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In “Higher Business Class,” Lie-Flat Is Out, Bucket Frames Are In

Business class on airlines may be getting an upgrade, but not in the way you’d expect. Forget flat-bed seats with a straight back recline and full leg rest – Italian seat maker Avioninteriors, known for Adagio (its staggered, flat-bed seat seen in the A320neo family mockup and also an iteration of the standing seats that sent shivers through passengers everywhere), is introducing a brand new, industry-changing concept called Skywave.

Skywave is a zero-G, “higher business class” seat. It is a completely new way of looking at business class comfort and is being designed to mold to the passenger’s body and movement. The company explains the new technology as “a single extensively molded bucket frame that reclines as one, distributing the passenger’s weight across the curved back and sides, sort of like a higher-tech futuristic Le Corbusier LC4 lounge chair in the sky.” The design will adjust how gravity puts pressure on the body, making the journey more comfortable for the passenger. The new design is expected to capture the attention of airlines looking for new, innovative alternatives to their current business class cabins.

Avioninteriors’ CEO Paolo Drago explained, “for this kind of zero gravity concept, we are still testing the market.” Drago is thinking to reimagine the traditional business class setup altogether and take this new seat and turn it into a seat-plus-bed style suite. He believes there is potential to take out the overhead bins, instead putting storage into the floor, and situating beds above the seat. There is discussion about using a Murphy style bed as well.

Though, this type of change would face challenges, such as getting the bed certified by regulators and safety professionals. However, it seems that Avioninteriors is getting the momentum they hoped for, with planned installations for a few yet-to-be-announced customers coming soon.

To see more photos of Avioninteriors’ new design, head over to Flight Global.

Comments are Closed.
noturbag October 8, 2019

Looks like the perfect way to get a blood clot in the legs with knees bent at a constant angle!

jrpallante October 8, 2019

I would like to try this seat. When flying biz, I never put the seat in flat mode, because I find it more comfortable to sleep in a steep recline, just like a hospitable bed, or the comfy recliner in my living room. This position is often preferable for snorers. Are these seats ever tested with real humans? It seems like lots of new seat designs are met with widespread negative responses from passengers, suggesting they were not properly tested. If I saw a prototype at an airport, I would love to spend a few minutes trying it out. Over the years, I have seen some mock-ups at airports for advertisement purposes, but they were not available for an actual test ride.

jcrhunter October 5, 2019

While Mr. Drago can use the words "zero gravity" in a sentence he clearly doesn't understand what the term actually means.

WillCAD October 4, 2019

I don't object to the idea of bucket seats, and the shape of this one wouldn't be bad on a short-haul, but ye gads! It looks like it has no padding at all! And for a wide fat guy like me, having fixed armrests is an absolute deal-breaker, so I'll definitely pass on this monstrosity.

BC Shelby October 4, 2019

...reminds me of a dentist's chair. Not many good memories of that. @ RHolighaus & chaoticorder: ...same here.. Like some mention, it would be better as a premium economy seat than business class that can cost upwards of 6,000USD - 8,000USD round trip.