Aerospace & Defense

Airbus Files Patent Application for Flying Colossus

Airbus Axxx 2-decker
Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
In a patent application filed last month with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Airbus has one-upped its own giant A380 model with a double-decked plane that tries to address a couple the objections that have kept the A380 from being a bigger seller. The company has included drawings for four different “embodiments” of the new plane.

The text accompanying the drawings indicates that Airbus also wants to build an airplane that can address a variety of potential customers. The current version of the A380 is too big for many airports and the plane’s two decks require specialized gateways to get passengers on and off the plane.

Airbus has been considering a stretched version of the plane to add up to 60 seats to the plane’s already huge capacity of 555 seats. The single largest customer for the plane is Emirates, which has ordered 140 more to add to its current fleet of more than 60, and which has been trying to persuade Airbus to put a new engine on the plane and add capacity as well. The aircraft maker has said it will not re-engine the current A380, even though Emirates says it would buy even more planes.

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Another change from the current A380 is the plane’s ability to be configured with more or less space for passengers and cargo, depending on an airline’s requirements. Here is how this is described:

The flexibility of the split between passengers and cargo compartments … is ensured by the partition wall … that can be installed at different positions along the fuselage axis depending on the airline’s needs. As the floors … are flat and continuous there is a total flexibility from the front end sections … to the rear end section ….

Because most passenger flights also carry freight, being able to add more freight if the passenger compartment is not full could be a big selling point for the plane.

More detail and drawings are available from FreshPatents. Here’s one embodiment including in the filing.

Airbus Axxx 2-decker
Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

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