Airline seats have come a long way since wicker chairs were used on early passenger flights in the 1920s.
But economy class seats have largely stayed the same since the 1960s and still do little to address personal comfort, other than recline (into people’s faces).
Airlines may be less reluctant to change the status quo, but that hasn’t stopped designers from trying to improve things.
A design student has sketched out a new “low-cost” and “ergonomic” economy cabin design that he says not only solves the main problems with today’s economy class seats but provides similar comfort to first class, without creating more space.
An end to rigid seats in economy?
The “AirGo” cabin features multi-functional seats that can be adjusted in different positions depending on whether you’re in reading, sleeping, or relaxing in front of the screen mode.
The design envisages seats made from a strong, breathable nylon mesh that would mould around the body, prevent sweating and offer back support.
Other features in the seat include an individual overhead storage compartment for your carry-on bag that eliminates the scrum for space and an adjustable footrest in your seat – instead of under the seat in front.
The design also shows a flat screen monitor and tray table that pull down from above and can be adjusted to suit your seating position.
The design has been entered for this year’s James Dyson Award: an international competition that encourages students to invent something that solves a problem.