The Deployable Seat Bottom
The Deployable Seat Bottom is an innovative, patent pending device that attaches to new or existing passenger seats. It allows the passenger to change the angle of the seat bottom to allow full extension of the legs without having to leave the seat. Increased comfort and blood circulation in the lower extremities is achieved. It can be used temporarily or for extended periods as needed. The first of its kind, The Deployable Seat Bottom is a self-contained, patent pending, standalone unit that attaches to the existing support beams of any economy class seat. Manual or automatic deployment activates the lift and tilt functions to simultaneously push the seat pan up and aft, providing additional space for egress as well as additional legroom. Seat manufacturers may install their own, unique seat pans for a turnkey solution. It is a completely optional function so nothing is required of those passengers who do not want or need the benefit. A passenger entering the aircraft will see no difference in the seat. Similar to an adjustable headrest, it is an additional comfort option for those who need it. For manual operation, pull tabs are added to the front and back.
Passengers are willing to do just about anything for relief. There have been instances of “sky rage” where passengers who are denied the extra bit of recline confront the passenger sitting behind them that have prevented the seat from reclining. Sitting in one position for hours is a source of stress for many passengers. Additionally, while the extent of the danger is not completely settled, many believe that air travel can contribute to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) for those who may be predisposed. Whether it’s putting their feet on the seat in front of them, stretching their legs into the isle, or using their arms to prop themselves up in order to straighten their knees, passengers are no doubt willing to go to great lengths to get the extra few inches that can be the difference between a comfortable flight and a miserable one.
Economy class cabins have a limited amount of legroom. Airlines continually look for ways to improve passenger comfort. Passengers are encouraged to do exercises to help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and to promote circulation in the legs. Due to cabin density, it is impractical for passengers to get out of their seats to stretch their legs. Egress is also difficult in these seating classes. With ever decreasing pitch, seat cushions will either need to be smaller, or will get closer to the seatback in front, making egress more difficult.
Seating pitch in economy classes range from 28” to 34” depending on airline preferences. Even as seats are smaller and cabin density increases, carriers nonetheless want air travel to be enjoyable. Wellness programs are one of the ways they do that. It’s part of the larger wellness movement that is underway in the travel industry. Many carriers have a dedicated “healthy flying” section on their websites to promote ways passengers can be more comfortable during flight. A fresh look needs to be taken at aspects of economy class seats to enhance the passenger experience. Long periods of inactivity and an inability to stretch are the major causes of passenger discomfort. While exercises can be done while seated, they do not address the inability to stretch the legs.
Benefits of The Deployable Seat Bottom
- Allows leg extension
- Promotes circulation
- Helps prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Increases space for egress
- Works with all economy seats
- Promotes “Healthy Flying”
- Minimal weight and cost impact
- Contoured cushions prevent sliding
- Adaptable to translating seat pans
- For new and existing seats
- Currently in development
- Simple mechanics streamline certification