Does Airbus seat concept take us closer to stand-up position?


Airbus may be promoting a comfort standard for long-haul aircraft, but that hasn’t stopped it from tabling ideas for super high-density seating for short-haul aircraft.

The European airframer’s concept for a “seating device with a forward-foldable backrest” was recently revealed by the hugely valuable @AeroPatent handle on Twitter (truly a must follow).

In its patent application, filed December 2013, Airbus explains that the seating device comprises “a backrest which describes a circular translational movement towards the front and upwards of the device when the seating device is brought to the retracted configuration.

“A seating structure is provided comprising a bearing piece on which are fixed, side by side, a plurality of seating devices with reduced bulk.”

It’s difficult to see how this type of seat would pass 16G certification testing, but “never say never”, as they say. What’s interesting is that in prior years, Airbus has pooh-poohed the idea of ‘stand-up’ seating, and yet, this type of configuration would appear to take us one step closer to such a reality.

Indeed, on seeing the design, @Hula121 on Twitter quipped, “Somewhere, Michael O’Leary is licking his chops.” O’Leary famously claimed interest in offering stand-up seats on 1-hour flights. The concept below wouldn’t see passengers standing fully upright…but we certainly wouldn’t be sitting down fully either!

Airbus high-density