MOSCOW, November 16 (Sputnik) — Airbus has filed a patent for an airplane shaped like a donut, the Financial Times has reported.
“The present invention proposes an aircraft wherein the structure delimiting passenger cabin extends over 360 degrees,” says the patent, published in the US October 30.
The proposed circular design would allow for aircraft with increased seating capacity, and also provide enough resistance “to loads induced by the cabin pressurization,” according to the document, which was filed in April by three Airbus engineers.
The FT writes that the revolutionary shape is one of several novel ideas recently patented by the company, which include “an economy-class seat for standing passengers shaped like a bicycle saddle, an immersive virtual reality helmet for delivering in-flight entertainment and, most alarmingly of all, a windowless cockpit.”
Airbus told the FT, “This is not something that’s currently under active development,” and is one of 6,000 ideas its designers come up with each year.
The plans floated by the French company are part of an innovative drive by engineers to think of more radical ways to economize fuel, in addition to the development of more efficient engines. In October the Guardian reported that windowless planes could be the commercial aircraft of the future, with full-length screens instead of windows.
Experts from the Centre for Process Innovation, based in the UK, told the Guardian the innovation would reduce aircraft weight and therefore fuel consumption. “Follow the logical thought through…It’s only really the people that are sitting next to windows that will suffer,” one of the designers told the paper.