Once in a while, we witness innovations that revolutionalise a whole sector. Tesla did it in the field of cars, Apple did it with smartphones and ‘Zephyr Aerospace’ is trying to do it with aeroplanes.
The startup proposes ‘Zephyr Seat’, a double-decker seating arrangement in wake of the recent pandemic. The design is more effective in shielding passengers than the ongoing design of seats. The current set has not changed much since its inception and provides almost zero protection when it comes to such situations.
The seats also allow the passengers to sleep in, giving a much comfortable experience at nearly the same cost.
Origin Of The Invention
The CEO and owner of the ‘Zephyr Aerospace’, Mr. Jeffrey O’Neill got the idea on his flight from New York to Singapore, which was then the longest commercial flight. He spent 19 hours of the journey with little to no sleep, forcing him to think of alternatives in the current system.
He came up with ‘Zephyr Seat’, which he showcased in the 2019 Airline Interiors Expo. His imagination is now a life-sized model, waiting to pass the security tests. But, this could take up to 3 years.
Adaptability Is The Key
One of the biggest strengths of the invention is its ability to adjust. The seats can be retrofitted in the current line of aeroplanes, making it simpler and more viable for airlines to adopt. The 2-4-2 arrangement of the seats also means that seat density remains unchanged.
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“We basically retrofitted a whole other seat on top of another. So it’s essentially two levels, it’s not as tall off the ground as people might imagine, it’s only four and a half feet off the ground from the entry point to the lower seat to the upper seat.” CNN reported.
The second deck can be accessed by a pullout staircase, making the transit to upper seats pretty easy.
Zephyr Seats And Its Cons
The startup promises a better experience in premium economy, 85% of people cannot afford to travel business or first-class. However, the unit itself is a bit on the expensive side, costing $30,000 for a single piece.
The invention also demands another sacrifice, the overhead bin as the second seat fits in the space occupied by the bin.
Lufthansa, British Airways, Delta and other major carriers have already shown their interest in ‘Zephyr Seat’. The carriers would definitely gain an edge over competitors with these new seats.
In addition to these major investors, the company has also set up crowdfunding on Republic, at a minimum investment of $100.
The airline industry is facing one of the toughest times in their history. COVID-19 is bound to change the way people fly. With ‘Zephyr Aerospace’ providing seats with new levels of comfort, privacy and hygiene, it is well on the path of revolutionising air travel.
Image Credits: Google Images
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