It looks like airline manufacturers like Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, bombardier, and many others which will be on the market soon such as the Chinese newest copy cat airliner which looks like a DC-9 or 727 hybrid are all building very similar aircraft. Even Boeing's new 787 although it is revolutionary in many regards because it is made entirely out of composite, still looks the same as a normal aircraft. Sure, it has tweaks and design efficiencies here and there, but aerodynamically speaking it looks to be an incremental change.
The lightweight structure improves efficiency, fuel economy, and therefore makes it the better aircraft, but it also costs significantly more and there before it will affect the purchasing airline's return on investment even though it will certainly make it up and fuel over time. Also, it is not a very large aircraft, like a wide-body 747, and although it has long-range, better speed, and super materials it is only part of the new wave of the future of aerospace.
In the future new materials will change everything, wing spars and ribs will no longer be anywhere near what they are today, and with shape shifting materials there is no reason to keep the same shape through the flight. All the mechanical controls are will no longer be needed in the future, because the wings will be able to bend and change the airflow for pitch, roll, and yaw. Instead of mechanical flaps and slats, the wing will re-contour itself for a landing configuration, or a super cruise configuration.
As the fuel gets used, and the fuel tanks become empty – the aircraft can shrink in size, and restreamline itself for better aerodynamics. The aircraft design and look of today will be changed in the future to blended wings, and other innovative designs which may be 30% more efficient than they are today. Couple that with the new materials, and you may end up with airliners which are 50% more efficient than today. This means they will use less fuel, carry more weight, and have far better range. This means a lower pollution footprint as well, and quieter to boot.
It also will bring down the cost of air travel, which every airline passenger could enjoy. But it's not just for airliners, because in the future space craft will also have these attributes and abilities. In fact, the airlines of the future may climb up outside the Earth's atmosphere and you'll be able to reach your destination anywhere in the world within about an hour and a half or less. That's right, New York to China in just over an hour. Please consider all this.