An engineer believes he has found the ideal design to make the journey of economy class travelers more comfortable. Claustrophobes abstain!
Anyone who has spent more than 5 hours in economy class on a plane knows what it’s all about. Discomfort, lack of legroom, reduced space due to the seat tilted in front of you, knees from your neighbor behind…
If some companies make some efforts by spacing the seats a little more apart, in practice, the difficulty remains the same and has been for decades. But an American engineer thinks he has found the solution with his concept of a seat for economy class called (in French in the text) “Chaise Longue”.
“Changing economy class seats for the betterment of humanity”
CNN Travel reports that 21-year-old Alejandro Núñez Vicente developed this seat as a university project. Surprise, he was nominated for the Crystal Cabin Awards 2021, one of the biggest prizes in the aeronautical industry, which encouraged him to take care of this project full time. Airlines and aircraft parts manufacturers are watching it closely, and companies are putting money into the concept.
“My goal here is to change seats to economy class for the betterment of humanity, or for all the people who can’t afford more expensive tickets,” he said at the Aircraft Interiors show. 2022 in Germany where its prototypes were presented.
It must indeed be recognized that Chaise Longue is surprising.
Concretely, these are seats with two staggered floors as shown in the images below. On the upper level, there is a spacious seat where you can finally stretch your legs. The passenger then finds himself approximately 1.5 meters from the cabin ceiling. This approach requires the removal of cabin baggage compartments. But small suitcases could be slipped between the two levels of the seat.
Lower level, upper level
The lower level is precisely positioned behind the upper seat. The benefit is immediate: you can also extend your legs there since you find yourself behind a high seat, therefore at a different level. But the rest of the passenger’s body is found just behind the structure of this upper seat.
Some may marvel at this progress. Others will point out its limits: feeling of crushing above, claustrophobia below.
The debate is open. Alejandro Núñez Vicente believes that his concept could be adapted in the Boeing 747, Airbus A330 or any other medium to large jumbo jet.
It will be necessary to convince the passengers but especially the aircraft manufacturers and the regulatory authorities. It is difficult to see how these seats could be validated as part of emergency evacuation procedures in the event of an incident.
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