The year 2019 was another year of high drama in the world of aviation. It was a record year for bankruptcies, as travel giant Thomas Cook went bust, and close to 20 other airlines besides.
There were dangerous times for Boeing, with its 737 max grounded since March after being involved in 2 fatal air crashes.
New mega-airports opened around the world, with Singapore’s Jewel Changi airport — complete with indoor waterfall — the most spectacular of all. More flights were taken than ever before, and the business faced a shortage of both pilots and airport slots.
Here is a look back at some of the best moments in 2019 for aviation
A new era of ultra-long-haul for aviation flights
In November, an experimental analysis flight operated by Australian airline Qantas flew nonstop from London to Sydney, smashing 2 aviation records.
Flight QF7879 became the world’s longest passenger flight by a commercial airline both for distance, at 17,800 kilometers (about 11,060 miles), and for a period in the air, at 19 hours and 19 minutes.
The achievement could facilitate introduce a new generation of ultra-long-haul flights in the near aviation future. That will directly connect Sydney with destinations across Europe and the united states.
The ‘world’s best airport’ got even better
Following four years of construction, Singapore’s long-awaited Jewel Changi airport officially opened in April.
Featuring a dramatic, doughnut-shaped exterior framed in steel and glass. The 135,700-square-meter (around 1.46 million sq. feet) area may be a multi-use complex designed to attach 3 of Changi Airport’s four terminals.
The star attraction is the 40-meter-tall (around one hundred thirty feet) HSBC Rain Vortex. Which cascades through a large oculus in the middle of Jewel and is billed as the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
The airport — frequently voted the “world’s best aviation airport”. It become so popular that in September the Singapore police force issued a warning to residents. To not “misuse” their boarding passes once a man was arrested for purchasing a ticket simply to walk his wife to the gate.
Anyone caught accessing the gate-side areas at Changi without intending to fly faces fines of up to S$20,000 (US$14,300) or a two-year sentence.
New airports, from Beijing to Berlin
China’s new mega-airport, the $11.5 billion Beijing Daxing International airport. Styled by the late architect Zaha Hadid and her Chinese partners with a striking starfish design, opened in September.
Construction started in May on a brand new international airport at the mouth of Peru’s Sacred Valley, home to the mountaintop citadel of Machu Picchu. The project has sparked opposition from those involved concerning the impact on the surrounding landscape.
A new $3.9 billion Delta terminal was disclosed at New York’s unloved LaGuardia airport, once compared by U.S.A. presidential hopeful Joe Biden to a “third-world country.”
And finally, after a nine-year delay, more than eight billion euros and thousands of complaints about the budget and construction. Berlin Brandenburg airport willy Brandt eventually announced an opening date: October 2020.
Airbus, alongside its design partner Safran, picked up a Crystal Cabin Award for its plans to create sleeper berths on its jets. For passengers who don’t mind sleeping within the cargo area. The passenger modules are going to be on the market to airlines by 2021.
Aviointeriors premiered the third iteration of the notorious Skyrider 2.0, a stand-up airplane seat on which passengers perch as if on a bicycle. Once we reported on it in April, the makers were still waiting on their first order from an airline.
Delta Air Lines reduced the recline of its airplane seats by two inches, in an attempt to enhance customer satisfaction and reduce in-air squabbles.
Colorado-based startup Molon Labe Seating disclosed its answer to the issue of the unpopular middle seat: 3 economy seats in a staggered layout, putting the middle seat slightly behind the aisle and window seats, and at a slightly lower height.
Molon Labe Seating’s hank Scott said that the seats should be on the market on two airlines — one North American — by Spring 2020.
Boeing and Airbus
In January, Boeing unveiled its transonic Truss-Braced Wing concept, an extremely thin, folding wing with an extended span of 170 feet that, it says, can provide unprecedented aerodynamic efficiency.
The Boeing 777X made its muted debut in March, overshadowed by the grounding of the Boeing 737 max once the craft was involved in two fatal crashes. By year-end, there was no end in sight for the crisis, with the company suspending production of the jets in December.
In February, aviation fans around the world were shocked at the news that airbus was ceasing production of the A380, the world’s largest-ever passenger airplane. It plans to deliver the last of the superjumbo craft in 2021.
In June, airbus disclosed designs for the A321XLR — an aircraft it claims will be the world’s “longest-range single-aisle airliner.” It’s set to be rolled out in 2023.
Airbus additionally revealed a plane with flapping wings inspired by the albatross. The Albatross One, a model based on the A321, is constructed from carbon-fiber and glass-fiber-reinforced polymers and has “semi-aeroelastic” hinged wing-tips. It’s currently in the testing stage.