Is this the future of flight for passengers? We have had input from HawaiianIslands.com which has sought out ten intriguing proposals that aerospace engineers have submitted to the patent office and re-created their sketches as realistic digital renders.
The challenges of designing a comfortable aircraft cabin are enormous when you need to make travel as economical as possible.
The pressures on airline designers are complex and somewhat unique to their industry and even their part of the market.
As HawaiianIslands.com point out “First Class and Business airlines strive to improve the pleasure and prestige of flying to attract wealthy patrons from rival airlines. Economy airlines recognize that passengers are willing to compromise on comfort if it saves them a few bucks — the difficult bit is finding a balance that customers find acceptable.
“Meanwhile, the laws of physics are against them. Space is limited. The shape of a plane determines its efficiency. Every extra gram in the fixtures and fittings bumps up the cost of fuel — and the cost to the environment,” the website points out.
To look into the future of passenger comfort the website has sought out ten intriguing proposals that aerospace engineers have submitted to the patent office and re-created their sketches as realistic digital renders.
We have chosen five designs/concepts to bring to you.
Aerospace giants Airbus figured out that not only do front windows reduce fuel efficiency but that the conventional cockpit takes up valuable seating space. So they moved it.
Patent US9302780B2 proposes that the cockpit (above) could be moved to the belly of the plane or into its tail. The pilot would find themselves in a futuristic media centre surrounded by OLED displays, and projection screens. AirlineRatings.com view: No way, passengers will not buy it.
Business Class Office
British Airways hopes to meet the balance between work and sleep with this shell-like seating module of patent B64D 11/06 pictured below.
The sleek, herringbone formation of each seat unit maximizes space, giving business passengers room to stretch into the recess of the seat ahead. The seats are wide rather than deep and paired with a tail-shaped table of the same size. By adding an ‘infill’ between the seat and the table, the whole thing is convertible into a “substantially continuous sleeping surface.” AirlineRatings.com View: It’s a yes from us.
Economy VR Head Rest
From Airbus the innocent-sounding Headrest for a Passenger Seat for an Aircraft promises to immerse you in entertainment, descending in the form of a virtual reality (VR) helmet and “at least partially housing the head of the passenger,” providing blissful isolation (and viewing privacy) from fellow flyers. Airlineratings.com view: Yep we think it would work.
Food by Monorail??
Sell GMBH proposes an aircraft monorail automat that skirts up and down the aisle delivering food to passengers and freeing up flight attendants to practice their safety dance routine. The mobile restaurant unit — likened to a sushi conveyer belt but better resembling WALL-E — would occupy a narrow footprint, freeing up aisle space for people to pass and sinking below deck to travel from one row of seating to another. AirlineRatings.com View: No chance.
Economy Head Support
From Boeing, this falls into the realm of “are you dreaming.” Patent B64D II/06: The Transport Vehicle Upright Sleep Support System would be distributed by flight attendants and transforms into a seated sleeping unit that attaches to your seat. And, for safety reasons, to you.
The unit hangs in front of you for you to lay your chest on. Resting your forehead on the cushion positions your face on a massage table-style hole so that you can breathe. AirlineRatings.com view: Boeing stick to aeroplanes and forget seats.
You can read the full report here.