There are scant few areas in an economy class cabin where leg room is a guaranteed amenity. At the over-wing exit row passengers are guaranteed a bit of extra space. But even that benefit may now be coming to an end, thanks to Recaro‘s Xtend exit row seating option.
The Xtend seat delivers a (much) shorter seat pan, plus a flip-up extension. It allows for the required 13″ gap between rows at the emergency exit when the extension is out of the way. When flipped into place, the extension allows the seat to approximate a normal cushion, though there’s an obvious gap.
Most importantly for the exit requirements, when a passenger stands up the extension immediately flips out of the way, reverting to the exit-safe configuration.
Ultimately, the option allows an airlines to save a few inches of pitch on the exit row, should they so choose. But a few inches there alone does not generally do an interior layout much good. Take away a few inches there and then also an inch or two for the rest of the rows behind the wing, however, and it just might be possible to eek out enough room for an extra row on board. Ultimately, the Xtend seat is designed to help airlines fly at max capacity config on board; getting the extra row helps make that possible.
Many airlines have decided not to go for max density, preferring the increased revenue from selling extra legroom on board. But this concept is likely to be more popular in Asia where planes are already more likely to fly at higher density layouts.
Airlines will also have to contend with the associated costs of additional spare parts required and adding moving components to the seat. Recaro executives acknowledge those challenges, but note that the latching mechanism is designed to fail “open” so the seat should default to retracted, meaning the plane can still fly even if the extension is not working correctly.
More news from Aircraft Interiors Expo 2023
- Crystal Cabin Awards short list: 80+ designs that will change the way you fly
- Finalists for 2023 Crystal Cabin Awards represent the future of passenger comfort
- ThinKom, Kontron partner for multi-constellation, multi-orbit, multi-modem IFC terminal
- Stellar Blu secures Boeing line-fit agreement
- Seamless finalizes QoE metrics, certifies first partner
- Recaro introduces PL3810, next generation of premium economy
- Jazeera saves weight, increases cabin capacity with Expliseat TiSeat E2
- Hughes signs on as OneWeb partner, launches new IFC options for airlines
- Recaro’s Xtend option allows exit row legroom shrink
- Aurora single-aisle lie-flat business class seats unveiled by Collins Aerospace
- Air Canada plans more free Wi-Fi with regional jet upgrades
- Unum Two launches as forward-facing business class option
- Collins brings galley inserts online with low-cost retrofit option
- Airbus HBCplus Ku-band providers selected
- ThinKom Plus launches, with hybrid LEO/GEO offering
- Air4All, Delta Flight Products team for wheelchair seating on board
- Testing the next step for LEO-based IFC
- JAL plans boost for inflight Wi-Fi service
- Airspace coming to A220 family
- InteliSence aims to boost premium cabin service with seat monitoring, analysis
- Seeking understanding in the IFC world
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