The COVID-19 pandemic is on everyone’s mind, including aircraft engineers and manufacturers. At this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Aviointeriors SpA revealed two designs for aeroplane interiors fit for the COVID age.
The interiors have three seats in a row. The middle seat faces the opposite direction from the other two. A plastic shield is woven between the seats, providing a barrier between passengers and allowing for better social distancing. The arrangement has the added benefit of giving the passenger in the middle seat more room. Aviointeriors named the design the Janus, after the Roman god with two faces.
“Janus is a two-faced seat, in fact, this arrangement allows all three passengers to be separated with a shield made of transparent material that isolates them from each other, creating a protective barrier for everyone,” explains Aviointeriors. “Each passenger has its own space isolated from others, even from people who walk through the aisle.
The design may take into consideration such issues as the coronavirus, but it also poses some problems. First would be the difficulty that the shield would pose with food and beverage service. It might also make evacuation during an emergency more difficult. And easy fix would be to increase the separation between rows, but that would also mean a lower passenger count, which could result in higher fares to compensate. Aviointeriors also unveiled a design that would work for existing seats. The Glassafe kit creates a “cocoon” of plastic that fits over the top of the seat and around the head of each passenger. Both solutions are ready to go into production.
Aviointerior’s ideas offer a unique approach to the current crisis. There may be some challenges that need to be overcome, but fresh ideas lead to progress, and that’s what these options really represent.