Plane parachuting after running out of fuel

I'm sorry, but that would never work.

You would literally have to completely redesign the fuselage of the aircraft. That would cost hundreds of millions to research a new way to design the fuselage. They all use the current design for a reason, it works.

It would also weight a lot more, instead of having one shell encapsulating everyone you would have the skin of the aircraft, plus all of the pods and all of their systems. Will the pods be an integral part of the structure, or will they be there for the ride? Will they form the bottom of the airplane, or will there be bomb bay doors to let them out?

You said the pods will have parachutes, parachutes are heavy and expensive, especially if they're going to be slowing down this capsule that will weight near 1,000 pounds.

Who makes the call to jettison the pods? No pilot would want that on his record, but no way could you trust the passengers.

How are the pods going to be pressurized? Will they each have a pressurization system? What shape are they going to be to withstand the pressures that flying at altitude causes?

Even if you were able to overcome all of that, the pods would be a large portion of the airframes strength and jettisoning them would likely cause the airframe to break apart. So, now you have all of these pods falling from the sky, plus the airplane. The aircraft would be a total loss, even though a conventional airplane could have recovered and glided to its destination.

None of that even mentions the FAA approval and certification you would have to go through. No company would want to deal with that, the costs would be horrendous. I work on a modified FAA approved aircraft and it is hideously expensive, if it were a civilian airplane it would be 100% impossible for it to be profitable.

Coming from someone who maintains aircraft, no that would not be easier to maintain. Sure, line MX would be easier, just swap the pod out. But backshop would be hell because you have to fix all of these pods with their life support systems, parachutes, jettison mechanisms, etc...

Its a cool idea to think about, but completely improbable.

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