Today in Questionable Airbus Patents, it’s not the pilot being displaced;
it’s our sweet, precious legroom. And about three-quarters of the seats
themselves. We just hope you’re not a fan of personal space, because
otherwise—it’s going to be a long flight.
This newest patent is
all about cutting down on “bulk,” the word here referring to seat backs,
cushions, tray tables, half the seats themselves, and any remaining
semblance of dignity, apparently. Still, Airbus seems assured that
customers won’t mind. In the patent, the company explains:
In the aeronautical sector, some so-called “low-cost” airlines seek
to increase the number of passengers transported on each flight, and
more particularly on short-haul links, in order to maximize the return
on the use of the aircraft. To that end, and by using the same aircraft
or an aircraft of similar capacity, the number of seats in the cabin
must be increased.
In all cases, this increase in the number of
seats is achieved to the detriment of the comfort of the passengers. In
effect, to increase the number of cabin seats, the space allotted to
each passenger must be reduced. However, this reduced comfort remains
tolerable for the passengers in as much as the flight lasts only one or a
In other words: eh, they’ll be fine.
The upside to all this torture, though, is that it does create the
potential for absurdly cheap air travel—if you can take it.
Of course, as The Washington Post
points out, the new bike saddles on sticks do leave quite a few
questions unanswered. Are we just getting rid of tray tables? What about
personal carry-on items? Will these pipes save me if the plane goes
under? And why are my seat neighbors touching me?
Of course, this is just a patent at this point, and as Airbus told the LA Times, these seats are still just in concept mode. A terrifying, dystopian concept mode. [US Patent and Trademark Office via The Washington Post]
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