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Could a New Armrest Design End Elbow Wars?

Could a New Armrest Design End Elbow Wars?

Old Apr 2, 2009, 10:08 am
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Could a New Armrest Design End Elbow Wars?

Could a new design for aircraft armrests finally end the misery of in-flight elbow hockey?

James Lee, a 25-year-old management trainee for Cathay Pacific, came up with this idea for a new armrest configuration. Called the “Paperclip Armrest Concept,” it’s a bi-level design that allows a pair of passengers to share an armrest (think bunk beds). Don’t expect to see it on planes any time soon. At this point it’s a patent-pending design concept ...

http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2009...nd-elbow-wars/
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Old Apr 2, 2009, 10:32 am
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Interesting concept, but it certainly wouldn't "end" elbow wars.

For one thing, I'd imagine the upper level would be far more desirable. Also, middle-seat passengers would not want to have one arm up and the other arm down, so that would take some additional negotiation.

Also, for the most part, armrests are currently at more or less the same level in most aircraft across all airlines (at least on mainline aircraft). With this design, either the upper level or lower level (and possibly both) would no longer be at the expected height. It would probably seem uncomfortable for a long time until everyone got used to it.
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Old Apr 2, 2009, 10:44 am
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Armrests really take a beating from people dropping bags on them going in and out of the OHB. I guess they would have to be made out of a strong plastic or composite material to keep them from bending.
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Old Apr 2, 2009, 3:27 pm
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I am just imagining how often the 'lower level' of the armrest gets cleaned. Think sweaty/hairy arms, spilled drinks, chewing gum ... ughh.

This concept was mentioned in this forum a little while back ... simply genius.
http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/0...-airlines.html
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Old Apr 2, 2009, 5:54 pm
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Originally Posted by fairviewroad
Interesting concept, but it certainly wouldn't "end" elbow wars.

For one thing, I'd imagine the upper level would be far more desirable. Also, middle-seat passengers would not want to have one arm up and the other arm down, so that would take some additional negotiation.

Also, for the most part, armrests are currently at more or less the same level in most aircraft across all airlines (at least on mainline aircraft). With this design, either the upper level or lower level (and possibly both) would no longer be at the expected height. It would probably seem uncomfortable for a long time until everyone got used to it.

The standard armrest height surely isn't comfortable for everyone. When I'm next to a really large person I often notice that his (usually it's a he) elbows don't actually touch the armrest, because of either height or girth.

Maybe the "paperclip" could pivot...
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Old Apr 3, 2009, 1:18 pm
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I think its a great idea.

By the way when sitting in a row of three, my opinion is that the middle seat person should have use of both arm rests. The poor guy is in a middle seat afterall. And the people on the ends at least have one armrest all to themselves.
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Old Apr 5, 2009, 9:12 am
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I think a better design is a substitutable or removable piece that is a barrier as opposed to an armrest. It would be shaped in a manner that it is uncomfortable to put one's arm on.

I know many (most?) of you disagree but I believe in a "my space your space" concept based on absolute dimensions of airspace, for example halfway into the armrest. The defined space does not change from one flight to another or from one passenger to another. Anyone extending into someone else's space and touching that person against his will is a "flying as(you complete this word)"

For all intents and purposes this means that neither person should "use" a common armrest.

About the invention, it looks like something that can entrap body parts or catch and tear clothing particularly during turbulence.

Last edited by AllanJ; Apr 5, 2009 at 9:20 am
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Old Apr 5, 2009, 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by Fornebufox
The standard armrest height surely isn't comfortable for everyone. When I'm next to a really large person I often notice that his (usually it's a he) elbows don't actually touch the armrest...
Absolutely true. I have never been able to use either armrest in Y. They are just too low to comfortably reach without leaning over sideways, which causes more back strain and pain than just not using the armrest.
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Old Apr 5, 2009, 10:54 am
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I want a dividing panel that can go up after take off and stowed before landing. That will end the armrest wars because it is no longer possible to poke anything out beyond the divider.

I also would like armrests in most seats to NOT go up, to prevent other passengers from freely moving it up and taking up part of your space.
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Old Apr 6, 2009, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by ktakahashi
I am just imagining how often the 'lower level' of the armrest gets cleaned. Think sweaty/hairy arms, spilled drinks, chewing gum ... ughh.

This concept was mentioned in this forum a little while back ... simply genius.
http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/0...-airlines.html
Is there any further info on Delta's plans for this?
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Old Apr 6, 2009, 8:31 am
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My first thought was similar to that of N965VJ: the design looks a bit fragile...the last thing airlines want is seats getting taken out of service because the paperclip is damaged or broken.

It's cute but I hope it never makes it past "concept" phase. Those DL seats, on the other hand, look great (as Y seats go...).
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Old Mar 8, 2013, 3:43 pm
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Originally Posted by flightwatcher
Called the “Paperclip Armrest Concept,” it’s a bi-level design that allows a pair of passengers to share an armrest (think bunk beds).
Safety issue - even those there may be a patent, no one is going to implement this.
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Old Mar 8, 2013, 7:16 pm
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At least someone is thinking about the issue! Maybe just the mention of this will get the ball rolling for a new design.
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Old Mar 9, 2013, 5:10 am
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My experience is that the person in the middle seat actually gets the armrests. The aisle and window passengers have to be real jerks to not concede that. It happens but, in my experience, is infrequent enough that it does not warrant a new design.
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Old Mar 9, 2013, 5:32 am
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Originally Posted by TravelingBear
At least someone is thinking about the issue!
At least they were 4 years ago.
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