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Aircraft Expo Showcases the Return of Standing Seats

Aircraft Expo Showcases the Return of Standing Seats
Joe Cortez

Airlines are once again getting a peek at the potential future of budget seating with a new prototype of the slimmest seat yet. At Aircraft Interiors Expo, an Italian design company is showcasing the third edition of their Skyrider seat: a combination of a traditional aircraft and bicycle seat.

Italian design company Aviointeriors is once again shopping around a slimmer, upright seat that could reduce pitch even further and force passengers to squat instead of sit. CNN reports the seat, named the Skyrider 3.0, is the latest attempt to bring even tighter seating to airlines.

As the name suggests, the prototype is the third edition of the seat, combining the arms and upright back of traditional economy accommodations with a very short bottom. In an improvement from the previous prototype, the 3.0 version does not suspend from the aircraft ceiling by bars but are supported by bars underneath. Instead of sitting, passengers would effectively be harnessed in on a semi-standing position.

According to the designers, the goal of the “standing seat” would be to segment cabins even further and add more passengers to every aircraft load. Speaking to the news outlet, Aviointeriors engineering designer Gaetano Perugini suggested the seats could offer a multi-class configuration, ranging from business up front to “ultra-economy” using standing seats in the back.

While the company claims that there is “strong interest” in the seats, current engineering guidelines won’t allow them to be installed just yet. The engineers told CNN that Airbus and Boeing currently demand a minimum pitch of 28 inches between seats. If installed, the Skyrider seat would only have 23 inches of space between seats.

What would it be like to sit in the seats? A reporter for CNN described it as riding in “a bicycle saddle and not hugely comfortable.”

The unique seat design is not the first attempt to maximize seat space in an aircraft. In 2015, Airbus filed a patent for a multi-tier seating configuration. In 2017, the French manufacturer further refined their ideas with the introduction of the “Transpose” cabin concept.

[Image Source: Aircraft Interiors Expo]

View Comments (7)


  1. Flight44

    April 6, 2019 at 9:16 am

    Slave ships of the sky. And why? WOW went bankrupt. Other airlines teetering. Why keep promising the public lower prices for worse conditions? Nothing but a boondoggle. End it. now.

  2. rjpjr

    April 6, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    You’ve Got To Be _ Kidding Me. Do I get to hold a carry on?

  3. SarcasticMisanthrope

    April 8, 2019 at 5:16 am

    Just stack passengers like cordwood while they are at it.

  4. BJM

    April 8, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Skywedgie 3.0

  5. skidooman

    April 8, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    This MUST end. The Feds need to step in and say enough is enough.

    I mean really? You will treat human beings like this? How about coffins next, with a steady air supply of course, and you just get loaded. How many can you stack up in an expanded cargo hold?

    I should have kept my mouth shut! Now, there is a crazy engineer somewhere working on this, and he will point out that such a mean of transportation compares advantageously to today’s economy seating! Ans the worse is if you make abstraction of the claustrophobia you would be right!

  6. dddc

    April 9, 2019 at 2:36 am

    Some manufactures make high end concept models to attract the attention of purchases who ultimately buy something without as many bells and whistles. This company is doing the reverse, creating such an unrealistic low end model that it gets the buys swarming around it simply due to the audacity of proposing such an idea. Given that Airbus and Boeing have their minimum standards as the first (major) hurdle to overcome, I can’t see this every working in reality. It’s just a publicity stunt to get press screen time.

  7. OUTraveling

    April 9, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    That is a PREMIUM Lie Flat class.
    Now, being stuffed into a plane (a la Japan) is more their style.

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