Subscribe Free
in Aircraft Interiors

Factorydesign invents airline seat that twists with the body

Posted 15 January 2016 · Add Comment

Long-haul flights in Economy Class could become considerably more comfortable if the ingenious Twister seat concept designed by Factorydesign takes off.

While improvements in comfort generally focus on First and Business Class, Factorydesign – the agency responsible for Etihad’s luxurious VIP Residence suite - recognised that Economy Class customers also deserve some innovation. This is particularly relevant given the current renaissance in so-called ‘ultra-long-haul’ flying. 

Conventional Economy Class seats rely on a hinge mechanism to give passengers around 5 inches of seat recline. The revolutionary Twister seat has a brand new patented structure that mimics the human spine, recognising that our bodies twist to get comfortable, rather than fold like a hinge. It comprises a vertical ‘backbone’ with ‘ribs’ along its length and along the seat pan. These ‘ribs’ move as the passenger’s weight shifted to maintain a shape that is extremely comfortable and ergonomically sound. “From your shoulders to your thighs, the seat follows your profile as you move,” said Adam White, joint creative director of Factorydesign. He came up with the initial concept on a 14-hour flight from Japan in Economy Class. 

A passenger in a Twister seat could lean in one direction or curl up in another, and press a control button to hold the seat in that position. By releasing the button, the seat would return to the neutral position. 

Because the Twister seat distributes body weight more evenly, it helps avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis. “You wouldn’t get a pressure point under the thigh, which would be a significant health benefit,” said White. 

Factorydesign’s concept takes up the same amount of room than as a standard Economy Class seat, and operates in the same envelope. 

 “We see this as a long-haul product. This is all about duration seating,” said White. He adds, “There has been considerable debate about economy class seating in the media, and many concepts which don’t actually seem to have considered the needs of the passenger.  This design is completely centred around improving the passenger journey experience.”  It comes at a time when Emirates launches its 17-hour flights from Dubai to Panama City, and when Boeing and Airbus are designing extended range aircraft. 

Factorydesign has also worked on a number projects with leading aircraft seat manufacturers Acro and Thompson over a number of years. 

Adam White adds, “Over the next five years, new fuel-efficient technology, and lower oil prices will lead to a rapid expansion of long haul flights on aircraft such as the Airbus A350-900ULR and Boeing 777-8.  This means there will be a pressing need for all passengers, whether they are paying for premium tickets, or flying economy to have more comfortable seats.  The Twister meets that need.” 

 “Next year, Emirates will launch its Dubai to Panama City flight, taking 17 hours and 35 minutes.   Qantas plans to fly non-stop to Europe from Australia from 2017, and the following year Singapore Airlines will launch a Singapore to New York flight which would take around 19 hours.  All these ultra-long flights present a challenge for airlines and their designers at a time that passenger-experience is all important.” 

 “The challenge is to ignore pre-conceived notions about what is accepted in airline design and start from looking at what the passenger truly needs.  Traditional seat design has fulfilled many needs, but studying the human body means that we have created something that will transform the flying experience” 

 “We have worked closely with ergonomists to ensure that our initial concept really does work with the body to improve comfort.” 

 “The Twister also helps solve some of the health issues associated with long haul flying.  As the passenger is properly supported and can move regularly to maintain that comfort throughout the flight, the problems of sitting in a fixed position are largely removed.”

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Qatar trains focus on huge upgrade

A major new training establishment is to be built in Qatar, as part of the support structure for the Gulf nationís forthcoming massive build-up in military aviation assets. Alan Dron reports.

Etihad Cargo introduces new freighter network

Etihad Cargo has announced a refresh of its global freighter network that will be implemented commencing 1 October, 2018, marking a key milestone in its strategy to simplify its route network and maximise freighter-to-bellyhold

XO Jet becomes part of Vista group

The third largest US business jet charter operator by flight hours, XO Jet, which is part-owned by Abu Dhabiís Mubadala, has been bought by Vista Global.

Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics in strategic collaboration for Commercial Aviation

Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) have agreed a strategic collaboration, for an initial ten-year period, that enables them to combine their highly complementary market leading services to offer broadband

Fourth Middle East Safety Summit to go ahead in October in Riyadh

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), in collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), will organise the Fourth Middle East Safety Summit from 2-3 of October 2018 in the capital city of Riyadh.

Predicting what's next in the tailor-made revolution

The fusion of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and in-flight connectivity is changing the way airlines do business. Steve Nichols looks at how cutting-edge technology is changing what you eat, read, and watch on flights, without

DomainH_SK2808161118
See us at
AIME19BTA3005120219ASDubai BT1004091018MarrakechAirshow BT2507241018MAPS18_BT1207131118Istanbul Airshow BT22018GATM BT1004061118MEBAA BT1004121218BIAS BT271017161118Cargo BT1004091018Aviation Africa BT0607280219