No way, no how? And another AirAsia X revelation

Boeing Commercial Airplanes manager, media relations Jim Proulx read my standing-seats blog from yesterday and was kind enough to weigh in on the subject for my feature.

Here is Boeing’s on-record stance:

“We are not contemplating standing-only accommodations on Boeing jetliners, nor do we have any plans to do so. Among other things, stringent regulatory requirements – including seats capable of withstanding a force of 16g, would essentially preclude such an arrangement.”

For the record, here too is Airbus’ official comment on the matter, care of the company’s spokesman Martin Fendt:

“We do appreciate your interest, and stacked/standing seating is subject that does seem to crop up from time to time in the media, but I’m afraid that Airbus is not developing such an interior.”

Thanks guys!

This doesn’t close the book, of course, as interiors and seating experts try to find the right mousetrap – or the right trap? – to pass those 16g requirements, which formally go into effect in the USA in October, and are expected to go into effect in Europe next year, although many new aircraft have been delivered to this spec for years.

But Airbus might want to think again about stacked sleepers for its widebodies. Why? Because Malaysian low-cost, long-haul carrier AirAsia X says it is open to exploring stacked sleeper seats for its newly-ordered Airbus A350s!

“The timing of the requirements and specifications [that we will] have to lay down for those [A350] deliveries I think is going to coincide with further developments in the interiors market and give us the opportunity with that aircraft to explore some of these new options,” says Tim Claydon, a director and consultant for the carrier.

Claydon also revealed that AirAsia X is exploring equipping its A350 cabins with Wi-Fi instead of installed IFE. Those in-seat power guys must be loving this.

But back to stacked sleepers. What do these babies look like? We’ve taken a gander at MmilleniumM Group’s proposed Air Sleeper, which is largely targeted at the premium economy crowd (a growing crowd, BTW). 

A competing product, known as the Airborne Hotel (Abh), made its mock-up debut this year at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. And the response was largely positive.

Click on the following documents for loads of detail about the Abh, care of inventor Carlos Martinez, and feedback from the show.





And then check out the pics below (can you see yourself lounging back and watching that big screen TV?).

Airborne Hotel 1.JPG

Airborne Hotel 2.JPG

Airborne Hotel 3.JPG

Airborne Hotel 5.JPG

Airborne Hotel 6.JPG

Airborne Hotel 7.JPG

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6 Responses to No way, no how? And another AirAsia X revelation

  1. 7K7 August 12, 2009 at 6:33 pm #

    Probably right for blended wing-body aircraft.

  2. alloycowboy August 12, 2009 at 7:24 pm #

    Hey Mary,

    Boeing and Airbus are saying no for technical reasons. I think it may have to do with the huge bending moments generated in the 16g crash case where the standing seats interfaces with the floor boards. To solve that problem they would have to put seat track along the ceiling to convert the bending moments into ordinary shear loads. But to run the floor/ceiling track along the ceiling you would basicly have to redesign the whole structure of the airlplane in order to handle the loads being put into ceiling track in the crash case senarios. So looking at the economics of it your probably better off just using a bigger airplane with ordinary seats.

    Another solution might be to use the technology that NASA came up with to restrain objects on the Space Shuttle. See the clip! :-)

    I think if the structural engineers had there way we would build the whole airplane out of the stuff.

  3. Mary Kirby August 12, 2009 at 7:41 pm #

    Oh excellent!! And very blog-alicious :)

  4. barry martin August 18, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    what we could do is plastic wrap the pax and put in small breathing hoses then carry them in 777f’s imagine the money that could be made carrying 1000pax in a 777f!!! iceman

  5. Andy in NC September 2, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    It would have been nice to see 6’2” people sitting or lying on those seats

  6. David Martínez-Celis September 4, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    Actually, our layouts contemplate most of the modules at 6’0″ in length; however, there would always be a considerable percentage of modules that would be longer – up to 6’6″ – in order to accommodate taller passengers.

    If anything, the Abh design’s use of space makes it much easier to find solutions for every type of passenger, including handicapped or elderly travelers, as well as parents traveling with small children or babies.

    I would be happy to answer any other questions regarding the concept’s functionality. :)