The latest innovation in airplane safety might just be a detachable cabin, at least according to a Russian inventor who released his designs for the technology this week.
Tatarenko Vladimir Nikolaevich has spent three years working on the project, which would allow for an airplane’s cabin to detach at any point during mid-flight, takeoff, or landing in case of emergency, The Independent reported. In the event of detachment, parachutes would deploy to deliver the cabin to a safe landing on the ground or in the water.
Nikolaevich’s patented design even includes space underneath the cabin so that passengers’ luggage will detach in the event of an emergency, too.
The inventor claims that 95% percent of those he interviewed—although he didn’t divulge how many people he talked to— would be in favor of paying more for airplane tickets if the detachable cabin were to become a standard feature.
Still, not everyone is completely on-board with the idea, with some people questioning the cost-effectiveness, whether the detachable cabin would compromise the structural integrity of the rest of the plane, and what happens to the pilots after the cabin detaches.
This isn’t the first time a detachable cabin has been proposed, as Airbus filed its own patent for a similar idea in February 2013, though the company’s version deals more with convenience than safety, Wired reported.
In an announcement released after its patent approval in November, Airbus proposed a detachable cabin that would streamline the boarding process by having passengers at the gate board the detached cabin, which would then be attached to the plane before takeoff.
It may sound like science fiction, but it looks like detachable airplane cabins are indeed being seriously considered.