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5 airline ideas that will never fly

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OPINION: Ever heard of the detachable aircraft cabin? The one with a complete passenger module that filled up at the terminal and then got dropped into place on the aircraft, slashing turnaround time?

Or how about the stackable cabin design that proposed hoisting some passengers above others to make use of all that empty overhead space?

Just a couple of the weird ideas that never made it off the drawing board.

Designers, airline revenue managers and aeronautical engineers are constantly tinkering, sometimes for better, but there are some ideas that should never get airborne.

* The future of flying: How air travel is changing
* The strange and extreme lengths airlines go to to lose weight and cut costs
* Emirates windowless planes concept unveiled and new premium economy class

Saddle seats

Airlines are continually looking for new ways to squeeze more bums on seats since that equals more revenue and the showcase for these high-capacity seating concepts is Hamburg's annual Airline Interiors Expo.

One of the present favourites is Aviointeriors Skyrider 3.0 (above), which has a polyester saddle-style seat in eye-catching canary yellow and black with minimal padding that sits the passenger bolt upright and with zero recline.

The real crunch though is the seat pitch – a mere 58.4 centimetres – ouch! That's 15.2 centimetres less than the current seat pitch on the very meanest of the low-cost carriers. Tray table? You must be joking.

Worse still are bicycle seats – back-free butt biters that promise to ramp up the agony factor to excruciating new levels.........

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