Luxist Crystal Ball: Wings 2006
On the flip side are the little planes: the Eclipse, the Mustang, the Adam A700, and the Javelin are just some of the planes we have been tracking and which should end up taking to the skies in large numbers in 2006. Because many of these planes are geared for short distances we could see a rise in air taxi services and private ownership. There has already been an increase in private plane clubs. Fractional ownership, which we noticed was big last year, has increased even more and we have also seen the rise of fractional clubs for those who are interested in being pilots instead of passengers (a trend born out by celebrities likeAngelina Jolie taking to the skies). All this small jet activity has also led to the rise of more and more private airports, posh private hangars with amenities that resemble boutique hotels and even homes which are designed so that you can park your plane in the driveway.
What's in the future? As we've seen by the latest moves from Richard Branson and Virgin Galatic space flight is definitely on tap for the next few years. "Space tourism" is currently still pricey but it is expected that the prices will fall eventually. And with the creation of the Rocket Racing League, we may well have NASCAR in the skies. But what I am really excited about for next year is the VTOL, that is the Vertical Take Off and Landing vehicles. The most-talked about is the Moller Skycar which made the pages of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book this season but there are other vehicles such as the Bell/Augusta "impossicopter" and the Carter Copter that offer the advantages of a plane and a helicopter. And NASA is still offering that $250,000 prize for a flying car. Could this be the year of the flying car? Let me know your predictions for 2006 in the skies.