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News Link • Transportation: Air Travel

The Airplane Saddle Is A Standing Seat For Super-Economy Flights

• https://www.fastcodesign.com

There's nothing inherently bad about the design of the Skyrider 2.0, a new compact seat that allows airlines to fit more passengers in less space with a hypothetical super-economy class. Engineered by Italian aerospace interior design company Aviointeriors and introduced at Hamburg's Airplane Interiors Expo in earl April, the seat positions a willing passenger almost completely upright on a polyester saddle and back support. It seems well thought out, it's reportedly very functional, and it even looks good.  But I'll still never sit on one.

The Skyrider 2.0 makes a lot of sense for airlines trying to squeeze as much value as they can from every pound of fuel and inch of cabin space. Decreasing seat space is an easy way to do so, and even major companies like Airbus have toyed with unconventional seat designs like this butt-destroying bike seat. The new saddle-style seat is a twist on the company's previous high-capacity seat prototype, which came out in 2010 and was never installed by any airline–perhaps out of fear after the backlash Ryanair received for similar plans. This new version is an aesthetic improvement over the original (which looked like a squeezed version of a normal seat), but it seems to be more clever, as well: positioning a passenger almost upright, with a saddle and a foot panel to support part of their body weight, takes up only 23 inches of pitch ("the space between a point on one seat and the same point on the seat in front of it").

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