Airbus Thinks Big With Its ‘Transpose’ Aircraft Concept
Airbus’ freshly announced modular cabin concept, “Transpose,” could not only make the loading/unloading process of an airplane much faster, but it could also reintroduce glamour and comfort to air travel.
Transpose breaks the body of an airplane down into identically sized, customizable sections that can be swapped out depending on the needs of an individual flight. Along with sections for seating and cargo holds, there might be a bar section or spa or even sleeping quarters. With a modular design, sections can be unloaded and swapped out between flights, allowing for more seating, entertainment, and even relaxation options for travelers.
Of course, that’s if the idea ever gets off the ground, figuratively or literally. Airbus isn’t the only company drumming up “revolutionary” reinventions of the airplane, and a lot of their peers have no plans to bring their ideas to fruition and are simply using them as sales tools, free PR, or patent protection (Airbus already has a patent for detachable airplane cabins).
There’s also the problem of airport design; most airports were built with specific aircraft in mind, and changing too much of how planes are built (and how people are loaded on and off them) may necessitate expensive remodeling projects in many of the major hubs.
But Airbus claims, according to Wired, that their Transpose idea won’t require new planes or infrastructure to implement. They want to implement Transpose on cargo planes, which already have the right hardware for modular cabins and come with a workforce that’s used to loading and unloading quickly. Not to mention, developing modular planes for airports that already meet safety and regulatory guidelines is way easier than the alternative.
And think of the many stylish possibilities. Airbus wants to partner with high-end brands to make onboard spas and coffee shops cost-effective, and that’s just for starters. They’ve laid out scenarios for individual module sponsorships, like a hotel brand offering sleeping pods or a regional fitness studio holding in-flight spin classes.
It sounds outlandish, but airlines are always trying to cut costs and increase revenue, and plane designs that offer unique sponsorship opportunities could do both. But first, Airbus has to get regulatory approval.
Below, watch a short video about how the Transpose modular cabins concept work.