Like businesses in any sector, airlines and their suppliers frequently file for patents to safeguard their intellectual property. And, like in all industries, the majority of patented ideas are never commercialised.
However, keeping an eye on patents can be highly entertaining since they reveal how innovative airlines would be if they weren’t constrained by expenses, rules from the government, or privacy laws. While some inventions might seem practical, others are nothing but funny reveries. Many of these patent applications are exciting and even amusing.
With this August 2015 patent approval, travellers can fly from London to New York in about an hour, breaking the previous record established by Concorde, which could complete the journey in around 3 ½ hours. The jet would launch the craft vertically and accelerate it to more than 3,000 mph speeds using three different types of engines. Airbus describes it as “An air vehicle containing a fuselage, a gothic delta wing spread on either side of the fuselage, and a set of motors capable of propelling the air vehicle.”
According to a new patent application by Mastercard, when you purchase apparel, your credit card provider knows enough about your preferred sizes to make an educated guess at your height and weight.
In their application, Mastercard suggested that the information would be helpful to airlines that might use it to make appropriate seating arrangements. The programme hypothesised that airlines might be able to prevent seating two overweight individuals next to one another. This particular patent would not surpass privacy issues, and consent might have to be required from cardholders before the information is shared.
The current aeroplane cockpit would be fully redesigned according to this invention, which Airbus filed in 2014. There would be no need for windows because pilots could observe their surroundings on a computer display.
Although the patent’s illustrations depict a cockpit in the jet’s nose, it is feasible that the cockpit might be moved to the back of the aircraft or beneath it, making plane noses longer and more aerodynamic.
This seating arrangement for aeroplanes is designed by the French company Zodiac to be more effective and space-saving. According to claims, the HD31 has 15% greater space between the seats and four additional inches of legroom. Given how uncomfortable spending hours gazing awkwardly at your neighbour, this patent might not be worth it.
For the same trip, business class passengers frequently spend hundreds of dollars more than coach passengers. Do they have a right to better safety precautions as a result?
A patent from Recaro, a maker of airplane seats, wanted to include airbags in some seats. These airbags, like those in cars, would guard against passengers banging their heads on the seats in front of them. There are already airbags in many Business Class seats and certain economy seats, particularly in bulkhead rows. However, they function very differently from car airbags. The conventional airline airbag is built into the seatbelt and deployed in the event of a collision. This patent could be implemented depending on its cost.
Long-distance travellers who cannot afford business class flights typically complain about not being able to lay down, but this patent from September 2015 might solve that issue. You may lie down in the economy class sleeping pods and enjoy a pleasant night’s rest. However, it could be challenging to stand up. According to the patent application, passengers would still need to use their seatbelts during takeoff and landing, and more significantly, they would still provide meals.
The Transport Vehicle Upright Sleep Support System described in this Boeing patent is essentially a bag fastened to a regular airline seat. The system aims to enable passengers to sleep by leaning forward and sleeping on their face and chest; it is claimed to be significantly more effective than a neck pillow. Although not quite as creative as Airbus’ suggestion for sleeping in economy, this one might be successful.
Bicycle-style chairs were patented by Airbus in 2013 and considered to be among the least amusing patents on this list. They appear incredibly uncomfortable with relatively limited legroom, no backrests, and no tray tables.
Airbus claims in the petition that this diminished ease is manageable for passengers for a flight that lasts no more than 2 hours, even if the seats appear uncomfortable. Airbus claims that the lower cost of a short trip would make the agony worthwhile.
Have you ever wanted to ride in a sphere? You could certainly do that with the help of this design, which was submitted to the European Patent Office. If they ever put the aircraft into production, the Airbus would radically alter how we fly.
The ‘flying wing’ design of the aircraft, which designers believe to be the best shape for aircraft, would allow for higher speed and better fuel efficiency. The ring shape is said to be able to hold more passengers than a typical airliner.
However, there are disadvantages, as getting passengers onto and off the “flying doughnut” and refuelling could be challenging.
Could bench seats help airlines carry more passengers? Maybe, Airbus said in a patent made available to the public. Flexibility is the secret. The bench could often accommodate three people, precisely like modern seats would. However, the bench may potentially accommodate a family of four or even two persons for a roomier ride. According to Airbus, the passenger bench seat is incredibly well suited for families with young children because, in its third configuration, it provides enough room for two adults and two small children to sit, for example, between the two adults.