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Brave new world: Bizarre air travel ideas dreamt up by aviation industry

Dutch KLM recently unveiled its latest flight concept, the Flying V, designed to have passengers seated literally inside the wings of the plane.

The cargo hold and the fuel tanks would also be located in the v-shaped aircraft’s wings. The plane can carry 314 passengers and is particularly geared towards long-haul journeys. The Flying V has the same wingspan as the Airbus A350, so it’s able to use ordinary runways and gates.

A scale model of the aircraft will be tested in Amsterdam in October, but don’t expect to book a seat for your summer holidays, it won’t be available for commercial flights for at least 20 years.

Standing room only

The Skyrider 2.0 is a new flight design revealed at the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2018 that would see passengers stand for an entire flight.

The ‘seats’ have armrests and back support, but don’t have a crucial seat cushion. Instead, passengers will get an almost seat that looks like a bicycle saddle so they can rest their backsides a bit.

No trays will be provided, and the space between rows is a tight 23 inches. The standing-seats have been designed with short haul flights in mind, and would allow for up to 20 percent more passengers to fit on board. It isn’t clear though how the Skyriders would affect evacuation in the case of an emergency.

Stacked seats

Airbus filed a 2015 patent for a new form of seating that would see passengers stacked on top of each other. It calls the claustrophobic-sounding concept “mezzanine seating.”

The original idea aimed to create the upper tier seating in business class sections of aircraft, and would reportedly provide more privacy for passengers, but could make those on the lower level feel more closed in.

Plane Benches

Bench-style seats were thought up by Airbus in 2016. They were touted as a way to optimize space to accommodate the different needs of passengers, such as those who require extra space, and families with small children.

However, the idea could also see four passengers seated in an area that once had three separate seats, not to mention the issue of passengers hogging more space than they should without any division between seats.

Airbus has partnered with Zodiac Aerospace to create a concept that would see cargo holds being turned into areas for sleep, relaxation, and recreation.

After takeoff, economy passengers would be able to leave their seats and head downstairs to lie down in capsule beds and stretch out in relaxing areas, or let their children play nearby.

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Aircraft Interiors Expo: Preview of tomorrow’s passenger experience

HAMBURG, Germany – An insight into the future of flying – from the ‘wow’ factor to the practical and energy saving – will be on show next week during the world’s largest dedicated cabin interiors exhibition. Aircraft Interiors Expo takes place from 5 to 7 April at the Hamburg Messe in Germany and visitors are already anticipating seeing some ground-breaking new concepts in everything from seat design to inflight entertainment.

A futuristic seat concept, called Not For Wimps (NFW), has been created to give passengers an intense and stimulating in-flight gaming experience. Seat manufacturer Contour Aerospace teamed up with Factorydesign to produce this prototype, which is both technologically advanced but also reflects social changes in the way passengers want to spend their time during a flight. The design is currently at the concept stage but has been produced to prompt debate within the industry, according to Contour Aerospace.

Other concepts on show will include the Super Diamond luxury seating concept from B/E Aerospace and, for the economy cabin, the company’s Pinnacle seat with an integrated iPad on the back.

Designs to refurbish existing aircraft fleets will also be in evidence. Heath Tecna will be unveiling an interior upgrade system to retrofit existing Boeing B737s and B757s. This new look, on show for the first time anywhere, features contemporary styling, increased baggage capacity, improved bin loading, ease of access to seats and LED lighting.

Other innovative new products being demonstrated include a drinks trolley that could revolutionise the way beverages are served on board aeroplanes. The Sky-Tender has been developed by SkyMax and Air-Eltec Luftfahrtelektrik and can produce up to 30 different drinks including tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine and beer – at the touch of a button. The system has excellent green credentials because it will significantly reduce the amount of bottles and cans that are traditionally needed for each drinks service. Less waste means a saving on weight and also frees up storage space on board. It also means a speedier service – drinks are delivered quickly by the automated system – and airline staff no longer need to rummage around in trays looking for a passenger’s preference.