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Flying opens up a whole new world for people. It is a way to explore different places and experience a diversity of cultures. For some, flying is an exhilarating adventure – from being in the plane, suspended 39,000 feet off of the ground, to the anticipation that builds as you approach your destination. For some, however, flying can be a rather intimidating experience, especially in light of recent security and safety issues.

Aviation has always been an industry that is directly affected by technological advancements. Without these advancements, flying would never have morphed into what it is today. The goal is to make aviation as efficient, as sustainable, and as safe as possible. While the industry has come closer to this than it has ever been before, it still has a long way to go.

Here is what we have to look forward to in the near future as technology continues to mature:

A focus on fuel efficiency.

Like any mode of transportation, flying is not without its flaws, specifically its effects on the environment. Airplanes are responsible for producing a significant amount of CO2 and NOx and, because they travel at such a high altitude, their emissions are even more dangerous. In an effort to reduce these dangers, NASA is currently in the process of developing new wings that were designed to better fuel efficiency and, therefore, eliminate as many emissions that are being leaked into the air.

Implementing 3D printing.

3D printing has been utilized in a variety of industries, but who would have thought that one day we would be able to 3D print the parts of a plane? This innovative technology not only reduces the costs associated with building planes and replacing parts, but these parts are also 30-55 percent lighter than traditional parts.

Virtual reality pilot training.

The creation and implementation of virtual reality has also opened up opportunities for a range of industries. For the aviation industry, virtual reality is being used to help train pilots. Singapore Technologies Engineering recently featured a virtual reality headset that allows pilots-in-training to practice flying in a virtual cockpit. This will decrease the costs associated with training and will, hopefully, encourage more people to pursue a career as a pilot.

It will be exciting to see how these technological advancements will continue to change the way we fly. And as technology continues to move forward even more in the future, we will have even more changes to look forward to.