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Each year in Hamburg, Germany, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) serves as a showcase for manufacturers and designers’ latest and greatest ideas. While walking through the sprawling convention, I stumbled upon something quite eye-catching, and perhaps a little bit troubling.
Check out this concept design by Mirus Aircraft Seating. I didn’t even mean to find it. I just happened to be walking through a part of the convention away from the big-name seat manufacturers like Recaro and Zodiac, when this crazy-thin seat caught my eye. “No way,” I said to myself.
Look how thin it is. Can you imagine this seat being comfortable for even an hour? It reminds me of those aluminum bleachers I used to sit on during high school football games. Heaven forbid an airline choose to install these on a wide-body aircraft, where we may be confined for up to 17 hours.
Carriers would love something like this because the thin design could let them install extra rows of seats. The carbon fiber frame makes it both lightweight and extra sturdy, weighing only 8.38 pounds per passenger.
Did you know that all newly designed aircraft seats must be certified as 16G-compliant? That means they have to be strong enough for a passenger to survive an impact up to 16 times the force of gravity.
I’m pretty sure these carbon fiber-framed seats would do that, but you may have noticed there’s not even a tray table on the back of these seats. Mirus says these seats were designed on a dare, though it’s not known from whom this sadistic dare came. Vision 2030 is meant to serve an an eye-catching “look what we can do” concept, and it certainly does catch the eye.
Although it’s not a household name in aircraft seating, Mirus isn’t completely new. Last year at AIX, it debuted the Hawk seat model, which is now installed on Air Asia X aircraft. Mirus is based in Norfolk, UK. Speaking of the UK, I think this could be a seat that we could potentially see on Dublin-based Ryanair, who is known for being a bargain basement, zero-frills carrier.
Perhaps this is the next evolution of what some airlines — even US-based ones — are calling Basic Economy? American, Delta and United are all offering some degree of this fare, while Spirit and Allegiant make the original no-frills airline Southwest look luxurious.
Carbon fiber is a good thing for airlines, with its light weight and heavy strength. Boeing and Airbus have both built planes — the 787 and A350, respectively — where the fuselage and other parts are made from carbon fiber reinforced polymer. But if airlines expect to rake in the ancillary revenue via buy-on-board meals and refreshments, passengers are going to require a tray table on which to partake of their goodies.
Would you even consider flying in a seat like this?
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