Designers plan to make boarding quicker and travelling more enjoyable with an offset middle seat
When it comes to air travel, the middle seat nestled into the average passenger jet’s three-chair formation is so maligned that it’s completely removed from the window or aisle debate. But if an American aviation design firm has its way, getting stuck in the middle could soon be much better.
Molon Labe Seating, a Colorado-based aircraft interiors design firm, has come up with a new formation that offsets the middle seat from its neighbouring pair.
“The arms, things, and elbows of all passengers are no longer adjacent,” explained CEO Hank Scott in a statement. “Visually it is a small offset, but ergonomically it makes a huge difference in passenger comfort.”
But reconfiguring the parallel-lined seating pattern would help eliminate one of the worst parts about being in the middle chair, by making it harder from the passengers glibly sauntering off to the toilet without any hassle or staring out the window to hog both armrests.
“If you’re in the aisle or window seat, you couldn’t possibly steal the entire armrest – your elbows would be behind your back at a weird angle,” Scott told Wired.
If assertion of armrests control doesn’t make the middle seat even more enviable, the Molon Labe concept ups the ante even further; their proposed design accounts for a larger middle seat, some three inches wider than its bookending pairs. These seats would also come with bigger built-in TV monitors for in-flight entertainment.
Another innovation being spearheaded by Molon Labe could also drastically improve another terrible aspect of modern flying: boarding the aircraft.
The company has also created the ‘Side-Slip Seat’, which allows aisle chairs to be moved further towards the window, creating a wider aisle that allows passengers to move around others placing their luggage in the overhead bins.
Both designs are based on the same metalframe work, with the Side Slip having already succeeded in internal safety checks to determine whether or not those sitting in the middle seat would be exposed to greater danger during a crash.
Assuming the seats hold up to the rigorous testing of the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency, the Molon Labe seating could be making your next business trip or city break to Europe less painful within a year or two.
According to the company, a number of airlines are interested in the concept, though Molon Labe has not revealed who they are.