August 8, 2022
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(CNN) — A stand-up airplane seat, an overhead locker that’s transformed right into a mattress and a double-decker airplane cabin. These are a number of the most eye-catching — and unusual — airplane seat designs to crop up in recent times, aiming to revolutionize the inflight expertise.

Airplane cabin design has at all times been about steady innovation — that’s how we obtained the lie-flat airplane seat that’s now omnipresent in enterprise class cabins, or a tray desk that folds neatly into your arm relaxation.

From becoming extra passengers into the cabin to giving vacationers surprising house to stretch their legs, these unusual airplane seat designs search to problem-solve frequent inflight dilemmas.

The Chaise Longue Financial system Seat Mission

The Chaise Longue airplane seat design imagines a dual-level airplane cabin.

Courtesy Crystal Cabin Awards

Alejandro Núñez Vicente’s Chaise Longue dual-level airplane cabin design eliminates the overhead baggage compartment to create a double-decker airplane seat configuration.

In Could 2021, TU Delft College scholar Núñez Vicente instructed CNN Travel he was impressed by his experiences flying financial system throughout Europe from his dwelling in Spain to varsity within the Netherlands.

Núñez Vicente’s purpose was to create more room for vacationers to stretch out their legs. The seat design additionally provides extra recline angles, in addition to an adjustable back-rest and a deployable neck-rest.

Over summer time 2021, Núñez Vicente traveled round Europe with a prototype of his design, talking to aviation professionals and business consultants to gather suggestions, getting a number of steps nearer to creating the design a actuality.

Preliminary suggestions from would-be passengers who tried the prototype was constructive, says Núñez Vicente.

Whereas the configuration was initially envisaged for the Flying-V airplane, a brand new airplane idea at present in improvement at TU Delft, Núñez Vicente says it may be carried out in a Boeing 747, Airbus A330 or some other medium to giant wide-body airplane.

“We’ve had a number of curiosity proper now from the aviation business, particularly from seat producers, plane producers, and a number of airways have approached us,” says Núñez Vicente in a brand new interview with CNN Journey.

Personal traders have additionally expressed curiosity, he provides.

Núñez Vicente continues to reckon his design might rework the financial system class ache factors.

“The purpose of the seat was at all times to extend the consolation and the flight expertise to reinforce the flight expertise of passengers on long-haul flights — and it nonetheless is,” he says.


Aviointeriors’ Skyrider “standing seat” idea, with its bike-style saddle, has grow to be considerably notorious within the aviation world.

First floated again in 2010, the seat has developed within the years since, however underlining it’s the similar concept: the Skyrider takes up approach much less house than the typical financial system seat — with a seat pitch of simply 23 inches.

“The message is, we don’t need to put hundreds of individuals within the cabin, we need to supply a multi-class configuration, which is these days unimaginable if you wish to attain the utmost load of passengers,” Gaetano Perugini, engineering adviser at Aviointeriors, instructed CNN Journey at that convention.

Since then, the Skyrider 3.0 has been tweaked a bit. Aviointeriors says a fourth iteration of the design has improved the seat’s saddle ergonomy, launched an angled backrest and elevated shoulder house for passengers.

The 23-inch pitch of the Skyrider isn’t at present allowed by certification by most airplanes, the place 28 inches is the minimal. Aviointeriors is conscious of this and the potential problem it presents.

“When we’ve behind us a robust buyer […] we are able to sit round with Airbus or Boeing and clarify,” mentioned Perugini in Hamburg in 2019.

Perugini tells CNN Journey right now that completed seat samples of the fourth version of the Skyrider aren’t at present obtainable, however the design has been accomplished.

Flex Lounge

Flex Lounge could have been nominated for a Crystal Cabin Award, nevertheless it’s most likely not going to see the sunshine of day.

Courtesy Crystal Cabin Award

The design envisaged a versatile configuration for seats in financial system cabins — the thought being that put up take-off, flight attendants can rearrange the rows in order that passengers touring collectively can face each other in rows of three.

Whereas the design turned heads, former Heinkel Group director Tom Heinkel tells CNN Journey he bought his firm, and is now not centered on aviation design.

Zephyr Seat

Zephyr Seat imagines double-decker lie-flat seats for the premium financial system cabin.

Courtesy Zephyr Aerospace

One other double-decker idea comes within the form of Jeffrey O’Neill’s Zephyr Seat, which imagines double-decker lie-flat seats in a premium financial system cabin.

Speaking to CNN Travel in 2020, O’Neill mentioned he was impressed by a sleepless flight from New York to Singapore. He’d discovered himself recalling a a lot better sleep spent on a bunk mattress on a long-distance bus, and puzzled if one thing comparable could possibly be carried out on an airplane.

Over the previous 12 months, O’Neill says he has been focus group testing and trialling a bodily mock-up of the Zephyr Seat. He says he’s additionally made some changes to the design for feasibility’s sake.

“We did some simulated testing earlier this 12 months, and the outcomes of these checks led us to change the design — a design that might be extra apt to be finally authorized from a security standpoint,” he says.

Within the new idea, the “high bunk” layer of seats isn’t as excessive as O’Neill initially envisaged, and slightly than imagining a ladder to the higher bunk, new renderings embrace steps as a substitute.

“What we’ve now’s what we wish to go to market with, we’re trying to promote to airways and convey to the business,” says O’Neill.

Toyota Cloud Capsule

Toyota Boshoku’s Cloud Capsule Idea reimagines the overhead locker.

Courtesy Crystal Cabin Awards

Toyota Boshoku says the design is impressed by Japanese capsule lodges, with their sleeping pods. The concept is financial system class passengers can use the standard airplane seat under, however are additionally capable of make use of the overhead locker beds above as soon as the airplane is within the air.

Vacationers would place their baggage beneath their seats, and seats can be barely farther from the bottom to accommodate this transfer away from overhead baggage.

“Financial system class passengers will be capable to take pleasure in their flights in a safer and extra snug method,” reads a Toyota press launch from earlier this summer time. “It permits passengers to have their very own personal house wherein to calm down or to deal with work.”


The Interspace airplane seat design contains padded wings that manually fold in and out of the seat. The concept is these wings permit a traveler further privateness, and supply them a spot to relaxation their head whereas they try to sleep en route.

Interspace was designed by London-based firm Common Motion, who at the moment are working with airplane seat producer Safran to make the design a actuality. The seat gained the Judges’ Alternative award on the 2021 Crystal Cabin Awards.

The wings did create added privateness, and leaning in opposition to one wing, as you’ll in case you tried to nap, was surprisingly cozy.

The concept is that Interspace’s wings could possibly be retrofitted to current airplane seats, or pre-built, as within the prototype.

Designer Luke Miles, who beforehand spent three years working as head of design at Virgin Atlantic, instructed CNN Journey on the 2019 launch that Interspace’s purpose was to permit financial system vacationers “a greater night time’s relaxation, a greater flight.”

As of September 2021, the seat is offered to buy.

“It’s thrilling to now see this design transition from idea to actuality as we make it obtainable to supply, representing what we really feel is a giant step in supporting the plane business and making passenger planes extra snug due to our collaboration with Safran,” mentioned Miles in a press release in September 2021.

Interspace is offered on Safran’s Z600 seat. Miles tells CNN Journey it’s at present “being previewed with carriers.”

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