August 2012

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Boeing's Sonic Cruiser revived with stadium seating

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I went spelunking in the United States Patent and Trademark Office cave and came out with a gem of a find. Its title: AIRCRAFT. Clever, I know. This AIRCRAFT patent (filed by The Boeing Company) claims to depict "The ornamental design for an aircraft." It does not disappoint. There's not a whole lot of textual meat to the application, which is why the visuals are so important.

Patent D0580864 looks pretty radical. Two cabins with stadium style forward sloping seating with a two level lounge area separating the two cabins. It may kill cargo capacity, but it sure looks interesting. It would certainly rule out anyone from the economy cabin using the premiums lavs.

My colleague asked me, what aircraft it was modeled on and I thought for for a moment that it was arbitrary, but it struck me that it bore a striking resemblance to the Sonic Cruiser design from 2001-2002.

I dug a bit deeper into the 5-page patent and the cabin arrangement shows 214 seats in a two-class configuration; premium holds 35 and economy 179. The seat layout fits loosely into the same aircraft class as 787 and A330. What a wild design. I threw this graphic together (with the help of the Flight archives) to give you a sense of the comparison.


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