From wacky middle seat designs to an airplane that stacks passengers on top of each other, 2015 has been quite a year for flying. While some of these ideas never made it past paper, there's no denying that people (and designers) have big hopes for the future of air travel. Ahead, some of our favorite innovations from the past year.

By Erika Owen
Updated March 21, 2016
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Zodiac Aerospace

1

As if the middle seat could get any worse, this beehivesque design from Zodiac Aerospace faces passengers toward each other. What the means: it's practically impossible to hide the gorgeous mid-sleep gape.

United States Patent and Trademark Office

2

This design falls under those "big hopes" mentioned above. Airbus came up with a plan for a detachable cabin that allows airlines to board an entire plane full of passengers before the aircraft even arrives.

Marisa Garcia

3

This staggered seat design from Thompson Aero Seating would actually made the middle seat (slightly) more bearable. Here's top hoping something like this sees the light of day in 2016!

B/E Aerospace

4

Lovers of first class will eat up this "corner office" design from B/E Aerospace. The best part? It has a lie-flat bed. Swoon.

B/E Aerospace

5

Continuing in the slightly-wacky airplane seat design, this idea puts all of the cabin seats on a wheel system that's controlled by remote. The real downfall: passenger height is a real factor—this might mean more leg room for taller passengers, but shorter flyers will surely pay the price.

Emirates

6

Emirates' new Airbus 380 packs 615 passengers into one aircraft. Remarkably, no one loses any legroom—but that's only because the brand took out its entire first class seating area.

Airbus Patent

7

Arguably, this might be the worst airplane seat design ever—mainly because it physically stacks passengers on top of each other. Just think of the potential "complimentary beverage" spills.

Windspeed Technologies via YouTube

8

Those tiny airplane windows just don't cut it when you're looking for an in-flight view. The 'SkyDeck' from Windspeed Technologies would allow passengers (two at a time) to occupy a small viewing area at the top of the airplane. Talk about an Instagram opp.

Corbis

9

This airplane design is all about convenience, in that its ability to take-off and land vertically would make it possible to pick passengers up just about anywhere.

Mark Meyers

10

A former Air Force pilot crowdfunded his way to creating an exact replica of Ettore Buggati's 100P airplane. The original never made its maiden flight, but Scott Wilson got his in the air with a creative dual-engine design featuring cocentric propellers.

Matthew B. Thompson

11

It was a big year for 'Star Wars' on the big screen and in the skies. ANA sent an airplane themed after the blockbuster into the air on its maiden voyage from Haneda Airport to Vancouver back in October.

Courtesy of FactoryDesign

12

The Twister Seat does exactly what you'd think it would: twists around as your move your body. Talk about a feature that could make the middle seat just a little bit more enjoyable.