Stockholm’s Umbilical Design, a firm specializing in designs for space and extreme environments, has been asked by Xero –the first Swedish company to offer zero-gravity flights– to work on a fun and reassuring interior-design scheme for its planes.
Using a parabolic flight plane normally used to train Russian astronauts and test equipment, Xero will take passengers on a one-and-a-half-hour flight that features 15 short periods of weightlessness.
In a bid to create a playground-like environment, the firm is developing a concept for an inflatable module that would completely transform the plane interior in about an hour. Aside from the inflatable interior, the cabin will be fairly open, with a few elements like vertical handrails that passengers can use to propel themselves around the space.
To further transform the cabin, Umbilical will add mood lighting and integrate some kind of scent design. These elements might also be used to give information. For example, instead of a pilot’s voice announcing when periods of weightlessness will begin, a change in sound or lighting might cue guests to prepare. The design studio believes that zero gravity should affect the way we live, and refers to designs used in our homes as “terrestrial applications”.
Xero has three flights planned for 2005–in February, July, and October–each holding 12 passengers.