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Design

Turning Airplane Seats Around with a New Design

Zodiac Seats France's HD31 spacing offers more legroom while allowing airplanes to fit more passengers.
August 3, 2015, 3:47pm
Courtesy of Zodiac Seats France

Airplane seats were all the literal rage last year. Thankfully, Zodiac Seats France of Zodiac Aerospace unveiled its new experimental airplane seat design. The conceptual project HD31—short for "high density at 31-inch spacing"—began with the question many airplane CEOs have pondered: how could one fit more seats into short flight, narrow-bodied airplanes?

The answer: armrest-less, hexagonal-shaped seats akin to the utilitarian post-war Berlin apartments, configured in a honeycomb-fashion so that passengers face their neighbors the entire flight. "By twicking [sic] the geometry and considering minimal space requirements and proxemy [sic] we ended up with the HD31 concept, showing yin-yang 7 abreast configuration," Zodiac Seats' Laurent Stritter told The Creators Project. "Surely with the direct eye contact people are used to in public transportation, but not in aircrafts." This would allow for a staggering number of new travelers—up to 30 extra seats per plane.

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Putting aside inherit contempt for anything that might profit the big-ups in the aviation industry, the HD31 design does offer several benefits that would make traveling by plane actually somewhat comfortable.

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Courtesy of Zodiac Seats France

Easy movie theatre-style folding capabilities would be included for easy entrance and exit (although the unspoken disdain towards the window and/or middle seat passenger for bathroom breaks will likely pervade) and the seats would be ergonomically shaped to eliminate the abhorred sensation of sitting on a cloth-covered bricks. And, in defying all sorts of airplane physics, there would be four more—not less—inches of legroom.

For better or for worse, this conversation starter will remain in conceptual limbo. Zodiac did patent the design but ultimately opted to further pursue another project that was better suited their clientele. "We are here to propose in the course of tradeshows some disruptive ideas (like HD31) to shake up to a conservative market with concept seats," Stritter explained. Still, the design does demonstrate there are possibilities for an airplane seat to be more than at outright pain.

As of now, though, airplane passengers reliant on popping in-flight sleeping pills won't have to worry about neighbors judgment-laden stares.

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Courtesy of Zodiac Seats France

Click here to learn more about Zodiac Seats France.

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