The new Emirates Dubai Panama City service will set new records this spring with its near-daylong service. But could flight times fall… eventually?
The thought of spending 17 hours 35 minutes in the air may leave even the most hardened traveller feeling, er, plane crazy, but Emirates is betting on the continued economic growth of Panama City with a daily direct return flight from Dubai.
The record-breaking 8,682-mile flight will use a fleet of Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. As the Emirates Dubai Panama crew prepares for its first passengers, here’s a look at aeronautical developments that could transform your future business flights…
Ahead by KLM
When Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands teamed up with engineers from Dutch flag carrier KLM to future-gaze, the pair came up with the Ahead (Advanced Hybrid Engine Aircraft Development) aircraft. It boasts a ‘blended wing’ that is seamlessly connected to the fuselage, and a silhouette that minimises drag and fuel use.
Expected arrival: 2050
Aerion Spike S-512
Engineers at Boston-based Spike Aerospace claim to have designed the first ‘supersonic business jet’, which could slash New York to London flight times to three hours. At 131ft long and with a 60ft wingspan it will carry 18 passengers – if anticipated manufacturing costs of between $60m (£43m) and $80m are realised.
Expected arrival: 2018
Airbus Concept Plane
When is an aeroplane not an aeroplane? When it’s an Airbus Concept Plane. Designed to remain on the drawing board, its aim is to bring together concepts that can be used on cleaner aircraft of the future. Features to improve efficiency include longer and slimmer wings, a U-shaped tail and engines at the rear of the aircraft.
Expected arrival: never
Concorde could take to the skies in three years’ time, if enthusiasts get their way. It last flew in 2003 but the Club Concorde group, made up of fans and former pilots, hopes to lease a surviving aircraft – an Air France model based in Le Bourget – to mark the 50th anniversary of Concorde’s 1969 maiden flight, after raising an initial £40m.
Expected arrival: 2019, hopefully