Today, British Airways’ CEO, Alex Cruz, opened a new exhibition on the next 100 years of flight at London’s Saatchi Gallery. The carrier is looking forward as part of thier centenary year.
The event brought together innovative ideas from several groups of university students. Additionally, a panel comprised of industry experts discussed the next 100 years of the aviation industry. While there was understandably a heavy focus on sustainability, the passenger experience also played a key role. In fact, quite a few ideas combined the passenger experience with sustainability.
100 years of British Airways
Today’s event is part of a host of 2019 celebrations being put on by British Airways. The airline is celebrating 100 years since its predecessor first flew from London to Paris. While the airline had largely been looking at its history so far, today’s exhibition was really all about the next 100 years of British Airways.
The exhibition is named “BA 2119: Flight of the Future”. Being held at the Saatchi Gallery in London, it opens on Thursday 1st August and runs until the 26th. Entrance to the exhibition is free, however, there is a paid VR experience also available. The exhibition draws on ideas of how air travel could look in the future, from personalized food to “living” aircraft.
There were three awards of £2,500 up for grabs for each of the ideas on display at the gallery. One of the award winners was a concept which would see passengers presented with personalized 3D printed food on an aircraft. Prior to the flight, passengers would give their meal preferences such as allergies to the airline.
Using a mixture of DNA data, and current condition prior to the flight, a personalized meal would be produced for you. For example, if you were dehydrated, your meal could have a hydrating effect. The students behind this project told me that they expect it to be possible 50-80 years in the future.
My favorite idea presented looked at the idea of integrating biological systems with electromechanical ones. Known as Aerium, the bioaircraft would have a multilayered cabin structure. These layers would be responsible for water generation, oxygenation, and energy generation. The researchers have named this new field “bioavionics”.
Intelligent aircraft AI
Another concept which won an award looks at how AI can be used to tailor passengers’ experience on an aircraft in real-time. By utilizing artificial intelligence, the crew would be alerted when a passenger needs attention, possibly before the passenger themselves even realize.
It was stressed that these innovations are currently just concepts, and not likely to enter service any time soon. However, Alex Cruz commented that he thought we could see some variation of each at some point in the future. However, he added we may not all be around to see them.
Which of the ideas presented is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!