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The competition heats up: Airbus has patented a concept for having the cargo/passenger section of an airplane modular and removable.
Instead of a single hull, aeroplanes would essentially be built with a hole in their fuselage between the nose cone and the tail section, into which modular compartments could be fitted and removed. The compartments, which could take on the purpose of a passenger, luxury passenger or freight unit, would be transferred between the aircraft and airport via a docking module, which according to Airbus would (ideally) be integrated into airport terminal buildings.
For passenger planes this idea really doesn’t work. However, for cargo it is brilliant. Like trucks, it allows cargo to be loaded without using the expensive flight infrastructure.