British Airways Files for Patent on New Club World Business-Class Seats
British Airways has filed a patent for what appears to be the next version of its Club World business-class seat.
The patent, filed under application number GB1408877.7, is entitled “Aircraft passenger seating arrangement” and was filed by British Airways on May 19 of this year. The file lists Nigel Good as the inventor. Good is associated with PriestmanGoode, a London-based design firm that specializes in the hospitality and aviation industries.
The airline said that its current and previous versions of its lie-flat seats have “enjoyed great commercial success” and cited them as prior art in the application, cautioning that it must further innovate because “there is intense competition to provide ever-greater comfort and space for aircraft passengers.”
The seat appears to consist of three parts, the seat itself, an ottoman, and a third component which BA calls an “infil” that swings out from beneath the seat and fills in the gap between the seat and ottoman to form a “substantially continuous sleeping surface.” It’s not clear whether the seat itself reclines or whether BA feels that the versatility of a sofa-style seat would replace the need for recline, which requires several motors and greater complexity.
All seats have direct aisle access. Single seats along the window are angled towards the aisle, while pairs of seats in the center of the aircraft are angled towards the windows on their respective side.
Based on extensive diagrams in the patent, which cover layouts in BA’s long-haul aircraft including the forthcoming Airbus A350, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and the Boeing 777, the airline would replace the current forward-backward layout with a herringbone configuration. The seats have a relatively high wall and the seat itself is wide and sofa-like. The tray table appears to be adjustable and can be placed in a variety of positions to line up with wherever the passenger is sitting along the bench-like seat.
According to the diagrams in the application, the seats are 26.3” wide and convert to lie-flat beds that are 74.5” in length. The design shows different kinds of storage space including a large slide-out drawer under the ottoman and a small cubbyhole, as well as a place to hang headphones and store a bottle of water.
British Airways has not made any announcement about its future Club World seat beyond having filed the patent application so many things could change and this seat could be one of several possible designs.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)