To celebrate its centenary British Airways is launching BA 2119: Flight of the Future, a first-of-its-kind exhibition looking ahead to the next 100 years of flying and imagining what that may look like.
The exhibition will be open throughout August, British Airways’ birthday month, and is based on in-depth global research commissioned by the airline to identify what aviation could look like in 20 years, 40 years, 60 years and beyond.
BA 2119: Flight of the Future, in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, seeks to push the boundaries of imagination and explore how future generations will circumvent the globe in a world of advanced jet propulsion, hyper personalisation, automation, AI, modular transport, sustainability, health and entertainment.
Set to take place at Saatchi Gallery in London, forty postgraduate students from the Royal College of Art have been working on the project to imagine the future of flight in both digital and physical form. Exploring trends and drivers from the research commissioned by British Airways through respected insights organisation, Foresight Factory, the students are looking at the future through three lenses; aircraft, experience and people. The exhibition acknowledges that the desire and ability to travel is set to grow and focuses on sustainability and technology to drive change.
Alongside the installations will be a one-of-a-kind, full motion, virtual reality experience charting the history of flying and looking forward to the future for visitors who purchase tickets in advance.
Named Fly, it is an interactive, full motion, multisensory experience that traces humankind’s relationship to flying. Built by award winning VR creators and an Oscar-winning practical effects team, Fly enables visitors to become a time-travelling pilot, from the earliest imaginings of Leonard da Vinci and his ornithopter, to the Wright Brothers’ success on Kitty Beach, to that first inaugural passenger flight to Paris. Users will experience Concorde, the brand new A350 and the imagined flight of future. The main Fly experience is set on a large motion platform.
Alex Cruz, British Airways Chairman and CEO, said: “To mark our centenary, we’ve been reflecting on our past and thanking our customers for making us the airline we are today. 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. Our BA 2119: Flight of the Future exhibition explores what the customer experience of the future will look like, pushing the boundaries of imagination and exploring how we, and future generations, will travel the globe.”
Dr. Ashley Hall, Professor of Design Innovation in the School of Design at the Royal College of Art, said: “British Airways’ BA 2119: Flight of the Future exhibition brings together some of the Royal College of Art’s brightest minds across a range of nationalities and creative disciplines, including Intelligent Mobility, Textiles and Innovation Engineering Design, with aviation experts to explore the future of flying.
“Working with British Airways, we’ve applied design research and innovation thinking to develop this inspirational exhibition. We hope to show a few surprises for what might be in store for travellers over the next 100 years to map out the future of flight.”
The installations and virtual reality experience will be on display at Saatchi Gallery from August 1 to August 26, 2019. Entry to the exhibition is free but tickets for the virtual reality experience can be purchased from www.ba.com/ba2119 .
For the launch of the exhibition the airline is inviting leading futurists, designers and aviation specialists to join Chairman and CEO, Alex Cruz, for a panel discussion to explore the travel experience over the next 100 years.
British Airways is also hosting a range of activities and events throughout the year to mark its 100th birthday. As well as the exhibition, the airline is exploring the future of sustainable aviation fuels and the aviation careers of the future.