AIA Predicts Flying Air Taxis, Supersonic Air Travel, and Space Industry for 2050

(Image courtesy: Aerospace Industries Association)

Arlington, Virginia-based Aerospace Industries Association  (AIA) has collected input from leaders in the aerospace and defense industries and built a visionary landscape – or “skyscape” – for 2050 full of personal air mobility vehicles and flying air taxis, supersonic passenger aircraft, and bustling, space-based research and manufacturing companies.

In the “What’s Next for Aerospace and Defense: A Vision for 2050 ” study, AIA, New York City-based McKinsey & Company , and other industry partners reveal a comprehensive 30-year, Industry 4.0 forecast of air travel and spaceflight based on improvements in automation and digitization, next-generation materials, alternative energy sources and storage, and increased data throughput.

“For the last 100 years, the American aerospace and defense industry has shaped the world around us, and AIA has worked alongside our members to enable those remarkable achievements,” says AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning. “Developing ‘Vision 2050’ to mark our centennial is the next logical step in that progression. This report doesn’t just look at the next thirty years, it sets the stage for the next hundred years of American leadership.”

The projection includes extensive leveraging of artificial intelligence (AI) systems to enable unmanned traffic management – effectively reducing the need for humans to operate or navigate vehicles. This will likely have a dramatic impact on cyber security resources and workforce development, including cross-industry competition as various sectors converge towards an environment of algorithms, AI, autonomy, machine learning, and quantum computing.

William Kucinski  is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.

Contact him regarding any article or collaboration ideas by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..