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Given what technology can now achieve, the enduring crapness of airplanes must serve some psychological purpose. Mustn’t it?

By Sam Leith   February 2010

In-flight graphics: a dearth of pizzazz

There are some corners of life in which—for no apparent reason other than that is how it has always been done—things are done very weirdly indeed. Having just been off on my holidays, I’ve been thinking about this in the context of aeroplane design.

I don’t mean all that nonsense with wind tunnels and aerodynamics and coefficients. Not the stuff that keeps the machine aloft. Not the physics. About that, I know bupkis. I mean the stuff that shapes your experience of flying—that gives commercial air travel its flavour. Isn’t it odd? Take the…

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