Last updated: 01:04 PM ET, Wed July 08 2015

Airbus Patents New Double-Decker Design

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | July 08, 2015

Airbus Patents New Double-Decker Design

Illustration via Twitter

French airplane manufacturer Airbus has patented a new design that is like nothing you've ever seen. 

It is an expansion of the double-decker concept already in use with the A-380. Instead of long and lean, Airbus has opted for a short and compact design that could address several issues.

The A-380, in its current form, might be beautiful to aviation enthusiasts, but the plane is simply too big for many airports to accommodate. The double-decker design requires the use of special gates that aren’t available in some airports.

These new designs, submitted by Airbus to the U.S. Patent Office, call for a plane that is smaller lengthwise, and more maneuverable in airports. Moreover, the decks of the plane are lower, allowing for traditional boarding and exiting at existing gates.

But one of the more unique aspects of the design could be appealing to both the commercial airline industry and companies shipping freight. Since most passenger planes also carry such cargo, Airbus has come up with a design that includes a partition wall that can be configured to carry more or fewer passengers and more or less freight. noted that the design of the plane includes "a type of folding seat which can be bundled in order to change the cabin configuration, or change the position of cabin wall to allow in more cargo." revealed the patent's details regarding the passenger/cargo compartment partition, and the floor of the fuselage: “The flexibility of the split between passengers and cargo compartments … is ensured by the partition wall … that can be installed at different positions along the fuselage axis depending on the airline’s needs. As the floors … are flat and continuous there is a total flexibility from the front end sections … to the rear end section …”

And what is every airline’s dream these days? More revenue either through seats or cargo.

The patent submission did not go into detail on dimensions nor capacity, although noted an A-380 can currently carry more than 800 passengers.

TravelPulse founder and CEO Mark Murphy discussed the new Airbus design with CBS News Live. Watch the video below (Airbus discussion begins at the 1:50 mark).


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