Horse-saddle-style seating may be the latest design to increase capacity on planes, if one company’s designs get approved for use. Italian seating company Aviointeriors unveiled the new version of its Skyrider seat, Skyrider 2.0, at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, and it shows seating in a formation that is known in the industry as ‘ultra-high density.’
The main feature of the seat is that it enables passengers to sit in an increased upright passenger position, allowing installation of the seat at a reduced pitch. The seats resemble a horse’s saddle rather than a traditional seat, and they have a raised section in the middle. Passengers place a leg on either side and lean rather than sit, so obviously the seats would be more suited to shorter journeys. The designers say that they would be suitable for flights of up to three hours duration, as legroom is diminished from around 28 inches to 23.
The manufacturers say that the design of the seat enables airlines to increase the passenger numbers by 20%, which could lead to increased profits and, hopefully, cheaper passenger tickets. The new seat design also weighs 50% less than a standard economy seat and has fewer components, which makes it cheaper and easier to maintain.
Civil aviation authorities may need some convincing though as vertical seats like this one have not been approved by regulators in any country to date. There is definitely interest in it though and one Colombian airline has already indicated that it is considering removing all passenger seats from its planes. Aviointeriors is putting great faith in its design, and it has experience in the area as it has been producing aircraft cabin interiors and passenger seats for over 40 years.