Friday, September 10, 2010
What Fresh Hell Is This? (Airplane Seating Division)
[Right: The SkyRider.]
If some dipsomaniacal loon in a preacher's suit can rile up all these national and worldwide passions with a stunt to burn some books in Florida, it's probably time for the "standing room only" airplane seat to make its return on the media screen.
The concept of a "standing room only" seat actually started some years ago as a practical joke by tricksters at Boeing having some fun with counterparts at Airbus who were about to introduce the huge new A380 superjumbo plane -- and managing in the process to fool some gullible media types.
But as anyone who looks at the news knows, practical jokes have a way of evolving. So I suppose attention must be paid to an announcement from the Italian airline-cabin equipment maker Avioninteriors that it has patented a standing-room-only airplane seat design.
"The passenger’s seating position is similar to that of a touring motor-scooter rider," the company says. --But hey, why am I thinking being strapped helplessly into an amusement-park terror ride, rather than zipping along the hilly highway over the Riviera in 1964 with Audrey Hepburn, her hair blowing, hugging me from the back of my sporty Vespa?
Travel Weekly has a story about the seat.
In its news release, Avionteriors says:
"From various media reporting we understand that some airline companies would even want to go for a Stand-Up Cabin. We are proposing a 23-inch pitch or less; the SkyRider.
Aviointeriors is one of the leading aircraft seat and cabin fixtures manufacturers with extensive R&D on the subject.
The SkyRider is an ultra-high density seat presently completely engineered and to be finally tested. The SkyRider has been designed and engineered to offer the possibility to even further reduce ticket prices while still maintaining sound profitability, which, even with a dual or three class seating arrangement, will allow maximum certified passenger capacity of the aircraft.
With a much reduced seat pitch, the SkyRider preserves a comfortable position for the low fare passengers.
The SkyRider is intended as a new basic class. The passenger’s seating position is similar to that of a touring motor-scooter rider. This posture permits that the overall longitudinal space occupied by the seat with the seated passenger is far less than that of a conventional, very high-density 28” economy class seat.
Furthermore, in the SkyRider arrangement, a partial overlapping of the passengers seating between rows is allowed, thus further increasing the cabin density.
The seat structure itself also provides space for personal baggage."
As Roseanne Rosanadana used to say, "It's always somethin'."