Developments in business class lie-flat seating are missing one important thing: density.
Cabins Reaching New Heights
As aircraft cabin ceilings move upwards, elevated seating arrangements are becoming a viable way to increase premium cabin density without compromising passenger living space.
The Formation Seat leverages a layering principle originally patented by Formation in 2008, featuring an arrangement of 2 forward facing and 2 aft facing lie-flat seats which are separated by a premium class suite. All 5 seats in this arrangement are at the typical seated height. However, the bed of the suite deploys slightly higher than typical while the standard seats convert to the bed position at a slightly lower height.
This allows the suite’s bed to overlap the foot wells of the standard beds. The concept achieves an overall seat gain of 17 lie flat seats when compared to a typical staggered or herringbone LOPA (Layout Of Passenger Accommodation) of the same cabin area.
Improving Bed Mode Functionality and Ergonomics
As the seat transitions into the bed mode the seat bottom & back lower to the ottoman height which would be 10 to 12 inches from the floor. The lower positioning of the bed provides two advantages.
The first is more vertical space in the foot well to better accommodate crossed legs and raised knees while maintaining an armrest console height of just under twenty five inches which is typical.
The second advantage is for improved step over egress for the window or center seats. Through studies with our mock-up, the improvement in egress is very significant. To aid this even further, a step feature was added that is between the two seats but still under the premium suites shell overhang as to not impede ingress/egress when in the upright position. The combination of the 8 inch step and the lower bed height allows even a small stature person to cross someone side sleeping.