New ‘claustrophobic’ double decker plane design offers more leg room

A young designer hopes that a double-decker seating plan could revolutionise air travel.

Alejandro Núñez Vicente firmly believes that his Chaise Longue dual-level airplane cabin design will bring an end to dead legs and short-to-long-haul misery.

The TU Delft University student was inspired by his experiences flying economy across Europe from his home in Spain to college in the Netherlands, reports the Mirror.

His design sees rows coupled up, with one in the same position as a typical plane seat, and another in front raised above it.

If you're on the lower row, you can stretch out your feet and legs in front of you in a cavity created by lifting the seats in front up.

On the higher row, there's a little foot rest which will hold your weight once you've clambered up a short ladder.

CNN's Francesca Street gave the seating arrangement a whirl at an industry convention in Hamburg, Germany.

"It's a little precarious, but once I'm up there, the seat feels roomy and comfortable, and there's plenty of room for stretching out my legs," she said of the higher row.

"The prototype seats don't move, but they're each set up in different positions to indicate how they could recline."

Núñez Vicente's design does away with the overhead cabin, moving storage to a space between and top and bottom rows.

The young designer says there would be about 1.5m room between the passenger and the top of the plane, meaning taller customers may have to stoop quite a bit.

"Núñez Vicente's frustration with a lack of legroom was the original impetus for the design, and by not having a seat on the same level in front of me, it does allow me to stretch out my legs, and there's a foot rest for added comfort," the CNN reporter said of the lower seats.

One slight complaint she has is that the seats in front makes sitting in the lower row feel a little claustrophobic.

The Chaise Longue seat was initially envisaged for the Flying-V plane concept which is in development at Delft.

Núñez hopes that the design may one day be fit onto Boeing 747, Airbus A330 or any other medium to large wide-body airplane.

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He has already received a lot of interest from industry insiders and a nomination in the 2021 Crystal Cabin Awards – a top prize in the aviation industry.

Whether or not his dreams become a reality may take years to find out, as the aviation industry has stringent rules and regulations which can easily block development.

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