Today is National Aviation Day, a holiday established by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939 to honor Orville Wright’s birthday. We all know the Wright brothers as pioneers of flight and underdogs who, through sheer perseverance and ingenuity, made man’s eternal wish to soar through the clouds a reality.

This historic triumph turned them into icons of both innovation and motivation – two concepts that we really value at Nexus IT! When you specialize in technology that propels businesses to new heights, it’s hard not to give a nod to the Wright brothers.

That being said, aviation has come a long way since the bicycle-part contraptions of the 1900s – and thankfully so, since so many of us traverse the skies for both work and pleasure. Unbelievable levels of comfort and convenience are now readily available on most flights, and air travel has never been more safe and reliable.

Amazing progress, but what’s really interesting is what lies ahead. The near future of aviation is looking very bright, and we decided that today was a good day to share some cool innovations that are soon to hit the skyways:

Eco-Friendly Flights

We’ve all seen the progress being made with greener cars and trucks (hello, Tesla Model S!), but did you know that the aviation industry has been advancing their tech in this arena as well?

In 2016, the electric Solar Impulse craft flew around the world on sun power, paving the way for future aircraft to be powered by renewable energy. While solar-powered planes are a long way from commercial deployment, battery power is not out of reach. A battery-powered commercial airplane is currently being developed by Zanum Aero (backed by Boeing and JetBlue Ventures) with a working prototype scheduled as early as 2020.

Private Jet Ridesharing

The idea behind this is simple: Uber for private jets. Democratization of luxury flights makes sense – private jets are part of a 40-billion-dollar industry that services only 150,000 customers. Companies such as Freshjets and Ubair have been trying to capitalize on this fact since 2012, but a more recent entry, JetSmarter, is changing the entire game by offering scheduled flights throughout Europe for as little as $5000 a year.

Smart Seats and In-flight Apps

Smartphones have steadily changing how we interact with the world around us. Thanks to innovative apps and “smart” airplane cabins, traveling by air is no exception. Boeing has been blazing the trail for about a year now with its experimental vCabin app.

Using this application, travelers can call for a flight attendant, adjust the ambient lighting, and even check to see if the restroom is occupied, all from their smartphone.

Higher Altitudes

Recent news stories about hotels in space and leisure cruises to lunar orbit have everyone in a science fiction mindset, but one of Richard Branson’s lofty ideas is likely to become a reality in the near future. Virgin Galactic’s ultra-high-altitude flights may be skimming the top of the ozone layer very soon, taking advantage of the low drag and advantageous gravitation forces found there. This will mean lower fuel consumption and faster travel, with Branson speculating that a flight from London to Sydney would clock in at two hours.

Amazing Materials

A cutting-edge material known as graphene is making its way into the aviation sector. A sheet of this material can be as thin as a single atom and virtually weightless, making it a strong candidate for use in applications where carbon fiber and fiberglass are currently employed.

We hope you enjoyed reading about these awesome aviation innovations! Of course, technology advances so quickly these days that it’s almost impossible to predict what the future will actually bring. We’ll apologize in advance for the pun, but we would be remiss not to say that “the sky’s the limit!”