Think airline seats couldn’t get any smaller? Think again.
France-based aircraft manufacturer Airbus (EPA:AIR) is hoping to squeeze even more seats aboard commercial aircraft, reports the Los Angeles Times. The company submitted a patent application in Europe for a new type of passenger seat that resembles a bicycle seat.
Though it has a backrest, the seat lacks the other basics you’d expect on a commercial airliner, like a tray table and a headrest. Legroom is limited.
“Some so-called ‘low-cost’ airlines seek to increase the number of passengers transported on each flight,” the patent application states. “The invention proposes a seating device with reduced bulk for an aircraft.”
The seats are attached to a vertical bar, and when not in use, they can retract to create more space.
Airbus says that development of a patent does not guarantee that an invention will actually be executed in commerical aircraft. “Many, if not most, of these concepts will never be developed, but in case the future of commercial aviation makes one of our patents relevant, our work is protected,” Airbus spokeswoman Mary Anne Greczyn told the L.A. Times. “Right now these patent filings are simply conceptual.”