Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Modest Proposal Concerning Air Travel

The wasteful and needless use of seating on planes is a topic that has bothered me for some time. Airbus seem part of the way to solving this most inefficient situation. I contend however that this plan does not go far enough.In comparison to standing passengers completely supine passengers have numerous benefits as will be described below.
By use of a general anesthetic on passengers they can be packed much more efficiently. Also unconscious passengers require little or no attention from airline staff members. Other advantages arise from unconscious passengers, Security risks are significantly lower in the catatonic.

Much needed medical procedures can be carried out using the period of docility created by the use of anaesthetics. In a similar way to tranquilizing wild carnivores allows for dentistry, immunization and sterilisation the period of unconsciousness could be used as a major public health resource ,one in which the unfortunate characteristics of conscious patients can be avoided.

Rather then the unpleasant and possible dangerous configuration of piling passengers on top of each other, some form of individual compartment is preferable. The size and luxuriousness of compartments can be used to separate passengers into cost categories to allow income maximization.
Here an optimization problem arises. For reasons of physics planes tend to be built in a shape resembling a cylinder. Humans as luck would have it also bear an approximately cylindrical shape. This fact means that instead of a wasteful coffin like compartment a more efficient and aesthetically pleasing cylindrical container can be used. This is not as efficient as a hexagonal configuration but aerodynamic and in the short term morphological constrains prevent this superior shape being used.
I have included an picture describing a sample configuration that could be used when packing passengers into plane.

I hope you consider my proposal and see the economic and social benefits to unconscious passengers.

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