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Airbus wants to patent a bicycle-style airline seat

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Airline manufacturer Airbus has filed a patent for a bicycle-like seat that lets airlines fit in more passengers per plane. (Airbus)

Just when you think that airline coach seats couldn’t get any tighter, Airbus has a concept that looks like an apparatus of torture rather than a perch for passengers.

The airplane manufacturer has filed a seat patent with a design that props passengers up in a narrow seat, and when the seats are unused, they fold vertically to save space.   Cushions are shaped liked bicycle saddles and missing is what the patent application calls "bulk" –meaning the stuff taken up by cushions-- a tray table and a headrest.

The Washington Post dubbed the design the “Most Uncomfortable Plane Seats Ever.”

The idea is that passengers will put up with the discomfort for short haul flights and the seat design allows airlines do a lot more with the limited real estate on board.

"Reduced comfort remains tolerable for the passengers in as much as the flight lasts only one or a few hours," Airbus writes.  

But the designers know they can only go so far, especially when it comes to legroom.

"This second solution has also been pursued hitherto," the patent application reads, "and it is difficult to continue to further reduce this distance between the seats because of the increase in the average size of the passengers."

What do you think of the design?  Let us know.