The fuselage is the aircraft’s central body that accommodates the crew and the payload (passengers and cargo) and protect them from the exterior conditions. The fuselage also gives room for the pilot’s cabin and its equipments, and serves as main structure to which the rest of structures (wing, stabilizers, etc.) are attached. Its form is a trade off between an aerodynamic geometry (with minimum drag) and enough volume to fulfill its mission.
Figure 2.9: Types of fuselages. © Adrián Hermida / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0.
Most of the usable volume of the fuselage is derived to passenger transportation in the passenger cabin. The layout of the passenger cabin must fulfill IATA regulations (dimensions of corridors, dimensions of seats, distance between lines, emergency doors), and differs depending on the segment of the aircraft (short and long-haul), the passenger type (economic, business, first class, etc.), or company policies (low cost companies Vs. flag companies). Cargo is transported in the deck (in big commercial transportation aircraft generally situated bellow the passenger cabin). Some standardized types of fuselage are depicted in Figure 2.9.