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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book.

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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The Airbus 'CHUBBY CLASS' OBESE SEAT OPTION or Re-Configurable Passenger Bench Seat

Airbus Re-Configurable Passenger Bench Seat

AIRBUS, the French based  aircraft manufacturer has submitted a patent for a “Re-Configurable Passenger Bench Seat” that would see planes able to accommodate all shapes and sizes with adjustable chairbases and seatbelts.

Obesity rates worldwide have doubled since 1980, and, according to the National Obesity Forum, one in four UK residents can now be considered obese. Even the NHS at Peterborough City Hospital  has imported special one and a half width chairs - they also take two children easily. A clutch of big seats are in the X-Ray Diagnostics inner waiting room ...make of that what you will.

 Some smaller airlines charge passengers by their weight, others add larger seats or EasyJet will even sell you the adjoining seat if available for a 50% rate. Ryanair will simply sell you two seats at full price...

Drawings submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office show the ‘bench seat’ could comfortably fit two “overweight passengers” with an armrest between them.

Alternatively an airline could seat three more slender passengers in the same width or even a whole family with Mum, Dad and two kids all on the same bench filling the seats.


“The cabin layout, particularly the layout of the passenger seats arranged in the passenger cabin, such as the allocation of a row of passenger seats to business class or to economy class for example, should be as flexibly, rapidly and easily re-configurable as possible.

“In addition, efforts are made to design the passenger cabin of a commercial aircraft in such a way that flexible adaptation of the cabin layout to the requirements of specific user groups, such as, for example, families with small children, senior citizens, people with restricted mobility, etc.” 

In the patent application, Airbus, says: “In modern means of transport, particularly in aircraft, optimum utilization of the space available in a passenger cabin is of major economic importance.

It adds: “In its first configuration, the passenger bench seat then offers an increased amount of space to two passengers. In its first configuration, therefore, the passenger bench seat is suitable, for example, for use in the business class of a commercial aircraft or for occupation by passengers who require increased space such as, for example, overweight passengers or passengers with restricted mobility.

“In its second configuration, on the other hand, the passenger bench seat may be expediently used in the economy class of a commercial aircraft and offers sufficient space for three passengers who do not require increased space.

“Finally, in its third configuration, the passenger bench seat is particularly well suited to use by families with small children since, in its third configuration, the passenger bench seat offers sufficient space for two adults and also for two small children sitting, for example, between the two adults.”

This is the latest patent submitted to the patent office by the aerospace group, with previous ideas  including a stacking seating system for passengers, detachable cabins and folding wings.

Source BBC, PA, Airbus, AFP, CBC,

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