Plastic planes will allow airlines to increase cabin pressure

A FELLOW Gulliver, cheery chap that he is, kicked off the new year explaining why 2017 might be even worse for business travellers than the year we have just put behind us. The reasons are largely geopolitical: the fallout from Brexit, the uncertainty surrounding soon-to-be-President Donald Trump, the likely rise in oil prices, the Chinese economic slowdown and the threat of terror. But there’s one trend that could have a pleasant effect on travel, making flying more comfortable despite efforts by airlines to pack passengers in tighter and charge for the most basic amenities. No doubt you’ve beaten me to it: carbon-reinforced plastic composites.

Much of the discomfort of flying—whether reclining in a private first-class suite or jammed into coach—comes from two factors: air pressure and humidity. At 35,000 feet, the air pressure outside an aeroplane is extremely low, so the cabin is pressurised to bring it to a level closer to what we experience on the ground. The trouble is that lowering it all the way to sea-level pressure would put tremendous strain on the body of the plane, which would…Continue reading

from Business and finance

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