European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has last month patented designs for a range of new super-size aircraft.
These patents revolve around a series of double-decker plane designs which would be the largest aircraft ever made by the company, should they be put into production.
Primarily, the patents filed propose ways to solve many of the current problems plaguing the company’s underperforming A380 jet.
One of these problems is that the A380 is too long for many runways, making it a less attractive purchase. The new designs proposed in the Airbus patents solve this problem by adding more vertical height to aircraft’s fuselage, while reducing its horizontal length.
The result of this is an odd, ‘squashed’ looking airplane that is a radical departure from traditional passenger aircraft designs.
Airbus claims that the new designs would also allow for fast embarking and disembarking for passengers from the aircraft.
“…the lower deck is located at a height from the ground that allows carrying out passenger embarking/disembarking autonomously without any specific airport ground equipment,” the company writes in its design patent.
Another problem addressed by the new aircraft is efficient cargo management.
“…in classical commercial aircraft configurations with an upper deck dedicated almost exclusively to carrying passengers and a lower hold only dedicated to cargo transportation it is not possible, for example, to use the empty cargo space to carry more passengers on a flight with no or little cargo being transported,” Airbus explains.
One of the new designs outlined in the patent, calls for an upper deck which is exclusively for passenger use, and a lower deck which can be used both for passengers or cargo storage dependant on demand.
In total Airbus proposed 4 different plane designs based on this new overall aircraft architecture.
Some of these designs feature an overhanging wing similar to early passenger floatplanes, while others feature a more traditional under-fuselage wing placement.
It is so far unclear when or if Airbus plans to begin the lengthy design and production process of any of these new designs.