The Modular Cutter, as players of Traveller know, is a common workhorse of the Imperium. Those who know me well know that I am especially enamored of the ungainly Lego-tech ship, as I can appreciate the efficiency and coolness factor of being able to swap out mission modules.
|Image courtesy of Mirco "Riftroamer" Adam|
Plus, it kind of looks like a Sikorsky Flying Crane, and those are always cool. I guess I just adore large gooney-bird looking craft.
Anyway, I told you all that so I could tell you this: there is a Swiss company that wants to make modular airliners.
In theory, high-capacity Clip-Air train cars, each a self-contained fuselage, can be plucked from the tracks and snapped onto a set of wings. Customers would only have to board and pass through security once — at their local train depot. Once the plane lands, the whole process happens in reverse, dropping off passengers along a train route close to their final destination.
What's more, Clip-Air is designed to fit up to three standard fuselages under a single set of wings, reducing the number of planes in the air. If only two of the three fuselages are booked by passengers, Clip-Air planes can snap on a cargo plane to keep efficiency up.
Perhaps it's just me, but I think this is amazingly cool. I hope to see something like it within my lifetime.