Farnborough Airshow Notebook: Expanded Urinals, Expanded Seats and Hovering Fighter Jets
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
The bi-annual Farnborough Airshow outside of London is the biggest in the world, and always bound to make big news.
In this year’s event, "bigger" is the optimal word.
Airplane manufacturers Airbus and Bombardier are both experimenting with a "bigger is better" mentality that passengers are bound to love.
Airbus, the French manufacturer, is tinkering with designs for a separate urinal that would eliminate the line that often builds in the aisle for the single-person restroom.
According to The Guardian, the urinal — think multi-person restrooms with multiple stalls, like in restaurants and malls — would be a separate, self-contained part of the plane. Airbus is negotiating with Zodiac, a fellow French company that manufactures and supplies such products. The Guardian noted that “Airbus is aiming to optimize space and help passengers save time by reducing queues for the toilet during a flight. The installation of urinals could free up room for additional women’s toilets and disabled loos.”
The Guardian also reported on another new interesting development — Bombardier was scheduled to show off a new plane at Farnborough with wider seats and wider aisles to offset the growing girth of passengers over the last several decades.
As seat sizes on planes shrink, Bombardier was set to buck the trend and introduce its C-Series CS100 with an 18.5-inch wide aisle and window seats, 19-inch wide middle seats, bigger windows, bigger aisles and bigger overhead luggage bins.
Ross Mitchell, Bombardier’s vice-president of commercial operations, told the paper that airlines asked for a design with wider seats to offer more comfort for passengers.
“We went to airlines and asked them what the appropriate sizes were. They said 18-19 inches because it gives people more room in the seat. Airlines were looking to have an option with more comfort,” Mitchell said.
Finally, for the avgeeks in the house, check out this video from Farnborough — a $100 million U.S. military F-35 fighter jet hovering just a few hundred feet off the ground, rotating in midair, and zooming away.
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