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By Dan_uk
#4203
Aircraft safety is now a big issue. Hundreds of lives can be lost at one time due to small mistakes or failures. If the plane is inevitabaly going to crash and there is no way to stop it, at present the only thing to do is to sit tight and hope you survive. My idea is as follows:

There is a device (a larger version of a pilot ejection seat) that blasts the whole passenger compartment away from the wings and engines. The rocket propellors are situated at the front and the back of the passenger compartment away from the fuel tanks and engines to prevent explosions. After say 10 seconds when the rockets have burnt out and the cabin is clear of the remains, two parachutes open up, again at the front and the back, so that it can fall horizontally to the ground. The wings and engines also have a single parachute each to keep fatalities on the ground to a minimum (maybe have a siren to warn people on the ground). The fuel/engine free passenger cabin will land safely on airbags which can be opened up manually by the pilot before contact with the land/water. They will prevent the plane from sinking or absorb the impact, which could still be quite large despite the parachutes. Admittedly, there would still probably be some loss of lives somwhere due to this but it would be far less than the plane plummeting towards the ground at hundreds of miles an hour.

Reward: Some recognition
By Rishi
#4596
Good idea. There are some concerns though. When the pilot ejects, a smaller mass is blasted off a larger mass. In the case of the passenger cabin, that will be the larger mass and cannot be blasted off the lighter wings and engines. Of course, it is a trivial matter to reverse it out and blast off the lighter portion away from the cabin.

If the plane is not on fire. then it is better to attempt to parachute down the entire plane as the wings would add a considerable drag and slow the descent. If the plane is on fire on the wings or the engine then the separation will help. Even then it may be simpler to use explosive bolts to detach rather than a blast off.

If the fire is in the cabin, we have a problem.

Rishi
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