There isn’t much a commercial airliner can do in case of an emergency but rely on its pilot to pull a miracle out of thin air. However, a recent video of a special safety system designed by Ukrainian aeronautical engineer, Vladimir Tatarenko, took the Internet by storm. The video shows how merely pushing a button is enough to save all the passengers in the plane.
The engineer has worked in the Antonov project and also took part in the creation of the huge AN-225 Mriya cargo aircraft. According to his proposal, having a big escape capsule for commercial aircraft capable of being launched from the back of the plane in case of an emergency is the key to saving passengers. The interior of the plane’s fuselage is supposed to be the capsule itself and once being ejected from the aircraft, the parachutes would come into play ensuring that the capsule’s fall is steady while proximity sensors would engage rockets that would allow for a smooth landing once it reaches land or water. In case of water, floating devices would engage as well.
The capsule can be ejected from the plane in under three seconds, however, the application of this concept requires that the plane should feature a T-tail that currently no commercial aircraft has. The inventor admits that it would be quite difficult to implement his idea to existing airplanes and suggests that a new model be built from scratch, which would be developed around the capsule from the inside out. He believes that the project is valid from medium and small-sized aircraft since the escape capsule shall add onto the final weight of the aircraft and thus its fuel consumption. The addition of weight, as per Ukrainian engineer, would be significantly large.
Tatarenko said, “The idea of an ejecting capsule in the commercial aircrafts is not new, but for years the research community was unable to bring it to life, because engineers could not find a material that will keep the weight of the aircraft and the number of seats in it at the current level. But we have used carbon-fiber — a very strong and lightweight material, which proved to be suitable.”
The question of this plan’s feasibility still remains and we have yet to see if any commercial airline shows interest. But it is good to see that engineers are thinking about such safety features as far as airplanes go!