What if airplanes were wider? Plane interior concept re-imagines inflight seating

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Editor’s note – Monthly tickets There is a new CNN travel series that focuses on some of the most interesting topics in the travel world. In June, we are heading to the skies to see the latest developments in the interior of the aircraft, including those we are working to change the way we fly.

(CNN) – You may not know that the standard for today’s airline seat measurements is up to 1954.

That’s when Boeing flew the first prototype that would lead to the iconic 707 of the jet age.

As Boing developed its aircraft families, it reused key components such as fuselage, although it developed new wings and engines.

The 727, for example, was essentially a 707 but with an engine at the rear. The 737 – still manufactured today – was the 707 and is essentially but with two engines instead of four.

The 707 seats, arranged in six in each row in the “tourist” or “coach”, known as the economy, were very good for 1954, but that was almost 70 years ago.

You may not know many adults in 1954, but if you do, make the most of their impressive longevity and compare their normal size and shape with today’s 18-year-old, well-nourished person.

Since all things being equal, you might notice that people are a little bigger these days – with taller, wider shoulders and wider hips.

But the Boeing 737 – which has the same fuselage width of 148 inches (3.76 m) as the 707 – still seats six people in each row.

No wonder planes seem more boring today, even the slightly wider Airbus A320s, which offer 18 “seats, or the A220 (designed by Bombardier as the C Series), which offers 19”.

Top: A Boeing 707, the aircraft manufacturer's first jetliner.  Bottom: Boeing 737-800 in Hanover, Germany in 2013.

Top: A Boeing 707, the aircraft manufacturer’s first jetliner. Bottom: Boeing 737-800 in Hanover, Germany in 2013.

Getty Images, Getty Images

But what if these single-winged airplanes were just, well, bigger? This is a question that aviation interior consultancy asks with a concept called LIFT Aero Design Paradym.

Managing director Daniel Baron and design partner Aaron Yong have freshly revealed that the paradigm really needs a new model: giant planes.

“The paradigm is a configuration concept for the next generation of single-wing aircraft,” Baron told CNN.

“It adopts a high standard of comfort in economy class by using wide triple seats. The idea of ​​a new single-wing aircraft that is quite different is significantly wider than today’s 737 or A320 families.

“Paradigm will have a wide triple seat in each row, with 20 inches between the armrests instead of the existing 17-18. There will be two armrests between the seats instead of one in each row.”

The concept will allow airlines to modify these three seats to offer different levels of service on demand, including economy and premium economy. There is also a lie-flat option.

Changing the needs of tourists

LIFT is particularly questionable at critical times, especially for narrowbody single-wing aircraft that make up the bulk of the world’s short-to-medium-range fleet, and a small but growing portion of its long-range services.

Boeing has extended the 1960s airframe of the Boeing 737 as far as possible with the 737 MAX. Airbus is getting that way with the A320neo evolution of the 1980 A320. Add to that the opportunities for hydrogen power, and it looks like both aircraft manufacturers will need to build a completely new aircraft for their next narrow.

Now it’s time to talk about making the plane a little wider.

Baron argues that “the simple fact is that with rising air fares, working from home forever and in the coming meteorological revolution, airlines will have to rediscover themselves to be consistent.”

“Long-distance economy class space is shrinking as more and more space is being allocated for premium classes for luxury seats. And around the world, people are getting bigger in every direction. Yesterday’s seat width standards are probably not enough to keep up. The flight is exciting, especially since ultra-long-haul flights now extend to 16-20 hours. “

The concept of lift aero design will allow airlines to customize the interior of the plane as per demand.  But first, aircraft manufacturers have to start building giant planes.

The concept of lift aero design will allow airlines to customize the interior of the plane as per demand. But first, aircraft manufacturers have to start building giant planes.

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Lift Arrow Design

The Covid-19, too, is changing the way many people perceive their own personal “bubble” of space, while increasing rates of onboard distractions by uncontrollable passengers seem to be associated with the fact that seat rows are, in large part, a few inches. They are closer to each other than they were in previous years and have more seats in each row.

When the Boeing 777 first flew in the 1990s, almost all major airlines put nine economy seats in each row. Today, almost everyone has 10. When Boeing designed the 787 Dreamliner in the 2000s, it announced a comfortable eight-seat seating standard and a nine-seater option for low-cost carriers – but, in reality, only Japan Airlines took over. As many as eight seats.

From an airline accountant’s point of view, this makes sense. The wisdom gained in the aviation industry – and the continued success of low-cost carriers – is that cheap ticket prices solve any leisure problem and very few passengers choose their flight over anything other than price and schedule.

‘Cabin without curtains or dividers’

Airlines have access to state-of-the-art revenue management software to adjust fares, but at the end of the day, cannot physically adjust seats in a multi-class aircraft to meet ever-changing demand, “explains Baron.

Some have tried to create huge berths for their middle-seat-free-economy Eurobusiness-style seat, such as the convertible seat previously used by some European carriers, but now this has largely been eliminated.

“Going forward,” says Baron, “the key to sustainable profitability for airlines will be the ability to tailor the whole experience to customer needs.”

This can also vary between trips for the same person: the Road Warrior has different needs if he is on an hourly flight to Omaha alone and has spent eight hours overnight in Europe on vacation with his family.

“We’re already seeing a trend towards product unbundling,” says LIFT’s Aaron Yong, referring to airlines selling individual mini-upgraded products such as extra legroom seats, better meals, lounge access, more luggage, and more.

"Paradym is a configuration concept for the next generation of single wing aircraft," Says Daniel Baron, managing director of the elevator.

“Paradigm is the configuration concept for the next generation of single air aircraft,” says Daniel Baron, LIFT’s managing director.

Lift Arrow Design

“In the future, the demand for flexibility in seat product and inflight service options will only increase. In this regard, Paradym’s primary advantage for airlines is the ability to sell multiple products with a single seat model across the aircraft. Customers will be able to. Therefore, until the airline departures, using each row of aircraft can provide a constant tweak to optimize revenue generation for the flight. “

“The paradigm envisions a cabin with no curtains or dividers,” Yong explains, comparing a triple seat set to a set of four seats or quads.

“The concept of traditional classes is replaced by products. The airline can sell any row from nose to tail as economy, premium economy and / or lean flat product i.e., the customer buys three seats and gets a huge sleeping surface for almost a long time. Quad. It can be combined with premium food, IFE and features and sold as a ‘premium economy flat’, which is a brand new product category. “

It may not be for their well-established brands and well-known names with well-known brands: Delta One, United Polaris, British Airways Club World, and so much more.

But new airlines always start, and often the old guard realizes that the new crowd can be a real benefit to the way things are done.

Is that enough, though, for a paradigm shift?

Top Image: Paradigm Concept of Lift Arrow Design. Credit: Lift Arrow Design

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