Airbus Patents Modular, Detachable Airplane Cabins
According to the Air Transport Association, airlines are currently pocketing an average of $8.27 per passenger, a value which seems to be hard to believe despite the price of a plane ticket. In efforts to maximize profit in the difficult airline business, leading airplane manufacturers have been contemplating several interesting ideas. For Airbus Group, one of their interesting ideas which they recently received a United States patent on is for turn cabins: detachable modules in which the passengers sit, enabling the mixing and matching of cabins and airplanes. Airbus believes that this will enable operators to save a substantial amount of time and money.
Here is how the detachable cabins work: passengers climb aboard the detached cabin, rather than boarding a whole plane. The detached cabin is then suspended at the gate in a dock on crane-like arms. Instead of having the airplane wait around for passengers to get settled, the rest of the plane can receive a mechanical check or get more fuel while passengers find their seats and arrange their carry-ons. Boarding the detached cabin would also be a lot easier as the cabin floor would be flush with the floor at the gate.
"Transfer of passengers, luggage or freight can thus be accomplished optimally, and in particular without using a staircase or a lift or elevator,"
the patent filing read.
This detached design would also affect airports, as waiting areas at gates would hardly be useful at all since passengers would directly seat themselves in the cabin module. The cockpit would be attached directly onto the plane itself so that the pilots could maneuver the aircraft while on the ground as well.
Though as with many other far-fetched patents, this one may never come to fruition. Airplane redesigns typically take several years, especially for such drastic changes as this proposed plan.
"We do this to protect our ideas, but many of these never actually develop beyond concept stages,"
said Airbus head of media relations, Robert Gage.
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