Happy standing in a crowded bus or train on the way to work? Then how about on the way to your next holiday? European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus is has applied for patents which seem to suggest that they are planning to build planes where economy class passengers are crammed into a near-standing position on a plane.
The patent, titled “Seating device comprising a forward-foldable backrest” shows diagrams of a new ‘seating’ arrangement for on-plane passengers. In this arrangement, they are ‘seated’ on an angled saddle-like stool, with very little in the way of a back or armrest. From this position they are strapped into awkward half-standing, half-sitting positions.
This configuration presumable would further reduce the amount of space which each passenger takes up, allowing airlines to fit much greater numbers of people onboard a single flight. According to the patent document, the system will:
“...increase the number of passengers transported on each flight, and more particularly on short-haul links, [...] maximize the return on the use of the aircraft.”
While there is no confirmation that Airbus actually intends to use these patents, these saddle-like seating designs would definitely be attractive to low-cost budget airlines. Such company’s have ultra thin profit margins, and intense competition. Indeed, the only way these airlines can compete with each other is on cost. Within this environment, fitting more people on the same sized plane, could be profitable, and allow plane flight costs to further fall .
See the patent diagrams for the new Airbus concept below:
Images: © 2014 US Patent Office/Airbus
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