Aviation history is ridden with aircraft accidents that have claimed thousands of lives. In the event of an airplane crash, high casualties are almost certain. Saving passengers has been the concern of aviation engineers and companies alike. But till now, there has been no recognizable success or progress. But now it seems that saving passenger’s lives in the event of a crash could be a reality. A Ukrainian engineer has put forward an ingenious idea – a detachable cabin. In case of damage to the aircraft, the cabin will detach itself and land safely with the aid of parachutes.
Vladimir Nikolaevich Tatarenko, an aeronautical engineer from Ukraine, had devoted three years of his life to developing a system that could save many lives. The technology that he was working on comprises a detachable cabin. In other words, if the aircraft suffers damage anytime during the takeoff, landing, or mid-air, the fuselage will instantly free itself from the main body to reduce the intensity of the accident and ensure passengers’ safety.
Once the cabin is detached, it will trigger the attached parachutes, allowing it to land safely both on land and on water. What’s more, the detachable cabin also includes the baggage compartment so that the passengers don’t lose any of their belongings. However, the idea does not include the cockpit, which will remain attached to the plane.
While the detachable cabin is a truly bold idea, to say the least, and does seem to be viable at first glance, there are several concerns it needs to address. An aircraft is most vulnerable while takeoff and landing. At these stages, its close proximity to the ground and low speed make it prone to accidents. Data also points to the same fact. Most aviation accidents between 2005 and 2014 occurred during takeoff or landing. A detachable cabin won’t be of much use in such circumstances. The pilot won’t have enough time to jettison the cabin following damage. There is also a risk that the cabin may fall in a populated area, inadvertently increasing the casualty count.
There are huge technological hurdles too. Several technical complexities will come in the way of building a mechanism that will allow smooth detachment yet firmly hold the cabin during the flight. The excess weight of the proposed system is also an issue. Each added kilogram increases fuel requirements and adds extra cost.