February 22, 2016 12:14 pm

Airbus designs bench-style seating for overweight passengers

According to the patent application for the so-called "Re-Configurable Passenger Bench Seat," the bench would feature seat belts that could be configured to fit two "large" adults, three average sized adults, or even two adults with two children in the middle.

Handout/United States Patent and Trademark Office
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Aircraft manufacturer Airbus is once again raising eyebrows with a recently published patent application that depicts bench-style seating designed to be more accommodating for overweight passengers.

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According to the patent application for the so-called “Re-Configurable Passenger Bench Seat,” the bench would feature seat belts that could be configured to fit two “large” adults, three average sized adults, or even two adults with two children in the middle. The patent, which was filed in August and published this month, explained that the bench-style seating arrangement could be used to help accommodate families, seniors and people with restricted mobility.

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While the patent filing points towards a demand for airlines to comfortably accommodate passengers of all shapes and sizes,  the drawings that come with this particular patent are stirring up some giggles online.

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Consumerist described the renderings as “slightly disconcerting,” noting that the passengers appear to be wearing unitards. Mashable added, “the tiny people in these drawings might haunt our dreams.”

This isn’t the first time an Airbus patent has raised some eyebrows.

In October, a patent application from the manufacturer showed passengers seated on top of each other in a bi-level configuration. In other words, you would be stacked on top of your seat mate.

According to the application, the standard aircraft cabin design will feature two levels of passengers with a “mezzanine seating area” that would replace the overhead lockers.

Airbus claims the design would “provide a high level of comfort for the passengers” — but the concept drawings paint a different image.

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A patent application doesn’t mean Airbus is actually building new seating arrangements.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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