This is the ultimate cargo plane. It has no fuselage and can carry huge oversized cargo like an american pickup truck, It was designed to Switch to military operations in a heart beat, and was even able to load nearly 200 passengers – sometimes even not at the gate! And best yet, it was cheaper than any other equivalent plane of its time. But this strange concept was never built, and left us scratching our heads why. It’s time to meet the Lockheed Flatbed!
source/image(PrtSc): Found And Explained
According to the Lockheed design, the flatbed or open-air section would be used to haul cargo containers, outside vehicles or machinery. In fact, most of the cargo would be housed in removable modules, much like the huge containers stacked on the cargo ships that ply the world’s oceans.Importantly, the Flatbed design also allowed for passengers on board, who would be sat in a removable module. The passenger module could be the same size as the cargo hold area or fairing.//Watch the video from Found And Explained:
These passengers could be loaded conventionally at the airport gate, or just the model could be rolled up on a truck, then loaded onto the plane later. Passengers woul;d have been in a 3 dash 3 layoutout, with 20 seats in first and 160 in coach. Typical of a boeing 737 today.For airports that lacked ramp facilities, the plane could actually carry its own ramp to unload huge loads, as well protection against storms and sand.
Nevertheless, there were of course adverse aerodynamics to the Lockheed Flatbed design, due to it carrying cargo in the open, since an open section to an aircraft at altitude results in aerodynamic compromise. But Lockheed estimated that this would be a smaller penalty than having a big, bulky cabin when flying a half-empty aircraft. Some experts have pointed out that Lockheed’s concept would probably have required specialised loading facilities and equipment, such as loading ramps and loading cranes. via/read more: Found And Explained