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Thursday, September 14, 2023

Seating Options in Progress – New Mobility

Rendering of an airplane aisle showing replacing aisle seat with a powerchair
Freedom Seat

We not too long ago reported on a prototype seat from Air4All that might permit wheelchair customers to fly of their chairs. Whereas the Air4All prototype is probably the most developed, there are a variety of different modern programs now within the works to permit wheelchair customers to journey in their very own wheelchairs on industrial plane.

Freedom Seat:

Colorado-based Molon Labe Seating designed an aisle-side seat that may slide over to create an area for a wheelchair consumer to park their chair and lock down. I had the chance to check the Freedom Seat in a mockup feasibility research on the Boeing 737 Configuration Studio in Renton, Washington, in July 2021. After some exact driving and a few makes an attempt, I used to be in a position to again into a significant service’s present cabin configuration unimpeded and dock right into a Q’STRAINT QLK private docking system mounted to a chunk of plywood within the vacant house under.

AI woman seated in an airplane cabin’s front closet made into a module that can safely fit a wheelchair
Fly Your Wheels Suite

Fly Your Wheels Suite:

Collins Aerospace teamed up with researchers and college students on the Nationwide Institute for Aviation Analysis at Wichita State College to develop an idea that reengineers the cabin’s entrance closet right into a multipurpose module that may operate as a secure parking berth for a wheelchair consumer in-flight. This design generated important buzz final 12 months as a result of it successfully provides one other paying buyer with out the necessity for drastic adjustments to present in-cabin seating. The Fly Your Wheels Suite was shortlisted for a 2022 Crystal Cabin Award, together with the Air4All seat.

Airline prototype of man in powerchair using lockdown device in aisle seat


Delta-subsidiary Delta Flight Merchandise’ prototype is by far probably the most fleshed-out public idea. It options novel lodging for adjustable armrests, and tray tables that may be personalized to a wheelchair-user’s top wants. Just like the Freedom Seat, Air4All’s unique design included the Q’STRAINT QLK docking system, however each have switched to the Q’STRAINT ONE retractable tie-down system as showcased at Plane Interiors Expo 2023 to permit for extra common entry for every type of wheelchairs.

Molon Labe CEO Hank Scott sees the continued work as a collective crew effort moderately than a contest. “The discharge by Chris and the DFP people of their design not too long ago has given the thought of flying wheelchairs an actual increase to the momentum,” he says. “This motion is extra about collaborating and providing a worldwide answer. We now have an purpose … and we’ll obtain [it] along with these advocates, companions and airways.”

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