New seats also speed up boarding
There aren't many travellers that enjoy landing the middle seat on a plane. You're flanked on both sides by strangers and their armpits, have the pleasure of clambering over someone and being climbed over to access the aisle, and you don't even get a view. The middle seat sucks.
A new design proposed for plane seats is aiming to change all that. The Side-Slip Seat, designed by Hank Scott of Molon Labe Designs, allows the aisle seat to slide on top of the middle seat during boarding, effectively doubling space in the aisle and adding two extra inches of space to the middle seat. Confused? This video explains it better:
The middle seat is set slightly lower and a few inches behind its neighbours, giving its occupant just a little more breathing space.
The design could make boarding a lot faster, as you wouldn't constantly be held up by the passengers ahead of you putting their baggage in the overhead storage/taking off their coat/unfathomably faffing, the extra space allowing you to slip right past.
And don't worry, the person in the middle isn't going to get their legs mangled by the aisle seat folding over them during turbulence; once boarding is complete it locks safely into place.
Unfortunately it's just a concept for now, but Scott is hoping to get it certified for use on commercial aircraft by 2016. In the meantime, the middle seat will continue to be the much-maligned position of the skies.