Don’t you hate it when you’re on a flight, you’re about to either a) fall asleep or b) open one of those little drink cups, and without warning you hit a pocket of turbulence and everything goes ass up?
WELL, turbulence could very much be a thing of the past, with news that Boeing are developing a way for planes to monitor for upcoming turbulent conditions using lasers. YES. LASERS.
As reported by Wired, the way it works is a lidar laser (not one that will zap birds out of the sky, don’t worry) shines out of the nose of the plane, and essentially detects any clear-air turbulence – the kind that has injured over 40 passengers in the last year.
It’ll apparently pick up changes in the flight path up to 17kms ahead, which is about one minute’s flight time, and is enough time for the cabin crew to alert a warning to passengers, and hunker down for the upcoming rough patch.
The aircraft giant will be testing the new laser plane (that’s its name now, for I have said so) from next year, and hell, maybe I’ll never have to be horrified by stories of watching a flight attendant’s pot noodle hit the ceiling of the plane in a pocket of unexpected turbulence ever again.
Smooth sailing from here on in, folks. Hopefully.