Modular Plane Concept Treats Passenger Cabin Like A Shipping Container

All the efficiency of cargo!

Four Modular Airplane Concepts

Four Modular Airplane Concepts

While it doesn't quite match the rest of the family, my personal favorite is the small drone on the bottom right that picks up an aerodynamic car.Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne

Airplanes, trains, and cargo ships may travel through different mediums, but they roughly do the same thing: encase precious cargo in a similar container, and then unload it at the destination. “Clip Air” is a concept from Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne that wants planes, trains, and ships to carry people much the same way they carry shipping crates: in detachable, modular tubes, which can be put on rails, loaded on boats, or slung under wing.

EPFL explains the benefits:

The decoupling of the load (capsules) and carrying units (wings) allows for simplified fleet management and maintenance operations for airlines and is expected to improve the ground operations for airports. Clip-Air also provides effective possibility of combining commercial freight and passengers on the same flight without any compromise in comfort. Besides, Clip-Air is designed to operate in a multi-modal context and is expected to improve the multi-modality concept by allowing a better integration between air transport and other transport modes.

The concept could make layovers easier, but it's maybe not so great if you want to leave your metal tube to go stretch your legs.

Still, it's a neat way to envision simplified transportation systems for people, goods, and raw materials. It also guesses at a world that feels like a toddler's play set of interconnected blocky structures, which is delightful.

Read more about it at CNN.