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Aviation in 2050

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:13 pm
by caliboy93
What will the aviation landscape likely be like in 2050? I'm talking about aviation trends, airport layouts, etc.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:20 pm
by ITSTours
This sounds more like "let's stretch our imagination".
I don't think anybody can guess what happens thirty years from now.

One of the answers could be that a nuclear war breaks out and there will be no more airplanes flying...

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:43 pm
by SierraPacific
If I had to guess I would say that their will still be 787's, A350's, and a limited amount of A320 neos along with the new 797 that is being produced right now.

Aviation does not change very quickly and I do not foresee that changing IMO. If you would have told someone in the 1960's that the 737 would still be the most popular aircraft in the world, I doubt they would have believed you.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:51 pm
by Dutchy
The biggest issue by far, will be emissions. 2050 is the year the Paris goals should be met.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:59 pm
by kitplane01
SierraPacific wrote:
If I had to guess I would say that their will still be 787's, A350's, and a limited amount of A320 neos along with the new 797 that is being produced right now.

Aviation does not change very quickly and I do not foresee that changing IMO. If you would have told someone in the 1960's that the 737 would still be the most popular aircraft in the world, I doubt they would have believed you.


Fuel prices will be higher (and likely carbon tax or carbon limits too).
  • Therefore it will be more important than today to save fuel. So if there are 787s flying, it will be with better engines than we have today.
  • Maybe hopefully electric planes

Continuing some general trends
  • Lower prices for airline tickets
  • Even more crowded airplanes (though one wonders if there is some limit)
  • Tighter security (more databases, better facial recognition, etc)
  • More regulation in general
  • A general upsizing in aircraft (the A321 will be the middle of the narrowbody market)

A.net things
  • People still arguing "the A380, what could have been"
  • Alitalia .. finished bankruptcy next month

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 10:01 pm
by Airlines0613
Dutchy wrote:
The biggest issue by far, will be emissions. 2050 is the year the Paris goals should be met.

IIRC, airplanes are the most eco-friendly way of transport based on the amount of pollutant per seat kilometer. Also, we have many airlines exploring biofuels, which can further decrease pollutants.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 12:58 pm
by IQuit
Surface transport will kill the aviation industry, at least for short to medium distance travel in developed countries.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 12:02 pm
by timh4000
kitplane01 wrote:
SierraPacific wrote:
If I had to guess I would say that their will still be 787's, A350's, and a limited amount of A320 neos along with the new 797 that is being produced right now.

Aviation does not change very quickly and I do not foresee that changing IMO. If you would have told someone in the 1960's that the 737 would still be the most popular aircraft in the world, I doubt they would have believed you.


Fuel prices will be higher (and likely carbon tax or carbon limits too).
  • Therefore it will be more important than today to save fuel. So if there are 787s flying, it will be with better engines than we have today.
  • Maybe hopefully electric planes

Continuing some general trends
  • Lower prices for airline tickets
  • Even more crowded airplanes (though one wonders if there is some limit)
  • Tighter security (more databases, better facial recognition, etc)
  • More regulation in general
  • A general upsizing in aircraft (the A321 will be the middle of the narrowbody market)

A.net things
  • People still arguing "the A380, what could have been"
  • Alitalia .. finished bankruptcy next month

As compared from the 1st flight to 1960's we moved along at a breakneck speed. Then came the 747 which took years to develop and now leveling up a 777 takes years. Electric planes..... is that really possible? The amount of juice needed, or perhaps going to hydrogen fuel cells. Either way it sounds like ln order to achieve the energy savings, major major overhauls will be needed

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 12:39 pm
by emuwarveteran
IQuit wrote:
Surface transport will kill the aviation industry, at least for short to medium distance travel in developed countries.


no it won't, unless the hyperloop is developed, and there are many issues with that

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 1:01 pm
by PatrickZ80
Airlines0613 wrote:
Also, we have many airlines exploring biofuels, which can further decrease pollutants.


Biofuels do not decrease pollution, they only decrease the need for fossile fuels. The only thing biofuels really are, are an artificial copy of fossile fuels from non-fossile resources. However in terms of pollution it doesn't make any difference, both biofuels and regular fuels pollute just as much.

IQuit wrote:
Surface transport will kill the aviation industry, at least for short to medium distance travel in developed countries.


I wouldn't want to use the word kill, instead I would use the word substitute. This is already happening in some places and it will be a growing trend. Many European airports already have high speed rail stations at the airport and trains are used as feeder "flights". For example if you book a flight from Los Angeles to Berlin with a transfer in Amsterdam, good chance you'll find yourself on a plane for the Los Angeles - Amsterdam leg and then on to a train for the Amsterdam - Berlin leg. All on one ticket. This way, flights between Amsterdam and Berlin will become redundant.

But it won't become redundant everywhere, specially where seas are involved that make ground transport difficult. With the exception of London, getting anywhere in the UK from mainland Europe on ground transport will always be a challenge. London is well connected by train through the tunnel, but it's a dead end. You don't get passed London by train, so most likely there'll still be flights between Amsterdam and Manchester for example.

timh4000 wrote:
Electric planes..... is that really possible? The amount of juice needed, or perhaps going to hydrogen fuel cells. Either way it sounds like ln order to achieve the energy savings, major major overhauls will be needed


In 2050 it won't be mainstream yet, but no doubt we'll be further into it than we are today. Nowadays there are already some electrical small general aviation aircraft. By then we'll have larger and more efficient electrical aircraft.

Hydrogen fuel cells might be a solution. With hydrogen you can create electricity which can be used to power electrical engines. The waste product of hydrogen cells is water, which can safely be dumped into the atmosphere.

A step in between could be an aircraft that still uses regular fuel, but only for the APU. This APU would then deliver power for the electrical engines. Of course you'd need a more powerful APU than what is common nowadays.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 1:05 am
by kitplane01
PatrickZ80 wrote:
Airlines0613 wrote:
Also, we have many airlines exploring biofuels, which can further decrease pollutants.


Biofuels do not decrease pollution, they only decrease the need for fossile fuels. The only thing biofuels really are, are an artificial copy of fossile fuels from non-fossile resources. However in terms of pollution it doesn't make any difference, both biofuels and regular fuels pollute just as much.


Doesn't that depend on how the biofuels are created? Grow them from plants, don't spend to much energy processing, and they're carbon-better than normal fossil fuels.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 5:28 am
by atomicstar
1. Electric regional jets. And instead of wasting time waiting for the battery to charge, batteries can be swapped and there are chargers and storage for batteries. But large electric airplanes will probably not work because the batteries are very heavy.

2. A 747 sized twinjet

3. “777XL”, a double decker and larger 777x and powered by GE10X engines

4. More and more smaller airlines will merge with larger airlines

5. Supersonic travel coming back. Much more fuel efficient, larger, and quieter than Concorde. Also, tickets are about the same cost or regular 1st class tickets.

And I doubt hydrogen fuel cells would work. If something terribly bad happens such as ESD shocking places with hydrogen gas, this might end up creating Hindenburg mk. 2.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 6:11 am
by PatrickZ80
atomicstar wrote:
5. Supersonic travel coming back. Much more fuel efficient, larger, and quieter than Concorde. Also, tickets are about the same cost or regular 1st class tickets.


As much as that's wished for by aviation geeks, I don't see it happening. No doubt it can be made more efficient than the Concorde, but that doesn't make it efficient compared to a regular plane.

We'll just have to get used to the idea that air travel will be slower. On behalf of the environment, we just can't afford to build anything that consumes more fuel than a regular plane anymore. No matter how fast it'll go. Regular planes are fast enough.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 1:40 pm
by acjbbj
And a new McDonnell-Douglas company, hopefully. Or whoever the third player in large airplanes are.

Also, KC-10 is expected to be out of service just before this time. Will there be any MD-11 or A340 in service (in any market)?

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 3:53 pm
by PHLspecial
IQuit wrote:
Surface transport will kill the aviation industry, at least for short to medium distance travel in developed countries.

With the amount of lobbying that airlines do in the U.S. its going to tough for the surface transport to develop here.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 9:15 pm
by atomicstar
IQuit wrote:
Surface transport will kill the aviation industry, at least for short to medium distance travel in developed countries.


Do you think that hyperloop will replace domestic airplanes, because they are faster and more efficient? However a downside is that it is very expensive, and difficult to construct.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 6:04 am
by kitplane01
acjbbj wrote:
And a new McDonnell-Douglas company, hopefully. Or whoever the third player in large airplanes are.

Also, KC-10 is expected to be out of service just before this time. Will there be any MD-11 or A340 in service (in any market)?


It's called COMAC. The third airplane company is called Comac.

Hint: They're Chinese.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 6:10 pm
by Seabear
We'll still be seeing threads asking why Boeing doesn't restart the 757?

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 2:29 am
by IQuit
Hyperloop is (a less likely) one of the many possibilities. Like PatrickZ80 mentioned, it is already happening. Trains are getting faster, AIs will drive faster. They don't have to be faster than aircraft, much of the time is wasted at / on the way to and fro the airport anyway.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 3:14 am
by KentB27
kitplane01 wrote:
It's called COMAC. The third airplane company is called Comac.

Hint: They're Chinese.


I think that we'll have to see how things play out with COMAC to see if they'll really be a viable competitor to Airbus or Boeing in the future. I know that the ARJ21 is really just an experiment for COMAC to dip their toes in the water of mass producing a commercial airliner, but if they don't do things better with the C919 and C929 than they have with the clunker ARJ21 then they won't become a viable competitor to Airbus and Boeing anytime soon.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 3:57 am
by 1989worstyear
Likely still lots of A320's, including CEO's.

Re: Aviation in 2050

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 4:01 am
by 1989worstyear
timh4000 wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
SierraPacific wrote:
If I had to guess I would say that their will still be 787's, A350's, and a limited amount of A320 neos along with the new 797 that is being produced right now.

Aviation does not change very quickly and I do not foresee that changing IMO. If you would have told someone in the 1960's that the 737 would still be the most popular aircraft in the world, I doubt they would have believed you.


Fuel prices will be higher (and likely carbon tax or carbon limits too).
  • Therefore it will be more important than today to save fuel. So if there are 787s flying, it will be with better engines than we have today.
  • Maybe hopefully electric planes

Continuing some general trends
  • Lower prices for airline tickets
  • Even more crowded airplanes (though one wonders if there is some limit)
  • Tighter security (more databases, better facial recognition, etc)
  • More regulation in general
  • A general upsizing in aircraft (the A321 will be the middle of the narrowbody market)

A.net things
  • People still arguing "the A380, what could have been"
  • Alitalia .. finished bankruptcy next month

As compared from the 1st flight to 1960's we moved along at a breakneck speed. Then came the 747 which took years to develop and now leveling up a 777 takes years. Electric planes..... is that really possible? The amount of juice needed, or perhaps going to hydrogen fuel cells. Either way it sounds like ln order to achieve the energy savings, major major overhauls will be needed


30 years for the A320 vs. 25 for the 777, and there are still many CEO's on order.