Unusual and eye-catching airplane seat designs

(CNN) — A stand-up airplane seat, an overhead locker that is transformed right into a mattress and a double-decker airplane cabin. These are a number of the most eye-catching — and uncommon — airplane seat designs to crop up in recent times, aiming to revolutionize the inflight expertise.

Airplane cabin design has all the time been about steady innovation — that is how we acquired the lie-flat airplane seat that is now omnipresent in enterprise class cabins, or a tray desk that folds neatly into your arm relaxation.

From becoming extra passengers into the cabin to giving vacationers surprising house to stretch their legs, these uncommon airplane seat designs search to problem-solve frequent inflight dilemmas.

The Chaise Longue Economic system Seat Venture

Chaise Longue Image #3 (Landscape)

The Chaise Longue airplane seat design imagines a dual-level airplane cabin.

Courtesy Crystal Cabin Awards

Alejandro Núñez Vicente’s Chaise Longue dual-level airplane cabin design eliminates the overhead baggage compartment to create a double-decker airplane seat configuration.

In Might 2021, TU Delft College pupil Núñez Vicente advised CNN Travel he was impressed by his experiences flying economic system throughout Europe from his residence in Spain to varsity within the Netherlands.

Núñez Vicente’s objective was to create extra space for vacationers to stretch out their legs. The seat design additionally provides extra recline angles, in addition to an adjustable back-rest and a deployable neck-rest.

Over summer time 2021, Núñez Vicente traveled round Europe with a prototype of his design, talking to aviation professionals and business specialists to gather suggestions, getting a number of steps nearer to creating the design a actuality.

Preliminary suggestions from would-be passengers who tried the prototype was optimistic, says Núñez Vicente.

Whereas the configuration was initially envisaged for the Flying-V airplane, a brand new airplane idea at present in improvement at TU Delft, Núñez Vicente says it is also carried out in a Boeing 747, Airbus A330 or every other medium to massive wide-body airplane.

“We have had loads of curiosity proper now from the aviation business, particularly from seat producers, plane producers, and a number of airways have approached us,” says Núñez Vicente in a brand new interview with CNN Journey.

Personal buyers have additionally expressed curiosity, he provides.

Núñez Vicente continues to reckon his design may remodel the economic system class ache factors.

“The objective of the seat was all the time to extend the consolation and the flight expertise to reinforce the flight expertise of passengers on long-haul flights — and it nonetheless is,” he says.


Aviointeriors’ Skyrider “standing seat” idea, with its bike-style saddle, has turn into considerably notorious within the aviation world.

First floated again in 2010, the seat has advanced within the years since, however underlining it’s the similar concept: the Skyrider takes up approach much less house than the typical economic system seat — with a seat pitch of simply 23 inches.

“The message is, we don’t need to put hundreds of individuals within the cabin, we need to provide a multi-class configuration, which is these days unimaginable if you wish to attain the utmost load of passengers,” Gaetano Perugini, engineering adviser at Aviointeriors, advised CNN Journey at that convention.

Since then, the Skyrider 3.0 has been tweaked a bit. Aviointeriors says a fourth iteration of the design has improved the seat’s saddle ergonomy, launched an angled backrest and elevated shoulder house for passengers.

The 23-inch pitch of the Skyrider is not at present allowed by certification by most airplanes, the place 28 inches is the minimal. Aviointeriors is conscious of this and the potential problem it presents.

“When we’ve behind us a powerful buyer […] we will sit round with Airbus or Boeing and clarify,” stated Perugini in Hamburg in 2019.

Perugini tells CNN Journey immediately that completed seat samples of the fourth version of the Skyrider aren’t at present accessible, however the design has been accomplished.

Flex Lounge


Flex Lounge could have been nominated for a Crystal Cabin Award, nevertheless it’s most likely not going to see the sunshine of day.

Courtesy Crystal Cabin Award

The design envisaged a versatile configuration for seats in economic system cabins — the concept being that put up take-off, flight attendants can rearrange the rows in order that passengers touring collectively can face each other in rows of three.

Whereas the design turned heads, former Heinkel Group director Tom Heinkel tells CNN Journey he offered his firm, and is now not centered on aviation design.

Zephyr Seat

Zephyr Seat imagines double-decker lie-flat seats for the premium economy cabin.

Zephyr Seat imagines double-decker lie-flat seats for the premium economic system cabin.

Courtesy Zephyr Aerospace

One other double-decker idea comes within the form of Jeffrey O’Neill’s Zephyr Seat, which imagines double-decker lie-flat seats in a premium economic system cabin.

Speaking to CNN Travel in 2020, O’Neill stated he was impressed by a sleepless flight from New York to Singapore. He’d discovered himself recalling a significantly better sleep spent on a bunk mattress on a long-distance bus, and puzzled if one thing related may very well be carried out on an airplane.

Over the previous 12 months, O’Neill says he has been focus group testing and trialling a bodily mock-up of the Zephyr Seat. He says he is additionally made some changes to the design for feasibility’s sake.

“We did some simulated testing earlier this 12 months, and the outcomes of these exams led us to change the design — a design that might be extra apt to be finally authorized from a security standpoint,” he says.

Within the new idea, the “high bunk” layer of seats is not as excessive as O’Neill initially envisaged, and reasonably than imagining a ladder to the higher bunk, new renderings embody steps as an alternative.

“What we’ve now could be what we want to go to market with, we’re seeking to promote to airways and deliver to the business,” says O’Neill.

Toyota Cloud Capsule


Toyota Boshoku’s Cloud Capsule Idea reimagines the overhead locker.

Courtesy Crystal Cabin Awards

Toyota Boshoku says the design is impressed by Japanese capsule accommodations, with their sleeping pods. The thought is economic system class passengers can use the normal airplane seat beneath, however are additionally capable of make use of the overhead locker beds above as soon as the airplane is within the air.

Vacationers would place their luggage beneath their seats, and seats can be barely farther from the bottom to accommodate this transfer away from overhead baggage.

“Economic system class passengers will be capable of get pleasure from their flights in a safer and extra snug method,” reads a Toyota press launch from earlier this summer time. “It permits passengers to have their very own non-public house through which to chill out or to concentrate on work.”


The Interspace airplane seat design consists of padded wings that manually fold in and out of the seat. The thought is these wings permit a traveler additional privateness, and provide them a spot to relaxation their head whereas they try and sleep en route.

Interspace was designed by London-based firm Common Motion, who are actually working with airplane seat producer Safran to make the design a actuality. The seat received the Judges’ Selection award on the 2021 Crystal Cabin Awards.

The wings did create added privateness, and leaning in opposition to one wing, as you’ll in case you tried to nap, was surprisingly cozy.

The thought is that Interspace’s wings may very well be retrofitted to present airplane seats, or pre-built, as within the prototype.

Designer Luke Miles, who beforehand spent three years working as head of design at Virgin Atlantic, advised CNN Journey on the 2019 launch that Interspace’s objective was to permit economic system vacationers “a greater evening’s relaxation, a greater flight.”

As of September 2021, the seat is offered to buy.

“It is thrilling to now see this design transition from idea to actuality as we make it accessible to supply, representing what we really feel is an enormous step in supporting the plane business and making passenger planes extra snug due to our collaboration with Safran,” stated Miles in a press release in September 2021.

Interspace is offered on Safran’s Z600 seat. Miles tells CNN Journey it is at present “being previewed with carriers.”