Airbus Wants to Patent Giant 'Flying Doughnut'

You'd enter through the 'doughnut hole'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 17, 2014 2:25 PM CST
Then-Airbus CEO Tom Enders delivers a speech as he launches the A350 final assembly line in Toulouse, southwestern France, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009.   (AP Photo/Manuel Blondeau)

(Newser) – If you were thinking of designing an aircraft shaped sort of like an enormous doughnut, we have some bad news for you: Airbus has already called it. The company has filed a patent application for a passenger aircraft in that very shape, the Financial Times reports. Why go for the doughnut look? Well, current aircraft face heavy pressure on their front and rear ends, requiring special support. "The purpose of the invention is particularly to provide a simple, economic, and efficient solution to these problems," Airbus says. The new design, which you can view here, also offers more room for passengers, CNBC reports.

The "doughnut" does, of course, have its drawbacks. Boarding hatches—in the doughnut's "hole"—don't clearly fit emergency exit rules, Fortune notes, and the aircraft's shape might require airport redesigns. Either way, don't expect Dunkin' Donuts to start an airline anytime soon. "It’s just one of many ideas,” an Airbus rep tells Fortune. "It doesn’t mean that we’re going to be working on making it a reality." In fact, the company seeks more than 600 patents yearly, the rep tells the publication (though the Financial Times puts the figure at 6,000). For instance, Airbus recently sought a patent for standing "seats" that are basically bike saddles. (If that's not quite your desired comfort level, maybe try a flying three-room suite.)

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