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No one wants the middle seat on airplanes. This design could change that

Colorado-based startup Molon Labe Seating is developing a staggered seating design for commercial airlines which they claim provides passengers with more room and larger seats.

Posted: Jul 19, 2019 8:59 AM


It is a truth universally acknowledged that middle seats on airplanes are the worst.

Being awkwardly sandwiched in between two people while fighting for elbow room is the bane of most passengers. Now a new design might actually make people want the middle seat -- or at least make the flying experience less miserable.

The S1 design from the Colorado-based startup, Molon Labe Seating, features three economy seats in a staggered layout, putting the middle seat slightly behind the aisle and window seats, and at a slightly lower height.

Sitting directly adjacent to two people means that passengers only have so much shoulder room. But moving the middle seat back a few inches allows for more space, so the company made the middle seat about three to five inches wider than the standard 18 inch seat.

"That little bit of stagger means that every single person gets to spread out a little more," Hank Scott, the founder and CEO of Molon Labe Seating, told CNN.

Passengers won't have to fight over elbow space either. The armrests are also built so that they are not a uniform height from front to back. They will allow the aisle and window passengers to rest their elbows on the front of the armrest while leaving space at the back, which is lower, for the middle passenger.

"No seats are any smaller, one seat ends up being wider, and we've solved the elbow wars," Scott said.

The seats are intended for shorter, domestic flights, though the company is developing a version for longer flights that include more padding and larger TV screens.

So when can passengers test out these seats for themselves?

The seats were certified by the Federal Aviation Administration last month, and are being manufactured by Primus Aerospace in Colorado. Scott said that he expected they would be available on two airlines by April or May of 2020. Though he could not disclose which airlines would feature the seats, he said one of them is based in North America.

It's not just passengers who will be happier with the new arrangement, Scott said. The seats are lighter than standard airline seats, which could help cut down on fuel costs.

"For an airline, it's kind of a no-brainer," he said.

The S1 seats won't fix everything about flying -- the seats don't recline or offer any more legroom. And that's not to mention the food, the chatty passengers, the inefficient boarding and de-boarding processes ... and the list goes on.

"It's still going to suck," Scott said. "Now it's going to suck less."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 703345

Reported Deaths: 13194
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion959691716
Lake51222940
Allen38926670
Hamilton34288404
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Elkhart27117431
Vanderburgh22034393
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1048109

Reported Deaths: 18917
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1217031352
Cuyahoga1063982060
Hamilton779451165
Montgomery49883989
Summit45144907
Lucas39826760
Butler37638568
Stark31348894
Lorain24090472
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Clermont19397228
Delaware17972130
Licking16089206
Fairfield15646196
Trumbull15521459
Medina14815259
Greene14613236
Clark13576288
Wood12709184
Portage12313194
Allen11303229
Richland11017198
Miami10511212
Muskingum8688127
Wayne8543209
Columbiana8527226
Pickaway8421120
Marion8360135
Tuscarawas8359239
Erie7540153
Ross6692145
Hancock6683123
Geauga6527146
Ashtabula6458164
Scioto6280100
Belmont5591158
Union556247
Lawrence5458102
Jefferson5283147
Huron5270113
Darke5264121
Sandusky5164119
Seneca5093118
Washington5074107
Athens499454
Auglaize474884
Mercer470384
Shelby455089
Knox4371108
Madison421058
Putnam420298
Ashland412086
Fulton407966
Defiance399996
Crawford3858100
Brown385555
Logan372276
Preble369598
Clinton359659
Ottawa355478
Highland346059
Williams323274
Champaign318556
Jackson306951
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Perry289349
Fayette276948
Morrow274439
Hardin263563
Henry263166
Coshocton258257
Holmes252699
Van Wert238662
Gallia233246
Pike232431
Adams227552
Wyandot226353
Hocking208958
Carroll188947
Paulding168538
Meigs141438
Noble132737
Monroe128841
Morgan106423
Harrison105336
Vinton81414
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