You board the plane and instinctively duck to clear the overhead container doors. They're all full already, so you cram your carry-on suitcase under the seat in front of you while the slob next to you reaches across your face to adjust the reading light. No more: one design firm's new cabin concept eliminates all those problems.
When designers at Priestmangoode set out to pen a new cabin layout for the Embraer E2 single-aisle narrow-body jetliner, they wanted to maximise space efficiency, comfort, and customisability. The result looks pretty normal (no crazy bicycle-seat torture chairs for economy passengers), but some creative tweaks add up to a bunch more space.
First off, Priestmangoode cut down the bulky Personal Service Units, the overhead control panel for each passenger's air vent, reading light, and flight attendant button. In a standard plane that panel eats up lots of overhead compartment space, so designers whittled it down to a smartphone-sized control. Now you've got enough room for a rolling carry-on case over every seat – no more runway bag checking needed. And even if somehow the overhead storage fills up, designers removed the middle leg between side-by-side seats, offering more under-seat storage room.
And those overhead bins aren't just bigger, they're a styling feature: when open, the lids tuck right up against the ceiling, making for an airier, more open look. Current designs leave the door dangling down, eating up headroom for tall passengers and making the cabin feel more cramped and chaotic. Finally, instead of offering a clunky touchscreen with out-of-date software, Priestmangoode's seatbacks have a holder for your tablet, letting you watch whatever you brought on-board.
The design has benefits for airlines, too: both the staggered, leg room-a-riffic first class seats and the side-by-side economy chairs use the same floor and overhead bins, letting individual airlines customise the layout however they see fit. That means lower costs, which will hopefully encourage more airlines to adopt this roomier, more convenient cabin design when the E2 hits the market in 2018. Just try not to murder your seat-mates in the meantime. [Priestmangoode via Wired]