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]