Detachable cabin could save lives during plane crashes

The passenger cabin would detach mid-air if the plane is in trouble

Ukrainian engineer, Vladimir Tatarenko, has designed a concept that could save lives during plane crashes. The idea entails a cabin that detaches from the cockpit when the flight faces a mid-air disaster. The detachable cabin could be ejected at any time during take-off, mid-flight or landing and allow the passengers to land safely.

The concept shows that in the event of an emergency, the pilots could push a button that would detach the cabin, complete with passengers and cargo, from the rest of the aircraft. The detached cabin would then float harmlessly to the ground with the help of attached parachutes. Massive inflatable rubber bumpers would cushion its landing, and allow it to land on water if the situation requires so.

The concept has received mixed reactions, with some people supporting the idea while others considering it impractical.

Firstly, the cost of building and testing this new aircraft would definitely be huge. Airlines already spend anywhere from $100 million to $350 million to acquire a single aircraft, which acts as a 15-20 year asset for them. In addition, they spend millions of dollars each year, per plane on maintenance.

Therefore, they would have little incentive to replace a trustworthy fleet with an untested concept, especially as plane crash fatalities are exceedingly rare.

According to airline association IATA, in 2014 (a tragic year for air flight), out of the 3.3 billion passengers that traveled, there were a total 641 fatalities.

The argument could be that perhaps the money would be better spent addressing heart disease, which is responsible for over 610,000 deaths yearly in the U.S. alone.

Questions have also been raised over what happens to the rest of the plane, and the fate of the pilots. Well, the pilots could join the passengers in the cabin but the possibility of the rest of the plane crashing almost anywhere seems highly likely.

One commenter says:

“This whole concept dramatically weakens the airframe because now you have joints and fittings to connect a fuselage and a body together where once you had a whole fuselage to reinforce the airframe.”

Also, it is very much possible that the detached cabin does not land – as depicted in the video – on a flat piece of land or calm waters. What if it hits buildings, or mountains?

On the other hand, a questionnaire conducted by the inventor found that 95% of the inquired would be willing to buy a more expensive ticket in order to use such a safety system. I guess the question is, would you?


Get weekly updates delivered to your inbox


  1. People who come up with these suggestions think that airplane manufacturers have never thought of such safety systems, well guess what, they have thought of better systems but they are not practical for the following reasons: 1- airlines are commercial, which means that they want to make money, the only weight that makes them money is the passengers, other weights such as fuel, seats, engines, airframe, navigation equipment, cost them a lot, but they have to provide them as a minimum safety requirement by the aviation regulatory authority, some other weight which they add for your pleasure are entertainment systems, catering and even aircraft paint. By adding a parachute, you will need to remove at least 30% of the seats on-board to compensate for the added weight, and that 30% could be your profit margin above the break-even point. 2- adding such systems would require maintenance, those parachutes need to be inspected every once in a while, the jet booster needs to be inspected and sent to workshop for maintenance, not to mention its weight, you dont just install it like u do with ur car and wait for it to die out with time, therefore maintenance of these equipment means more ground time for aircraft, and as you know it only makes money when it is flying, on ground it is just a huge chunk of metal. So please philosophers and dreamers out there who are so scared of flying, either come up with a more economic safety means, or just keep quiet and enjoy the flight, because today air travel is the safest means of transport, yes there are accidents, but they are caused by human error and they are very rare, therefore go for the best airlines. Also aviation authorities have come up with reporting hazards systems and plenty of training for aviation personnel to keep you safe. If you can invent a little device that gives the aircraft a zero weight, then that would be cool, otherwise keep quiet.

Comments are closed.