You’re a time-travelling pilot in BA’s “Fly,” an interactive, full-motion, multisensory VR experience

[If you’ll be in London in August consider booking a ticket for the presence experience described in this story from Forbes (see the original version for two more images). For information about how British Air is using virtual reality for customers at check-in desks, see a story in World Airline News. –Matthew]

[Image: How we travel, aircraft design and our relationship with air travel are the focus of a new exhibition at Saatchi’s Gallery. Credit: BA]

What Is The Future Of Aviation? Bright, Young Minds Explore The Next 100 Years

July 4, 2019
Nargess Banks, Contributor

Our desire to explore the skies is set to grow, yet sustainability and technology will be the driving forces for change. So how best to utilize advancement to enhance our flying experience? This summer, a team of young creatives will unravel the possibilities of aviation and air travel with an immersive experience taking us back to the future. “BA 2119: Flight of the Future” at the Saatchi Gallery in London looks at what aviation can look and feel like over the next 100 years.

The project is the initiative of UK’s premier commercial airline, British Airways who has teamed up with creatives from the Royal College of Art, one of the world’s leading design school, to imagine the future of flight in digital and physical form. Based on research to identify what aviation could look like in 20 years, 40 years, 60 years and beyond – the team study design and innovation themes for the next 100 years of flying. The idea is to imagine what this may look like – what are the possibilities for aircraft design and what will shape our expectations of air travel.

Forty postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines at the RCA have participated in the project. They examine how future generations will circumvent the globe in a world of advanced jet propulsion, hyper personalization, automation, artificial intelligence, modular transport, sustainability, health and entertainment. Learning from a future trends report – commissioned by BA and compiled by the insights organization Foresight Factory – the students preview the future through three lenses: aircraft, experience and people.

“The exhibition brings together some of our brightest minds across a range of nationalities and creative disciplines, including Intelligent Mobility and Textiles and Innovation Engineering Design, with aviation experts to explore the future of flying,” says Ashley Hall, professor of design innovation at the RCA. “Working with BA, we’ve applied design research and innovation thinking to develop this inspirational exhibition.”

One of the exhibition highlights is “Fly” – an interactive, full-motion, multisensory experience to trace humankind’s relationship to flying. It has been created by award-winning film and immersive director, Charlotte Mikkelborg, in a collaboration with virtual reality teams at Picture This Productions and Novelab – the Oscar-winning motion team from Moco FX, as well as a team of sensory experts from OWidgets at the University of Brighton, UK and Givaudan in Switzerland.

The main “Fly” experience is set on a large motion platform. It promises to be an exciting, full motion, virtual reality experience charting the history of aviation, as well as looking forward to the future. Visitors will become time-travelling pilots, experiencing aviation past, present and future – from the earliest imaginings of Leonardo da Vinci’s ornithopter, the Wright Brothers’ success on Kitty Beach, to the first inaugural passenger flight to Paris. You can hop on Concorde, the pioneering aircraft which remains one of the most advanced in the history of design, as well as fly the brand new A350 and the imagined flight of future.

“To mark our centenary, we’ve been reflecting on our past,” says Alex Cruz, BA chair and chief executive. “It’s down to our customers’ sense of adventure and desire to travel that we’ve grown from that first flight to Paris in August 1919 to the airline we are today. And we want to take them with us as we look forward to the next 100 years.”

Hal adds: “We hope to show a few surprises for what might be in store for travelers over the next 100 years to map out the future of flight.”

“BA 2119: Flight of the Future” will be open in August, the month BA celebrates its centenary, at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, London.


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