, The Future is meant to better sync the Air Traffic Management system with groundbreaking and exciting technology aboard airplanes. With this new plan, Airbus could save passengers an average of about 13 minutes of flytime. This, in turn, would preserve over 28 million tons of CO2 emissions. As an advocate for eco-friendly flight incentives, I am incredibly excited for the future that Airbus has planned.

Under the Hood

Not all innovations are necessarily outward facing. Both Boeing and Airbus are constantly working on smaller, more incremental updates that are aimed at improving both air travel and the environment. For example, Boeing’s upcoming 777X will feature composite wings, a new aerodynamic tail, wider windows and a better interior design. And Airbus’ A330neo features a 14 percent more fuel efficient engine than its last generation counterpart, the A330ceo.

From major, industry changing improvements to smaller everyday fixes, the aviation industry is constantly evolving. I am very excited to see where the industry will be in the coming years.