The proposed new design for the Airbus drastically moves away from the traditional looks of an airliner and into what seems like a spaceship from a science fiction movie.

The patent application was filed by Airbus SAS, which is the aircraft manufacturing arm of the Airbus Group. If it is accepted, Airbus passengers could find themselves riding in cabins that are shaped like giant doughnuts in the future.

The unique shape is supposed to address a specific problem that aircraft designers are currently facing. While the cylinder shapes that are being used by aircrafts today are excellent in controlling the stresses caused by pressurized cabins, the pressures being exerted on the front and rear of the cylindrical cabins are needed to be supported by heavy and strong structures.

According to the filed application, the proposed design is looking to provide a "simple, economic and efficient solution" to the problem.

Airbus said that, while the proposed design is significant enough to warrant patent protection, it is not yet an idea that can be applied immediately to existing aircraft designs.

The company has released several futuristic and bizarre ideas in the past for patent application, including economy seats shaped like saddles of bicycles that has passengers standing up for the duration of flights, virtual reality headsets for the in-flight entertainment of passengers and even a cockpit devoid of windows.

The newly proposed design that resembles a flying doughnut, however, is so far the most radical proposal for the reinvention of the structure of aircraft. Aside from the decidedly unique shape, the proposed design will change a lot of traditions in terms of air travel, from the way that passengers go onboard the vehicle to how in-flight meals are served and to how the aisles are angled.

The UFO-shaped design, which was drawn up by a group of known investors, namely Romain Delahaye, Patrick Lieven and Catalin Perju, is consistent with the concepts that several companies in the aerospace industry are utilizing in the pursuit for greater fuel efficiency.

"It is an approach that reduces the overall fuel burn for the aircraft," said GE Aviation general manager of engineering technologies Chris Lorence in reference to the proposed design, adding that the new shape could prove to be more efficient aerodynamically than the traditional designs.

Airbus revealed that it pours investments of about €2 billion per year in the company's research and development, which leads to submissions of over 500 applications for patents annually.

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