Tag: Airbus

Airbus wants to create detachable cabins to board planes faster

Photo credit, Airbus

Airbus might have uncovered the fastest way to board a plane, and definitely the most creative.

According to Wired, Airbus recently filed a patent for a detachable cabin module complete with floor, walls, seats, and even a cargo compartment that would be lowered to the gate so that passengers could board, stow their luggage, and take their seats. Then, the compartment would be lifted and secured back in the frame of the aircraft itself.

The idea is that when the plane arrives at its destination, ground handlers would remove the compartments so that passengers can deplane and immediately reload new compartments that would already be pre-loaded with passengers and cargo.

This “aircraft pod” concept would save time on the ground and boost the amount of hours that planes could be in the sky. Since planes make no money when they are not in the air, boarding and deplaning are key elements in the effort to reduce the precious turnaround time.

Safety concerns of the individual pods are likely to pose hurdles to the idea’s implementation, as is the necessity to rebuild airports to be able to handle such a module. Of course, entirely new planes would have to be designed to handle these detachable cabins, so we doubt this will ever get off the ground. But the concept is pretty awesome.

Yan Baczkowski

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Airbus reveals idea to make airplane seating even worse: stack fliers on top of each other

screenshot of Airbus patent

Airlines have done just about everything they can to cram in more seats, and as a result we’re now at the point airplane seating has gotten so crowded that a consumer group has asked for a newPassenger Bill of Rights to set minimum airplane seat size. But more seats equal more money, and Airbus has come up with a new way to add even more seating into already limited space: do the same thing cities do when they run out of space and can no longer build across — start building up.

The plane manufacturer has filed a patent with the European Patent Office for designs. The new layout would feature a raised mezzanine for extra seating inside the cabin. If the seating plan ever comes to fruition, not only will you have someone’s seatback to worry about, you might get one more passenger coming down above you. As the patent diagrams show, you could at least have a booty hanging above your face (and what could be wrong with that?).

But don’t worry, the patent assures the new design will still provide, “a high level of comfort.”

“In the reclined lying position, the backrest portion may extend at an angle of approximately 130 to 180 relative to the seating portion. In one embodiment of the passenger seating arrangement…at least one of the first and the second seat in its reclined lying position, is provide an entirely flat supporting surface.”

screenshot of patent

Well, that does sound nice, particularly for those sitting up top — as long as they don’t mind climbing down from a glorified bunk bed every time they want to stretch their legs or use the bathroom.

This could be a significant improvement over modern-day economy. But the patent actually recommends this scheme for business class, which does make sense from an available space perspective, but it’s hard to imagine anyone who’s paid several thousand dollars for a ticket agree to be “stacked” in any way, shape or form.

How it’s all stacked remains a very open question, as the patent proposes no less than seven formations. Some look more appealing than others. Figure 10, for example, has passengers facing each other in a way that’s not totally dissimilar to the recently revealed “honeycomb” seating plan that was the subject of internet outrage.

screenshot of patent

Thankfully, the idea remains just that, according to one Airbus spokesperson, who reassured theTelegraph:

“This does not mean they are necessarily going to be adopted into an aircraft design. This preserves the innovation and idea.”

For now we’ll just hope Airbus adopts one of these innovative ideas instead.