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Catamaran Airliner

Double airliner capacity with twin hulled aircraft
(+6, -6)
  [vote for,

With more and more people wanting to fly airliners need to grow, one big plane takes less airspace than two small ones. But rather than strugling to make bigger and bigger fuselarges why not take two existing airliner fuselarges and connect them via a shared central wing, the outer wings are normal, an the tail plane links them too. Such designs are hardly new and the resultant plane can funtion with normal airport gates by simply attaching to two at once. The pilot would be in one cockpit, the copilot in the other so that the aircraft would have better survivability.

It'd be safer in a Hijack too, if terrorists took over one cockpit the pilot in the other hull can isolate the controls in the compromised fuselarge and take over full control.

I don't imagine such a plane would be around any time soon but one day it might prove the perfect solution to overcrowded skies.

Bronzewing, Feb 08 2005

Research papers - titles only http://www.aoe.vt.e...ason/ACiADtwin.html
Serious academics have also been considering this. [wagster, Feb 08 2005]

(?) F-82B Twin Mustang http://www.wpafb.af.../air_power/ap34.htm
One of the few twin fuselage aircraft ever built. [wagster, Feb 08 2005]


       Having done a little digging around, it seems that this was tried a few times during the war with fighters and bombers. The concept didn't really take off as the maneuverability was so poor, but power was good so they were sometimes used as glider towing aircraft. As passenger aircraft have high demands on power and low demands on maneuverability this should work well, in theory.
wagster, Feb 08 2005

       Manufacturers have briefly considered designs like this. One of the major drawbacks is that the center wing box between the fuselages must support tremendous torque loads, especially during crosswind landings. Also, the wide wheel spacing that would result would severely limit the airports that could be serviced by such an aircraft.   

       The "Two cockpits" argument doesn't hold much water, as airlines would be reluctant to support the added cost of an extra cockpit and an extra flight crew, as well as the extra training that would be required to fly from opposite sides of the plane. Besides, what's to stop a terrorist from pointing a gun and telling the flight crew to lock out the other side pre-emptively?   

       In addition to those arguments, a two-fuselage arrangement is structurally less efficient than a single larger fuselage, and that means more weight. Airlines really don't like more weight.   

       Then there's the issue of boarding. Something like that would require lots of changes to current terminal configurations, not the least of which is pushback operations (where do you push with no centerline hardpoint?).   

       It's an interesting concept that may work on a smaller scale, but on an airliner scale, it just raises too many problems.
Freefall, Feb 08 2005

       Yes.. ok, ok.. all true, but...this one goes to ELEVEN!
JungFrankenstein, Feb 09 2005

       And land on...?
wagster, Feb 09 2005

       [Freefall] you forgot to mention wetted area
scubadooper, Feb 09 2005

       Ah, so I did. I felt I had stated enough negatives, I didn't see a point in continuing.   

       A twin hull is typically a kludge design that works in certain situations (like the twin mustang), but can usually be outperformed by a proper new design.
Freefall, Feb 09 2005

       Like the new 20 hull design.
bristolz, Feb 09 2005

       going back to the terroist angle, the catamaran airliner is most advantageous. if one half is occupied by terroists, the pilot of the other half could simply press a release mechanism, jetisonning the terroists (and I suppose passengers). bare with me. at this point the jetissoned plane again breaks into two, economy class plummets back to terra firma and I suppose certain death, while the business class compartment forms a shuttle that is programmed to fly to a disused volcano lair where johny terroist is dealt with by ninja asassins. whats not to like?
nicepalmtrees, Feb 10 2005

       Your scenario, for one.
bristolz, Feb 10 2005

       20 hull design?
Freefall, Feb 10 2005

       Yeah, well.
bristolz, Feb 10 2005

Worldgineer, Feb 10 2005

       The more the merrier. There could be up to 19 volcanic lairs. Think of the economic opportunity for those out of work ninjas.
bristolz, Feb 10 2005

       //bare with me//?
FarmerJohn, Feb 10 2005

       Hopefully not [FJ] it'll scare the sheep
scubadooper, Feb 11 2005

       I like your thinking Bristolz - it is important to think of the out of work ninjas - those guys have little in the way of a benefits package. And as the saying goes 'the devil makes work for idle thumbs' And if those thumbs just so happen to be wrapped around shiricon stars, that means trouble.
nicepalmtrees, Feb 11 2005

       It would be more fuel inefficient than a larger single hull because of the higher surface area/volume ratio. Also, it would be much wider than the conventional design, and most airports would need to widen the runways.
kinemojo, May 27 2006


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