Passenger safety pods

Landon Tinder had a plan to make air travel safer by putting passengers inside near-indestructible pods. The plane could crash and the pods, he claimed, would survive.

Details from the Chicago Tribune (Aug 27, 1989):

Tinder has a grand plan to replace standard airline seats with a string of compartments—each containing two to eight fortified seats—that can endure the impact, heat and smoke of almost any airline crash...

Each of Tinder's "passenger pods" would be equipped with its own airtight door, crash bag, cooling system, shock-absorbent shell and oxygen supply.

In the event of a crash or terrorist threat, the pod would seal itself off and the air bag would engage—all in two to three seconds. The 5-inch-thick honeycomb shell of aluminum, fiberglass and titanium could withstand temperatures up to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 20 minutes. If the plane crashes in water, the pod would float.

"The aircraft around it can perish; this will stand strong," Tinder said.

Why the airlines didn't like his idea:

It is the economic consideration that prompts some people to quickly dismiss Tinder's Aeronautical Life Protecting Security System (ALPS for short) as an ornately packaged pipe dream...

At $40,000 a seat, airlines would have to pay about $2 million to fit each plane with ALPS containers. More importantly, the system would reduce each plane's seating capacity by 19 to 28 percent—a proposition that makes industry analysts profoundly skeptical.

"It would ruin the operating economics of every known airline," said Paul Turk of AV-MARK, a consulting firm specializing in airline economics.

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Aug 7, 1989

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 11, 2024
     Category: Air Travel and Airlines | 1980s


Rules for posting: 1) No spam. 2) Don't be a jerk.