Airline passengers of the future will have to do without window seats and fly in â€œbatwingâ€? aircraft as a result of aviation industry proposals to tackle greenhouse gas emissions from flights.
The Greener by Design group believes that the new airliners will enter passenger service in 2025 and that, by 2055, they will make up a third of the worldâ€™s fleet.
The “flying wings” airliners will be based on designs produced by Sir Frederick Handley Page in 1961. His design was considered too expensive and risky in 1961. But his ideas have now been resurrected by companies such as Boeing and Airbus.
The fuselage would be turned into one wing to create less drag and engines would sit on top, with the wing shielding the noise from the ground. Passengers would sit in rows of up to 40 seats across. Wings would consume only a third of the fuel used by existing aircraft. They will be constructed of plastic, rather than aluminium, to reduce their weight. The outer surface would be covered in millions of tiny holes to reduce drag by sucking in air as it flows over the wing.
The impact on the worldâ€™s climate would be reduced even further by changes in the way that airlines operate. All airliners will alter their cruising altitude to avoid the conditions that form condensation trails. They could also reduce the amount of fuel they burn by flying in formation, as jet fighters do.