The proposed idea (see figures) consists on an emergency safety system that allows separating the passengers, crew and cockpit section from the rest of airplane. In other words, imagine an airplane exactly similar to anyone, but with a great difference, it can separate the section where the human beings are (the most valuable thing inside the airplane) from the rest of the aircraft. This of course is very easy to say, the challenge is the necessary R&D: to design it, to specify how it works (control logic, sensors, etc.) and to test it.
This is an idea that I’ve been dragging for decades and as an engineer I was diligent on searching the approaches and patents that have been proposed to date. The implementation of the idea itself is something very challenging and the refusal of the airliners manufacturers to deal with it or to show any related R&D, is evident. Let’s see, to save hundreds or thousands of people isn’t enough reason to have hundreds or thousands of engineers to work on the R&D and implementation? I believe so.
What justifies this idea? In the first place, it is necessary to be conscious that commercial airplanes, anyone of them, are not more than but buses with wings. When the engines stop to work, or when any critical flaw arises in flight, in many cases, an accident with loss of lives occurs. Therefore, what should be the priority to safe lives: Invent new safer airplanes? or invent new safety systems?
New forms of flying will come over the next decades, but until then, it is necessary to think that airplanes are very insecure, and I want to be precise on this, they are incredible machines that supposedly have very low statistical accidents and that most of the airliner companies assure that the possibility of a commercial aircraft accident is very remote, so there is no reason to the passengers to worry about. Just sit down, buckle up and hope that you will not fall within the unfortunate statistics.
According to aviation statistics, to fly is a lottery where it is very unlikely that you will play the losing number. This is terrible, but it is necessary to see it from such logic point of view.
I am not pessimistic, neither I am afraid of flying. I simply have the enough judgment to affirm that there has not been made enough and necessary R&D on alterations to commercial aircrafts to safe lives when the catastrophic is eminent. A system that will save all or most of the passengers and crew it’s for sure appealing for everybody, even if it means to pay more for our tickets.
We can do it; the engineers, the technology, the materials and the tools all exist right now. We just need to promote and campaign in order to get the financial resources to make it happen.