Passengers who struggle to fit into conventional seats may soon be able to sit comfortably after aircraft maker Airbus submitted a patent for a new bench-style seat.
The French company has submitted a patent for a “Re-configurable Passenger Bench Seat” with adjustable chairs and seatbelts which will allow airlines to accommodate people of all different shapes and sizes.
It could help airlines deal with the increasing number of larger passengers taking to the skies and may also reduce prices for families who currently have to pay for a full price seat once kids are over two-years-old The Mirror reported.
Some smaller airlines charge passengers by their weight and others are adding larger seats.
Airbus has submitted a range of drawings to the US patent office illustrating how the seat can be configured in a range of different ways.
The aircraft cabin layout, particularly of the passenger seats should be as flexible as possible and easily reconfigurable.
“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,” Airbus said in its patent application.
The illustrations show three different bench configurations, reports the Daily Post.
The first offer more room for two passengers which may suit a business class cabin or provide room for passengers “who require increased space such as, for example, overweight passengers or passengers with restricted mobility”.
The second version gives an example of how three economy class passengers who do not need extra space can share the bench.
The third configuration shows that the seat provides enough space for a family of two adults with two small children sitting in between them.