It's a concept that's probably going to appeal to your inner six-year-old more than your adult self, but your future holidays may see you fly in a freaking transformer. Of sorts.
Airbus has been granted a patent on a plane concept that would have a removable, modular cabin - a bit like Thunderbird 2 (yep, we're sticking to these childhood references and there's nowt you can do about it).
The idea is that passengers could board the cabin before the plane has even arrived, allowing for a swifter turn around between arrival and departure. The patent explains that these cabins could also be modified "for transport of passengers, luggage, freight or combinations thereof" - allowing entire plane bodies to be removed and loaded onto trucks for transportation, like shipping containers.
The designs will obviously present some new, terrifying nightmares for passengers scared of flying: "What happens if the cabin module becomes unattached mid-flight?", "What happens if they put the wrong module on the wrong plane, and we're too heavy and there's not enough fuel?", "What if the module loses compression and the pilot doesn't notice?"
In each case, you'll almost certainly die. But, rest assured, this is just a concept at present, with no firm plans to build the planes in the short term. Airports would need to be constructed to work with the new design, so unless Airbus stumps up some major cash, the idea may remain just that - an idea.
[Via: The Verge]