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Airbus Aims to Catapult Planes into the Sky to Fly in Flocks by 2050

September 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM | by | ()

Unfortunately it doesn’t look like we’ll be taking supersonic flights again anytime soon, but Airbus does have some new ideas about how its airplanes will be taking to the skies. This new travel technology is a long way off—if it ever takes off—but at least they’re starting to think a little bit outside of the box.

Airbus just released a few different ideas regarding where air travel could be heading in the future, and one of the most interesting ones kind of steals techniques used by aircraft carriers sailing around the globe. They’re calling this new idea “Eco-Climb,” and basically it’s a plan to launch airplanes into the air through propelled acceleration. Not only would this be quite the experience for those on board, but it would mean steeper climbs after takeoff and a minimization of noise while allowing planes to reach their cruising altitudes even quicker.

Essentially, it's a high tech airplane catapult.

Other ideas include something they like to think of as “Express Skyways,” where planes would kind of aggregate available data to select the best route based on weather, traffic, and other factors. The planes would also take into account the location of other planes, and they could flock together like birds in order to save some fuel and travel a little more efficiently.

If you want to take a look at some of the new ideas coming out of Airbus just travel over to their Smarter Skies series right here. They’ve also been kicking around some decent ideas regarding how to improve landings, ground operations, and power, but we're most wide-eyed over the whole slingshot thing.

[Photo: Airbus]

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