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

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

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.

View Comments (22)

22 Comments

  1. strickerj

    October 3, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    This company seems to surface every few years with some “revolutionary” concept that’ll ultimately never see the light of day, usually for good reason. I’m guessing they’re just trying to drum up venture capital.

  2. Elegance645

    October 4, 2019 at 4:10 am

    reminiscent of the BA cradle seat pre sing/yang current seat in Business class that was one of the best seats for sleeping in

  3. DeltaFlyer123

    October 4, 2019 at 4:15 am

    This looks a bit like the recliner chair in my home office. I’ve enjoyed many hours of snoozing in that chair over the years.

  4. RHolighaus

    October 4, 2019 at 4:59 am

    Well I for my part am a side sleeper and cannot sleep for long on my back. I would not fly an airline offering these kind of C seats.

  5. fytgyrl

    October 4, 2019 at 5:13 am

    I’ve sat in a business class seat where the leg rest is down like this instead of straight across like an easy chair. It was the most uncomfortable position. I don’t need “lie flat,” but the leg rest should at least go straight out. I will never pay for business class in this configuration.

  6. ChrL

    October 4, 2019 at 5:19 am

    I like to sleep on my side. Not sure how I’d do that in that seat.

  7. TravelPhotographer

    October 4, 2019 at 5:33 am

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

    No!
    Makes turning to one side
    or other impossible!
    Promotes “bed sores”…

  8. Danwriter

    October 4, 2019 at 6:40 am

    Translation: It takes up less space so we can put in more of them.

  9. LongingForORD

    October 4, 2019 at 6:54 am

    As a short (under 5′) international business class flyer, “no”, just NO.

  10. KGF

    October 4, 2019 at 8:14 am

    I remember years ago BA launched this seat I was fortunate enough to be on the inaugural flight and it was very effective but I see it as an upgraded economy comfort seat rather than a C class
    This would be a good replacement as a bridge between economy and business

  11. lebelgo

    October 4, 2019 at 8:16 am

    No way I’d shell out the $$ for a seat like that. Might as well be in Premium Economy. Like others, I sleep on my side, so this wouldn’t work (I also snore if I’m on my back).

  12. mylakay

    October 4, 2019 at 8:24 am

    I am under 5′ tall. That would NEVER work for me. How could it? No seat accommodates someone over 6′ and someone under 5′.
    Very bad idea!!!

  13. jmsikora

    October 4, 2019 at 8:58 am

    Can I just say “No” and leave it at that.

  14. chaoticorder

    October 4, 2019 at 9:08 am

    I sleep on my side or stomach, never on my back. This looks incredibly uncomfortable.

  15. SchultzBrigade

    October 4, 2019 at 9:20 am

    It is amazing that someone gets paid to come up with stupid ideas like this.

  16. dliesse

    October 4, 2019 at 11:33 am

    In addition to the previous comments (and I agree with all of them), the other fallacy I see is the “one size fits all” concept in terms of body shape. Everyone’s back has a different arch, but this aberration looks like a piece of plastic that won’t give at all.

  17. picturegal

    October 4, 2019 at 11:37 am

    I hope they’re planning to pass out bibs if you’re trying to eat and drink in that position. And where are they putting the TV screen? On the ceiling? If this is just the “sleeping” position – I, too am a side sleeper, so not a perk. Didn’t understand the part about adding a Murphy bed where the luggage bins are. Maybe they can turn the whole section into a dormitory with bunk beds and the passengers can have a pillow fight.

  18. BC Shelby

    October 4, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    …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.

  19. WillCAD

    WillCAD

    October 4, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    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.

  20. jcrhunter

    October 5, 2019 at 2:15 am

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

  21. jrpallante

    October 8, 2019 at 12:01 am

    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.

  22. noturbag

    October 8, 2019 at 10:51 am

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

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