Airbus Is Making Beds for Economy Fliers—in the Cargo Hold

If you’ve seen old-timey photos of aviation in the early decades of the jet age and wondered where all the glamour went, you’ve been flying economy. When airlines change the back of the plane, it’s usually to pack in more passengers or install something you can give them money to enjoy. For those who turn left as they board, life aloft is swankier than ever.

But last week at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, economy fliers got a bit of good, if not quite glamorous, news. One of the world’s largest plane builders, Airbus, and cabin builder Zodiac Aerospace are going to start building beds for hire. Full-size, lay-out-flat beds—no business or first-class ticket required.

In an environment as cramped as a plane cabin, Zodiac’s designers had to go downstairs, into the cargo hold, to find extra space. Airlines buying certain planes from Airbus will soon be able to order new “passenger modules,” the exact size and shape of a cargo container. They can slot them into the belly of large planes, just like they load your luggage, in a large metal bin. They can also pull them out again for shorter flights or when they need more cargo space.

Inside, these modules look like a cross between an old fashioned sleeper train and an upscale, minimalist hostel. The surfaces are all finished in glossy white, with subtle lighting along the ceiling and floor. It looks like curtains could be added for privacy. This place isn’t for the claustrophobic: There are no windows, and the beds are narrow and stacked two high.

Putting people in the cargo hold (which, yes, is heated) isn’t as crazy or as novel as it sounds. Large airliners like the A330 and A380 already have bunks downstairs, where crew members can rest on long flights. On the A380 super-jumbo, the bunks are stacked three high, and accessed via a steep set of space-saving stairs. Boeing typically tucks its crew beds in a narrow space above the passenger compartment, with a ladder hidden behind what looks like a bathroom door. Pilots often have their own beds too, either in the cockpit or nearby.

on bing
on front page
on the main page
on yahoo
one-time offer
original site
our site
our website
over at this website
over here
pop over here
pop over to these guys
pop over to this site
pop over to this web-site
pop over to this website
published here
read full article
read full report
read here
read more
read more here
read moreÂ…
read review
read the article
read the full info here
read this
read this article
read this post here
read what he said
recommended reading
recommended site
recommended you read
redirected here
related site
right here
secret info
see here
see here now
see it here
see page
see post
see this
see this here
see this page
see this site
see this website
she said
site web
sneak a peek at these guys
sneak a peek at this site
sneak a peek at this web-site
sneak a peek at this web-site.
sneak a peek at this website
sneak a peek here
sources tell me
speaking of
special info
straight from the source
such a good point
super fast reply
take a look at the site here
talking to
talks about it
that guy
the advantage
the full details
the full report
the original source
their explanation
their website
these details
they said
this article
this contact form
this content

These spaces are always a little cramped, but still offer the allure of lying down flat. So it makes sense that Airbus thinks its airline customers will want to make more beds available to more people, for a price. Airbus says they’ll be aimed at economy-class passengers, who would still have to spend takeoff and landing in a regular seat—the sort that’s been through extensive crash testing. But during a flight, fliers could rent a bunk, presumably for less than the price of a lie-flat business-class seat, and get some proper rest. On very long flights of 12 hours or more, airlines could rent them for half a flight, change the bedding, and then give someone else a chance.

If the concept works, and airlines find ways to use the bunks to make money without robbing too much cargo space, bunks could be just the beginning. Airbus also showed plans for a lounge, a conference room, a medical suite, and a kids play zone, all to be slotted into the cargo hold. One day, the entire plane could feature swappable modules instead of permanent, regular seats. Airbus’ Silicon Valley outpost, A3, tested hot-swappable cabin module concepts with cafés or spin-class bikes inside. But putting those into production would require extensive modifications to the whole airframe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.