Airbus modular airplane cabins detailed in new patent

A new Airbus patent has cropped up showing a new type of modular aircraft with cabins that are detachable and that essentially slot into the plane via a docking module of some sort. Each of these modular aircraft could then serve multiple purposes rather than one, and airlines could reduce down time by loading and unloading passengers in these modular cabins rather than directly in the aircraft itself.

The idea is a little hard to grasp, as Airbus uses a lot of general and broad language in its patent. It seems, however, the company has two ideas for how these modules could work. The first is to enable an aircraft to serve multiple purposes; freight modules could be inserted for use as freight plane, then removed and replaced with passenger cabins for use as a passenger plane.

The cabins can also be variable. Luxury cabins, for example, could be added as needed and replaced later on with more conventional seating. That's not the best part, though, at least not for consumers.

It appears the concept would also allow for passengers to be loaded into cabin modules ahead of the aircraft's arrival. Ordinarily a plane must stay on the ground through a lengthy process that includes loading passengers, going through security checks, and more. When the plane arrives, the same long process takes place, with passengers waiting until they can unload their bags and exit the plane.

In this case, the passengers would get situated in the cabin modules that will be inserted when the plane is ready. When the aircraft arrives, the modules are removed and new loaded ones are inserted, allowing the plane to get back in the air while the last batch of passengers take their time exiting.

VIA: Gizmag