We have standing room in landbuses, so why not airbuses?
The Skyrider, a sort of perch seat that packs passengers in at a much tighter pitch than normal seats, has been on TreeHugger before, and I thought there might be benefits.
We suppose there could be a TreeHugger case that more people crammed in means less fuel burned per person, and we also suspect that it will end deep vein thrombosis, but generally we think it gives new meaning to Flying is Dying.
Now it’s back with Skyrider 2.0. The company, AvioInteriors, describes the benefits:
The Skyrider 2.0 is an innovative seat, it allows an ultra-high density in the aircraft cabin. The design of this seat enables to increase the passenger number by 20% allowing increasing profits for airline companies. Furthermore, Skyrider 2.0 weighs 50% less than standard economy class seats and the reduced number of components enable minimum maintenance costs. In conclusion, Skyrider 2.0 is the new frontier of low cost tickets and offering a possibility to fly to whom today cannot afford it.
Greater fuel efficiency, lower prices, what’s not to love? It did not catch on the first time, even though the designer said it was not uncomfortable, and was kind of like riding a horse:
For flights anywhere from one to possibly even up to three hours ... this would be comfortable seating. The seat ... is like a saddle. Cowboys ride eight hours on their horses during the day and still feel comfortable in the saddle.
Back then the Consumerist was not impressed.
Yes, maybe professional cowboys and horse riders don't mind being on a saddle all day. That doesn't mean your average business traveler wants that huge bump pressing into their precious parts for several hours. One turbulent flight and we're all asking for ice packs...
Then again, as someone who uses a standing desk and is used to spending 8 hours straight without sitting down, this doesn’t look so bad to me. I just spent five hours of my Earth Day in an airplane seat and I think I might have preferred to perch instead of being strapped into a chair. However, I am short and hope that this has some kind of vertical adjustment so that my feet are not dangling in the air.
We probably won’t see this happen soon; existing planes are rated for a specific number of people that can get out in a specified time so you can’t just squeeze in more people. On the other hand, they can give more space to the first and business class people with their flat beds and take it away from us back in steerage. So maybe this time, it will fly.