Airplane Modules

Back in the 1980s, FAA scientist Albert Lupinetti imagined a future in which airplanes would be divided up into modules, or small pods. Instead of passengers changing planes to get to their destination, their module would be transferred onto a new plane. And the modules could even be placed onto trains, allowing transport from the airport straight to a downtown train station — without passengers ever leaving their seats.

I can imagine this might work for cargo. But as a passenger, sitting in a pod for hours on end... I'd pass.

Calgary Herald - Dec 30, 1988

     Posted By: Alex - Sun May 23, 2021
     Category: Air Travel and Airlines | 1980s

I mean... in theory... yes, possibly.

In practice, it'd just split along the seams and crash into the sea in slices. Never mind who or what might be inside, it'd just pretend to be slices of tuna.
Posted by Richard Bos on 05/23/21 at 08:50 AM
It reminds me of the big rocket that carried all the animal life away from Earth used in the film "Sky Captain and the World Of Tomorrow." All that's missing is a faded, jerky recording of Laurence Olivier.
Posted by KDP on 05/23/21 at 11:41 AM
"Pod sizes would vary" tells me they don't know what they're talking about. Efficient intermodal use dictates one standardized size/shape/attachment points. Some years ago, I learned getting a shipment in a 1-TEU container (8'x8.5'x20') could be more expensive than in a 2-TEU (8'x8.5'x40') because although two 1-TEUs could be loaded onto a railcar or flatbed, it meant extra sorting, and they often had to ride alone, incurring full cost for half the capacity.
Posted by Phideaux on 05/23/21 at 01:52 PM
This concept still pops up from time to time:
Posted by Brian on 05/23/21 at 08:04 PM
If I'm not conflating two issues, I think a set of modules for transporting people or cargo was proposed (prototyped?) for the Sikorsky CH-54 in the 1960s. That's a tough, reliable, and proven platform. If the pod concept didn't work with that, there's probably something intrinsically wrong with the concept.
Posted by Phideaux on 05/24/21 at 01:55 AM
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