Why a detachable cabin probably won’t save your life in a plane crash

Dave

Honorary Master
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Aug 31, 2008
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Dead people can't sue. Family gets pittance hush money.

Minimum €135 000 for EU airlines, if the airline is at fault it would be much more, next of kin can sue.

compensation in the event of death or injury: no financial limit is set. However, there is a first tier of strict carrier liability for damages of up to 100 000 SDRs (special drawing rights, as defined by the International Monetary Fund, i.e. around 135 000 euros), in respect of which the air carrier cannot contest claims for compensation. In excess of that amount, a second tier of liability is based on the presumed fault of the carrier, which the latter may avoid only by proving that it was not at fault (the burden of proof is on the carrier);
http://www.airpassengerrights.eu/en/air-carrier-liability-in-the-event-of-accidents.html
 

LazyLion

King of de Jungle
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Never mind the G-forces involved in jettisoning such a pod and all the loose junk and bodies not strapped in flying around the cabin.
 

ChocolateBadger

Expert Member
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Mar 16, 2009
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Never understood why they never bothered to attach 4 parachutes (like they ones they use to drop tanks) to a planes fuselage? Something goes wrong, kill the engines and hook the parachutes. Happy days.
 

Dave

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Never understood why they never bothered to attach 4 parachutes (like they ones they use to drop tanks) to a planes fuselage? Something goes wrong, kill the engines and hook the parachutes. Happy days.

Opening a parachute at 900 kph might have some issues...
 

Dave

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If it can work for Apollo re-entry I'm sure a plane travelling at a slow 900 km/h can handle it as well :)

Use drogue chutes to slow down to 200 km/h and then deploy main chutes.

http://www.earthtothemoon.com/ap_17_splashdown.jpg

The Apollo Command capsule weighed under 5000kg, had only 3 occupants in specially built crash seats wearing special protection suits and had 3 separate sets of parachutes to slow it down which deployed in sequence (3 drogue, 3 pilot and 3 main chutes) as it descended and was specially designed for the possibility of a high impact water landing.

Can you imagine a system for a thin aluminium tube that weighs 300 000kg, carries 400 people or more in lightweight seats with a lap belt while they sit in shorts and sandals? And what if the plane was flying over land? Where's the water to splash down into?
 

konfab

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Jun 23, 2008
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Most problems are caused by either maintenance or human error, both of which can be mitigated with automation.

The only thing I would do extra is to add two banks of rocket boosters on each wing. One facing forwards and the other facing backwards.
The rear facing ones can be used on landing to maintain airspeed in case of engine failue, before firing the forward facing ones to slow down.

The forward facing ones can also be used to stop a bad takeoff.
 

FrankieK

Senior Member
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Jan 14, 2015
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The cost of retrofitting (and maintaining) commercial aircraft with any meaningful life saving device will far outweigh the cost of paying out money to dead passengers' families. The cost of retrofitting bullet proof cockpit doors to aircraft in America was $2 billion in 2003.
 
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