After US Airways and America West merged, the new leadership at US Airways (now in charge at American) removed power ports from the airline’s family of narrowbody Airbus aircraft (A319/A320/A321).
US Airways used to offer inflight power on these domestic aircraft, but management decided that doing so was too costly (the systems are heavy and burn fuel).
We find ourselves in a world where power on long flights is more important than ever – with inflight wireless internet, bringing your own entertainment, and Android smart phones that really need to manage longer battery life – and US Airways doesn’t offer it while competitors do.
So what’s to be done? Look to science!
A Stanford researcher has discovered a way to charge devices deep within living bodies, potentially opening the gates to embedded sensors and “microimplants” that weren’t possible before.
More immediately, the development, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, promises pacemakers, nerve stimulators and other existing medical devices that can be smaller, longer-lasting and implanted more deeply within the brain and body.
Currently, many of these devices run on big, long-lasting batteries that still eventually die, generally requiring another round of surgery. Others are equipped with rechargeable batteries that require large receiving coils on the implant (at least a centimeter in diameter) that strictly limit where and how they can be used.
The new approach, dubbed “mid-field wireless transfer,” could allow doctors to rely more on electronics and less on drugs to treat various diseases, according to the researchers.
Good news for Doug Parker & Co! They may not need to make capital investments, after all.