Stacked seating & cargo playgrounds: The airline industry’s own visions of the future
Passengers packed in the wings
KLM recently unveiled its latest flight concept, the Flying V, designed to have passengers seated literally inside the wings of the plane.
The cargo hold and the fuel tanks would also be located in the v-shaped aircraft’s wings. The plane can carry 314 passengers and is particularly geared towards long-haul journeys. The Flying V has the same wingspan as the Airbus A350, so it’s able to use ordinary runways and gates.
A scale model of the aircraft will be tested in Amsterdam in October, but don’t expect to book a seat for your summer holidays, it won’t be available for commercial flights for at least 20 years.
Standing room only
The Skyrider 2.0 is a new flight design revealed at the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2018 that would see passengers stand for an entire flight.
The ‘seats’ have armrests and back support, but don’t have a crucial seat cushion. Instead, passengers will get an almost seat that looks like a bicycle saddle so they can rest their backsides a bit.
No trays will be provided, and the space between rows is a tight 23 inches. The standing-seats have been designed with short haul flights in mind, and would allow for up to 20 percent more passengers to fit on board. It isn’t clear though how the Skyriders would affect evacuation in the case of an emergency.
Airbus filed a 2015 patent for a new form of seating that would see passengers stacked on top of each other. It calls the claustrophobic-sounding concept “mezzanine seating.”
The original idea aimed to create the upper tier seating in business class sections of aircraft, and would reportedly provide more privacy for passengers, but could make those on the lower level feel more closed in.
Bench-style seats were thought up by Airbus in 2016. They were touted as a way to optimize space to accommodate the different needs of passengers, such as those who require extra space, and families with small children.
However, the idea could also see four passengers seated in an area that once had three separate seats, not to mention the issue of passengers hogging more space than they should without any division between seats.
Cargo playgrounds & relaxation
Airbus has partnered with Zodiac Aerospace to create a concept that would see cargo holds being turned into areas for sleep, relaxation, and recreation.
After takeoff, economy passengers would be able to leave their seats and head downstairs to lie down in capsule beds and stretch out in relaxing areas, or let their children play nearby.
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