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Why didn't 3x4x2 seating take off?

Why didn't 3x4x2 seating take off?

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Old Oct 31, 17, 2:15 pm
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Why didn't 3x4x2 seating take off?

For 9 abreast aircraft (sadly, the 787, and hopefully for a while longer, the 777), a 3x3x3 coach configuration have been the standard - certainly for all new 787 deliveries, and for most 777s since about 2000 (2x5x2 was the first configuration in the 90s). However, why have so few airlines adopted the 3x4x2 configuration for 9 abreast planes? It seems like such a great layout, with pairs for couples, 4-across in the center where everyone is one seat away from the aisle, and only one "double excuse me" with the 3-bench window seat. Any reason why most airlines chose 3x3x3 over 3x4x2?
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Old Oct 31, 17, 2:46 pm
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Because the seat manufacturers can make 10,000 sets of 3-abreast seats instead of 3,300 sets of 2-abreast, 3,300 sets of 3-abreast, and 3,300 sets of 4-abreast.

IOW: It's cheaper.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 2:49 pm
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Mass and balance. It'd be aerodynamically inefficient and a safety hazard.
​​​​​​The alternative would be alternating every few rows but that'd make for jigs in the aisles and loss of seats at the switchover points.

It's also visually displeasing. The manufacturing inefficiency could probably be overcome or would be minimal. Also it'd have lots of pax feeling like they "lost" unless the get the set of 2
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Old Oct 31, 17, 3:03 pm
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Back in the spring of 1977 when my parents took me on holiday to Greece via ORD and LHR, I remember TWA had its 747 3x4x2 in economy.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 3:10 pm
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
Mass and balance. It'd be aerodynamically inefficient and a safety hazard.
​​​​​​The alternative would be alternating every few rows but that'd make for jigs in the aisles and loss of seats at the switchover points.

It's also visually displeasing. The manufacturing inefficiency could probably be overcome or would be minimal. Also it'd have lots of pax feeling like they "lost" unless the get the set of 2
I hear you on the safety and aerodynamics, but at least one ANA 777 variant has the 3x4x2 layout.

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/AN...77-300ER_E.php
http://weekendblitz.com/ana-flight-n...rt-b777-300er/
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Old Oct 31, 17, 5:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Loose Cannon View Post
Back in the spring of 1977 when my parents took me on holiday to Greece via ORD and LHR, I remember TWA had its 747 3x4x2 in economy.
I seem to recall something similar when I was a kid, flying transpac on 747s.

One time it was a trip with my mom and brother and we had the 3-across row. Another trip it was just mom and I, and we had the section with 2-across.
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Old Oct 31, 17, 10:49 pm
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
Mass and balance. It'd be aerodynamically inefficient and a safety hazard.
What are you talking about? The shift of 18" doesn't cause much, if any change in balance due to the weight being close to the CG. Otherwise popular aircraft like the MD80 wouldn't fly due to the 2-3 seating.

In addition, there's no more safety hazard than a 3-4-3 setup
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Old Nov 1, 17, 1:43 am
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
Because the seat manufacturers can make 10,000 sets of 3-abreast seats instead of 3,300 sets of 2-abreast, 3,300 sets of 3-abreast, and 3,300 sets of 4-abreast.
The different types of 3-abreast seats are not interchangeable.

Left aisle, right aisle and center section seats are different part numbers and cannot be swapped. So there really isn't a significant economy of scale due to that.
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Old Nov 1, 17, 1:47 am
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Originally Posted by caverunner17 View Post
What are you talking about? The shift of 18" doesn't cause much, if any change in balance due to the weight being close to the CG. Otherwise popular aircraft like the MD80 wouldn't fly due to the 2-3 seating.

In addition, there's no more safety hazard than a 3-4-3 setup
It was an opinion, of course it may be wrong.

You're right the arm is quite small, however a significant enough mass even at an 18" arm might have an effect, hence my opinion.

The Safety hazard comes if there is a mass and balance issue and one were to counter by staggering every 5 or 10 rows by going 3-4-2 and then 2-4-3 and now the aisles have jigs in them instead of being straight.

​​​​​one would need to do the math and know the relevant CG figures to know if it causes an actual issue and probably can balance it with a smart aux tank in a wing tip which the aircraft pumps full or empty based on the day's actual load, as the much longer arm would necessitate a much lower mass to counter-balance.

Basically at full load the plane might fly a bit skew if unbalanced is what I'm saying, keyword being "might"
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Old Nov 1, 17, 2:09 am
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
Basically at full load the plane might fly a bit skew if unbalanced is what I'm saying, keyword being "might"
It is no more of an issue than having more passengers seated on the left of an aircraft than on the right. On larger jets like widebodies, this is almost insignificant.

Modern load control programs are very good at calculating CoG and other parameters based on static LOPA and dynamic DCS inputs, including how these change as fuel burns off and how trim should be altered accordingly.
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Old Nov 1, 17, 4:50 am
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FWIW, I was a big fan of the 2-5-2 layout. Can easily accommodate all size parties from 1 to 5. 3-3-3 requires all window seat passengers to disturb two people when getting up whereas that middle seat in the 2-5-2 was probably (guessing) the least occupied of the 9.
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Old Nov 1, 17, 7:38 am
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Originally Posted by VivoPerLei View Post
FWIW, I was a big fan of the 2-5-2 layout. Can easily accommodate all size parties from 1 to 5. 3-3-3 requires all window seat passengers to disturb two people when getting up whereas that middle seat in the 2-5-2 was probably (guessing) the least occupied of the 9.
But if you are a solo traveler, and stuck in the middle of the center seat… Oh well…
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Old Nov 1, 17, 8:06 am
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There are some passenger comfort issues.

Theoretically 3-3-3 offers economy cabin passengers the highest chance of an empty seat next to them. To see why, consider the seat factors that would be required for every passenger to have an empty seat next to them:

3-3-3 = o-o o-o o-o = 6/9 seats occupied = 67%
3-4-2 = o-o o-o- o- = 5/9 seats occupied = 56%
2-5-2 = o- o-o-o o- = 5/9 seats occupied = 56%
2-4-2 = o- o-o- o- = 4/8 seats occupied = 50%
3-4-3 = o-o o-o- o-o = 6/10 seats occupied = 60%

(o = occupied, - = not occupied)

The higher the "empty seat guarantee seat factor", the more likely it is that a passenger will be on such a flight. So 3-3-3 will cause the most passengers possible to have a more comfortable journey.

Now the problem with this approach is that most passengers travel on busy flights and/or that at some stages of the cycle most flights are busy, but that is another story...

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Old Nov 1, 17, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by Loose Cannon View Post
Back in the spring of 1977 when my parents took me on holiday to Greece via ORD and LHR, I remember TWA had its 747 3x4x2 in economy.
Yeah, but those flights cruised with a 3-degree lean to the left. It was uncomfortable...

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Old Nov 1, 17, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by B747-437B View Post
The different types of 3-abreast seats are not interchangeable.

Left aisle, right aisle and center section seats are different part numbers and cannot be swapped. So there really isn't a significant economy of scale due to that.
The different seat sections have different part numbers, but there are multiple parts within these which are common. There would be less of these common parts if there were sets of 4 and 2 as well.
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