Airbus may have killed off its Transpose modular cabin project designed by its A³ outpost in California, but it is still pursuing ideas to maximize flexible use of space within the aircraft. The airframer’s latest venture is a partnership with Zodiac Aerospace to develop and market dormitory modules that fit in the lower cargo compartments of an A330. According to Airbus, these ‘sleeping berth’ modules will be easily interchangeable with regular cargo containers during a typical turnaround, to suit load factors, and no modifications will be required for the cargo floor and cargo loading system, as the passenger module will sit directly on it.
There will clearly be infrastructure considerations for airlines, as the modules will be loaded and offloaded around the world, but these issues and more will be explored in the June issue of Aircraft Interiors International.
Airbus says the modules will be a catalog option for the A330 by 2020 for both retrofit and line-fit, and it is also investigating offerability of sleeper compartments on the A350 XWB.
Geoff Pinner, head of Airbus’s cabin and cargo programs, stated, “This approach to commercial air travel is a step change toward passenger comfort. We have already received very positive feedback from several airlines on our first mock-ups. We are pleased to partner with Zodiac Aerospace on this project which will introduce a new passenger experience and add value for airlines.”
While Airbus is initially announcing sleeping berths for the modules, the company has also released sketches of some other uses: