The aviation industry is always looking for new ways to get more people into their planes and judging by a new patent filing, Airbus is proposing a pretty radical idea.
The manufacturer of the world’s largest commercial jet, the A380, just filed a patent in Europe for a number of wacky looking seating configurations on its aircraft, creating the potential to jam even more people into planes.
In the patent filing, the company says “in modern means of transport, in particular in aircraft, it is very important from an economic point of view to make optimum use of the available space. Passenger cabins are therefore fitted with as many rows of passenger seats as possible, which are positioned with as little space between them as possible.”
Amongst the range of new configurations is a business class cabin with a mezzanine level.
Passengers on the upper level would have to climb steps to reach their seats. Seats in this configuration would recline flat, allowing passengers to enjoy an airborne version of being in a bunkbed.
Another design shows two passengers seated on a mezzanine, face to face, something which business travellers looking to get work done might find particularly helpful!
The patents may be designed to save space but Airbus was also keen to stress that the new seats will provide a “high level of comfort for the passengers using the seat arrangement.”
It also said that the seat configurations could be used on trains and buses. One bonus that might come from such cramped conditions is that air fares could get cheaper.
But no matter how unpleasant these planes might look, it seems unlikely that the designs will ever come into use.
Airbus is well known for filing hundreds of patents per year in order to protect its intellectual property and ensure that competitors like Boeing cannot get the upper hand.
Recent patents filed by the company include a jet that could travel across the Atlantic in only one hour.