Last up in inventor Emil Jacob's Flex-Seat designs for airplane interior layouts is his Economy configuration. I was worried Jacobs would give us non-Business-fare-paying common men the design shaft, but even his Economy layout strives to give passengers more room through the simple concept of vertical staggering.
By simply elevating every other row (and removing one seat from the raised rows, to accommodate stairs on either side) Jacobs provides a heckuva lot more room, not to mention storage space. The elevated seats can recline fully, since the space directly behind them is empty air; the lower rows recline by scooching forward. The lower seats also fold vertically to access the storage bins in front of them, and again, this removes the need to stand in the aisle and load overhead compartments, which should reduce boarding times.
And now for a little about Jacobs himself. The inventor came up with the idea for Flex-Seats while stuck on a cramped overnight flight where he eventually resorted to sleeping on the floor.
"From down there I saw all this space," Jacob explained. "I thought that there has to be a better way to do it; there's so much space it'd be absurd not to use it."
After tinkering with the layout plans of different airplanes, the Flex-Seats were born. Jacob, now owner of Jacob Innovations LLC, has a few airlines currently looking into his new designs.
The Epoch Times has a brief piece on Jacobs and his system here.