A round of golf at 35,000ft - welcome to future of air travel

A FUTURISTIC concept of air travel in which passengers will be able to gaze up at sunny or starry skies through a transparent cabin, or play virtual golf, was presented by Airbus in London last night.

The concept cabin for travellers in 2050 would be a bionic structure that mimics the efficiency of bird bone.

It would provide strength where needed, and also allows for an "intelligent" cabin wall membrane which controls air temperature and can become transparent to give passengers open, panoramic views.

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Showing off its concept cabin, Airbus also said that mid-century passengers will be able to take part in interactive conferences, while the cabin "identifies and responds" to travellers' needs.

The cabin of the future follows last year's unveiling of the Airbus concept plane, packed with technology to reduce fuel- burn, emissions, waste and noise.

In the cabin concept, new personalised zones replace the traditional cabin classes.

The "vitalising zone" helps passengers relax, with vitamin and antioxidant-enriched air, mood lighting, aromatherapy and acupressure treatments.

In the "interactive zone" there are virtual pop-up projections taking passengers to whichever social scene they want to be in, from holographic gaming to virtual changing rooms for active shoppers.

The "smart tech zone" is tailored towards the more functional-orientated passenger with what Airbus describes as "a chameleon-style offering, to meet individual needs".

Airbus engineering executive vice-president Charles Champion said: "Passengers of 2050 will expect a seamless travel experience while also caring for the environment.

"The concept cabin is designed with that in mind."

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