I just flew an Indian low-cost carrier, whose seats seemed ultra-light and certainly the thinnest I’d seen on a plane.
But that was before French company, Expliseat recently introduced an innovative new seat made of lightweight titanium and composite materials.
Showcased at this month’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, the new seat weighs in at around four kilograms, compared to the current average economy seat, which tips the scales at nearly 11 kilograms.
With airlines looking at every way in which to cut down on weight – and save fuel – Expliseat has promised carriers savings of up to US$500,000 a year in fuel costs for the average Airbus 320 or Boeing 737 planes, the Los Angeles Times reported.
According to the Times, the seat was approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency for use on European jets on 1 April.
Although the new lightweight seat garnered much of the attention at the show, there was certainly no lack of innovation elsewhere.
Another French aircraft interior maker, Zodiac Aerospace, revealed a set of three seats, with a rearwards facing seat placed between two forwards facing seats.
A concept strictly for short-haul flights only, the new design features seat bottoms that flip-up, so that passengers are able to board and exit the aircraft more quickly.
The drawbacks are no armrests and ultra-thin seat bottom cushions, according to the LA Times.
Pierre-Antony Vastra, an executive vice president at Zodiac said airlines at the expo had been “very interested” in this concept.
Among the other ideas at the expo were a set of seats that put passengers face-to-face, seats that were installed in a staggered, diagonal layout, and lavatories designed to wedge in a few extra passengers in the back of the cabin.
One company even introduced a lightweight seat belt.
At least airlines won’t be able to cut back on those.
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