New armrest solves flight elbow war
Everyone prays for the ultimate privilege when they’re boarding a plane – an unoccupied seat next to you. It can be better than flying in first class as it allows you to spread your possessions across two tables and stretch your legs a little.
No such luck if you’re on a peak summertime Easyjet flight from London Gatwick to Barcelona, probably, unless you’ve sabotaged someone’s alarm clock. However, a new innovative design might go some way to solving one of the most irritating problems with planes.
The in-flight battle for the armrest is not something suffered by only frequent fliers. Everyone from cinema goers to commuters is familiar with the often unspoken argument with the stranger in the next seat.
A new armrest design, shaped like a paperclip and thus offering space for passengers either side has been created by James Lee, a graduate of mechanical engineering, aeronautic and astronautic studies who has won several awards around the world for his outstanding work.
“It didn’t take long to design this concept after the inspiration came,” he said. “But the Paperclip Armrest is not just one design – it is a family of designs with the same basic principle, and I’ve created a number of iterations of it since coming up with the concept.”
Aircraft developers could be particularly keen to adopt his design as it aims to “make the most efficient use of precious cabin space while maximising passenger appeal”.
The Paperclip Armrest was one of the many innovations on display at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, which is currently taking place in Hamburg.
However, observers pointed out a number of potential flaws, such as the fact passengers would have to sit very close to one another for both of them to use the arm rest.
Arguments could also break out over who gets the top arm rest of the paperclip and who gets the bottom, suggesting we’ll be hoping for a cancellation in the seat next to us for a while yet.