Patent: Airline Seat Configurations go Vertical


Emil Jacob of Cambridge, MA patented this idea for airline seating in 2006.

“step seat principle” It involves elevating alternate rows of seats, from one to five steps above the cabin floor, to give passengers more room to lean back in economy class and enough space in business class to lie down, either by sliding their legs under the seat in front of them or stretching out in pods stacked on top of each other – no sweater on the floor required.

The simplest version raises every other row of economy seats by 7 inches, a standard step height, allowing passengers to recline seats at up to a 45-degree angle (a few inches more than the 3 to 5 inches that’s standard in economy, Daimler said) and elevate their legs on a foldable footrest that takes advantage of the space underneath the seat in front of them. It’s a more “sleepable position,” Jacob said.

The staggered vertical seating allows for more individual passenger comfort and room, but also increasing carrier capacity, all while using the same amount of space that currently exists in airplanes. Jacob is currently discussing with a few airlines… I wonder if it will come to fruition.


[Update: check out some computer render concepts on Core77 here, here and here]

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