Setting aside conventional methods in favor of newer, cutting-edge techniques, the Airbus A380 has eschewed hand-crafted parts in favor of components produced by 3-D printers.
Considering the money, lives and components that are at stake during the flight of a modern airplane, it's important that the construction process ensures the safety and infallibility of each piece. At this point, and considering recent tragedies, relying on humans to build the nuts and bolts of an Airbus seems illogical. Embracing the future and its benefits, the newest Airbus A380's construction is almost entirely automated, with parts being produced by laser-etching printers. These new components are not only more detailed, but lighter and stronger than human alternatives!
In the past five years, we've seen self-piloting planes. Today, we witness the emergence of self-assembling planes. Don't say I didn't warn you when SkyNet finally takes over!
3-D Printed Airplanes
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Virtual Fantasy Aircrafts
Classless Plane Concepts (UPDATE)
Ultra Light Aircraft Seats