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The Evolution of the Airplane Seat

Travel and Leisure - 2 hours 34 min ago
<p>Airplane seats have changed a lot over the decades, but their evolution isn't just due to trends of the years. </p><p>PJ Wilcynski, Boeing’s associate technical fellow and Payloads chief architect, has witnessed the progress of cabin architecture for over two decades and dug into the Boeing historical archives to share exclusive imagesof aircraft seats past with <em>Travel+Leisure. </em></p><p>The aircraft seat had a humble start as little more than a collection of wicker chairs fastened to the floor. By the late ‘20s, these wicker chairs were lined with leather and padding to make them a little bit more comfortable.</p><p>“Leather was very popular because it allowed them to wipe down the seats easily because of all of the soot from the airports and dusty runways where the aircraft would land in the early days,” said Wilcynski.</p><img alt="1929 Boeing Model 80 "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525383416/1929-Boeing-Model-80-HISTORYAIRSEAT0518.jpg?itok=9XVh1G57"><p>There were <a href="https://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/articles/2011_q4/2/">improvements in the late ‘30s</a> with aluminium-tube seating, thick seatbelts made of leather, thicker padding, and velour covers.</p><img alt="1934 Boeing 247 "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525383416/1934-Boeing-247-HISTORYAIRSEAT0518.jpg?itok=dcCmon3d"><img alt="circa 1935: Interior view of a fourteen-seat Fokker Douglas commercial airplane used by Dutch Airlines. "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525383416/1935-Fokker-Douglas-Dutch-Airlines-HISTORYAIRSEAT0518.jpg?itok=W0ubMhgf"><p>From 1939 to the late ‘40s, the Boeing 314 Stratoliner, the flying boat 314 Clipper, the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, and the Douglas DC-3 to DC-6 reflected the airlines’ ambitions to make flying a <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/luxury-travel/tcs-world-travel-private-jet-world-tour">luxury travel experience</a>.</p><img alt="1939 Boeing-307 Stratoliner "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525383416/1939-Boeing-307-Stratoliner-HISTORYAIRSEAT0518.jpg?itok=ZaoXhUda"><p>There were seats that converted to beds for <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/how-to-sleep-on-a-plane">sleeping on overnight flights</a> and seatbelts got an upgrade from thick leather straps to something closer to the types of buckled fabric belts we see on planes today. More decorative details made the aircraft interior feel like a living room.</p><p>Boeing’s 377 Stratocruiser from 1949 had a spiral staircase at the back of the plane which gave passengers access to a lower deck lounge where they could <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/style/travel-accessories/compression-socks-for-flying">stretch their legs</a> and socialize. There were also drop-down beds overhead for sleeping.</p><img alt="1949 Boeing 377 "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525383416/1949-Boeing-377-HISTORYAIRSEAT0518.jpg?itok=T9vsTNmP"><p>Stratocruiser seats also introduced new comfort features, and Boeing was involved in these design improvements.</p><p>“These seats were mounted on shock absorbers to minimise some of the vibration from the propellers,” said Wilcynski. “When you look at them, you don’t see a lot of development at the highest levels, but there was certainly recline and there was a footrest that deployed from the seat.”</p><p>Seats were basically designed for one class — those who could <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/history-of-flight-costs">afford to fly</a> — until the late-‘50s and early-’60s.</p><p>“The 1959 Pan Am 707 was one of the last of the airplanes that we delivered with one class of service before the introduction of tourist class,” said Wilcynski. ”What’s interesting is that even in the late ‘50s you can see that these seats didn’t have tray tables in the back. As I understand, meals were served by putting a pillow on your lap and the tray placed on the pillow.”</p><img alt="Boeing Jet Stratoliner, which will enter service with airlines of the world in 1959, "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525383416/1956-Boeing-Jet-Stratoliner-HISTORYAIRSEAT0518.jpg?itok=dJtrDJSl"><img alt=" Boeing 747 passenger plane under development. Due for completion in 1969 "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525383416/1969-Boeing-747-HISTORYAIRSEAT0518.jpg?itok=AiKxL_pH"><img alt="1970s Pan-Am 747 Lower Cabin "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525383416/1970s-PanAm-747-Lower-Cabin-HISTORYAIRSEAT0518.jpg?itok=2PQHpvHa"><p>The seats on the one-class five-abreast Pan Am 707 were 19-inches wide, but not all airplane seats were as forgiving on the hips.</p><p>“Out of the development of tourist class in the late ‘50s, you saw the introduction of the six-abreast 17.2-inch wide triple seat. It [was] featured on 707, the 727, and 737,” said Wilcynski.</p><img alt="1959 PanAm 707-120 "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525383416/1959-PanAm-707-120-HISTORYAIRSEAT0518.jpg?itok=IFzCQh1z"><p>When the 747 entered service in 1970, it featured nine-abreast seats — a triple, a quad, and a double row. This meant seats were a bit wider — but <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/shrinking-airline-seats">that didn’t last</a>.</p><p>“As a result of changes to the fare structure, many airlines quickly went to 10 abreast,” said Wilcynski. Legroom was tight too. “While many of the first planes were introduced with 34 or 33-inch pitch, they very quickly went into 32-inch pitch. And I have evidence of early 747-200s of premiere airlines which operated at a 31-inch pitch.”</p><p>But the 747 was <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/boeing-747-hotel-amsterdam">definitely a trendsetter</a> in positive ways.</p><p>“The 747 was also the first to have enclosed pivoting overhead stowage bins, which has carried on to today’s most modern models,” said Wilcynski. “It was really with the 747 that the multiplex system was introduced, with attendant call and reading light activation. It was also the system that provided the audio for the movies that you listened to, with pneumatic tubes that plugged into the armrest.”</p><img alt="1960s Boeing 727-100 "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525383416/1960s-Boeing-727-100-HISTORYAIRSEAT0518.jpg?itok=gJ2paHPq"><img alt="1970s Boeing 747 Upper Cabin "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1525383416/1970s-Boeing-747-Upper-Cabin-HISTORYAIRSEAT0518.jpg?itok=lul5CBf7"><p>The 747 also featured an upper lounge for first class passengers.</p><p>“It was a very special place and brought us back to the lower lounge that started with the Stratocruiser,” said Wilcynski.</p><p>In the ‘80s, there were dramatic improvements that passengers couldn’t see, and which still drive the design of airline seats we fly in today.</p><p><a href="https://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/articles/2011_q4/2/">New safety regulations</a> required seats to withstand up to 16 Gs of force on impact (16 times the force of gravity). There were also new fire regulations, which led to the introduction of a fire-blocking layer on seat cushions and fire-retardant cabin textiles.</p><p>Today’s luxury business and first class seating options are very recent. Up to the late ‘90s, and even in the early ‘00s, most premium classes offered recliner-style seating. New composites allowed for shells around convertible seats to create beds and private suites.</p><img alt="Singapore Airlines new Boeing 787-10 "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1522354562/Boeing-787-10-business2-NEWBOE0318_0.jpg?itok=SBGVKoO4"><img alt="Airbus Airspace Cabin A320 Neo Airplane "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1497982043/economy-seating-airspace-cabin-A320-neo-cabin-NEO0617_0.jpg?itok=QWZ0M9KJ"><p>In economy class, the last decade has seen new <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/delta/delta-hulu-partnership-free-tv-movies-in-flight">in-flight entertainment</a> systems that are mounted to seat backs, power outlets, tray tables which can fit our electronic devices, and much more.</p><p>Designers are still working on improvements and Boeing has started production on the next generation of flight — the 777X <a href="http://www.boeing.com/commercial/777x/by-design/#/enhanced-cabin">which promises a new era of flying</a>.</p><p>While the seating details are still tightly under wraps, we’re sure they won’t be made of wicker.</p>
Categories: Travel

Shoe Zone: Retailer warns 100 shops could close

BBC Business News - 2 hours 45 min ago
Its chief executive told the BBC that it would close shops if business rates do not change.
Categories: Business

Shoe Zone: Retailer warns 100 shops could close

BBC Business News Feed - 2 hours 45 min ago
Its chief executive told the BBC that it would close shops if business rates do not change.
Categories: Business

New film and TV studio space planned in Belfast

Property Week News Feed - 3 hours 3 min ago
Belfast Harbour has submitted a planning application for six new film and television studios.
Categories: Property

Don't blame foreign workers, says Piketty

BBC Business News - 3 hours 6 min ago
Best-selling economist Thomas Piketty is back with a new book.
Categories: Business

Don't blame foreign workers, says Piketty

BBC Business News Feed - 3 hours 6 min ago
Best-selling economist Thomas Piketty is back with a new book.
Categories: Business

BBC Business News Feed: Don't blame foreign workers, says Piketty

Business Now Mag - 3 hours 6 min ago
Best-selling economist Thomas Piketty is back with a new book.
Categories: Business

Gazeley acquires 25-acre UK redevelopment site for warehouse scheme

Property Week News Feed - 3 hours 6 min ago
Gazeley has acquired a 25-acre site near Bedford to developed three warehouses for an undisclosed sum.
Categories: Property

Laura Ashley appeals for funding as sales fall 10%

BBC Business News - 3 hours 14 min ago
The British retailer warns it will "consider all appropriate options" if it cannot raise the extra money.
Categories: Business

Laura Ashley appeals for funding as sales fall 10%

BBC Business News Feed - 3 hours 14 min ago
The British retailer warns it will "consider all appropriate options" if it cannot raise the extra money.
Categories: Business

BBC Business News Feed: Laura Ashley appeals for funding as sales fall 10%

Business Now Mag - 3 hours 14 min ago
The British retailer warns it will "consider all appropriate options" if it cannot raise the extra money.
Categories: Business

Coach Is Having a Major Sale on Leather Booties Right Now — Here are the Best Deals

Travel and Leisure - 3 hours 21 min ago
<p>Whether you're milling about the cobblestone streets of a new city or heading out for a night on the town, a pair of <a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-walking-shoes-for-travel">leather booties</a> will take you just about anywhere you need to go. <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.coach.com" target="_blank">Coach</a> is a tried-and-true brand when it comes to <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/style/shopping/everlane-leather-slip-ons">leather goods</a>, and that includes <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.coach.com/shop/women-shoes-boots" target="_blank">boots</a>. From sleek heeled styles to lace-up flats, the brand has all kinds of booties that are perfect for any season, particularly that tricky <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/style/shopping/everlane-cotton-quilted-jacket">winter to spring transition</a>. </p><p>And now is the perfect time to shop, since Coach is having a <a data-ecommerce="true" href="http://travelandleisure.com/style/shopping/everlane-cotton-quilted-jacket" target="_blank">major sale right now</a>, including a wide variety of shoes. Keep reading for our favorite leather bootie deals. </p><p><strong>Related: </strong>More <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/style/shopping/cole-haan-lyla-bootie-sale">must-have boots</a></p><h2>The Bowery Bootie</h2><img alt="Leather Snakeskin Print Booties "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1581619589/coach-bowery-bootie-snakeskin-COACHBOOTS0220.jpg?itok=7fMMr6wu"><p>If you're going for a step up from traditional black or brown leather, these snakeskin Chelsea boots with a beadchain trim are just bold enough to take any outfit to the next level. And while these boots are undoubtedly stylish, ribbed panels at the ankles make them easy to slip on and off. </p><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.coach.com/coach-bowery-bootie-in-snakeskin/G4368.html" target="_blank">coach.com</a>, $113 (originally $225)</p><h2>The Drea Bootie</h2><img alt="Leopard Print Heeled Booties "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1581619589/coach-drea-bootie-leopard-COACHBOOTS0220.jpg?itok=CfI8WA0i"><p>For a real statement, go for these ultra-stylish leopard-printed calf hair booties. With a heel at just over three inches and beadchain trim, these booties will add flair to any outfit. </p><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.coach.com/coach-drea-bootie/G4285.html" target="_blank">coach.com</a>, $125 (originally $250)</p><h2>The Laura Combat Bootie</h2><img alt="Black Leather Combat Boots "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1581619589/coach-laura-combat-bootie-black-COACHBOOTS0220.jpg?itok=w-clvx_h"><p>These black leather booties are a modern take on the classic edgy combat boot. The buttery-soft leather upper features a front zipper and polished rivets, while the rubber sole makes them easy to wear and walk in for hours. </p><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.coach.com/coach-laura-combat-bootie/G4464.html" target="_blank">coach.com</a>, $125 (originally $250)</p><h2>The Pheobe Bootie</h2><img alt="White Leather Buckled Booties "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1581619589/coach-phoebe-bootie-white-COACHBOOTS0220.jpg?itok=f1NxKcux"><p>These edgy leather booties, which are available in both cream and black leather, will be the centerpiece of any outfit. Between the unique cutouts, stud embellishments, and buckles, it's no surprise that all eyes will be on these block-heeled ankle boots. </p><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.coach.com/coach-pheobe-bootie/G3989.html" target="_blank">coach.com</a>, $125 ($250)</p><h2>The Lorren Bootie</h2><img alt="Black Suede Lace-up Booties "src="https://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1581619589/coach-lorren-bootie-black-COACHBOOTS0220.jpg?itok=XjgNwYDb"><p>For a modern take on the outdoorsy boot, consider the Lorren Bootie. These boots feature water-resistant suede and leather, a sporty lace-up front, and durable rubber sole, making them both stylish and practical enough to become your new everyday footwear for the rest of the winter. </p><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.coach.com/coach-lorren-bootie/G4620.html" target="_blank">coach.com</a>, $113 (originally $225)</p><p><em>Love a great deal? <a href="https://x.specialoffers.meredith.com/ats/show.aspx?cr=588&amp;fm=340&amp;regsource=25567">Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter</a> and we’ll send you our favorite travel products each week. </em></p>
Categories: Travel

The Knicks Have Strong Interest In Villanova Coach Jay Wright: Sources

Forbes News Feed - 4 hours 32 min ago
League sources say Villanova coach Jay Wright could become the next head coach of the Knicks.
Categories: Business

Hammerson turns to Betty to lead City Quarters strategy

Property Week News Feed - 5 hours 17 sec ago
Hammerson has appointed Simon Betty to the newly created role of managing director of City Quarters and Developments.
Categories: Property

Persimmon recruits Bank of England exec to the board

Property Week News Feed - 5 hours 16 min ago
Persimmon has boosted its board with the appointment the chief operating officer (COO) at the Bank of England as an independent non-executive director.
Categories: Property

Surgeon suspended over treatment concerns

BBC Health News Feed - 5 hours 26 min ago
The doctor worked at the same private healthcare firm as rogue breast surgeon Ian Paterson.
Categories: Health

Warehouse REIT considers fundraising to fund acquisition pipeline

Property Week News Feed - 5 hours 35 min ago
Warehouse REIT is mulling an equity fundraising to help fund an acquisition pipeline valued at £352m.
Categories: Property

Coronavirus: Schools to be advised not to close over suspected cases

BBC Health News Feed - 5 hours 38 min ago
New guidance will tell schools not to close if there is a suspected case of coronavirus.
Categories: Health

Moda finalises plans for 720-home Birmingham scheme

Property Week News Feed - 5 hours 57 min ago
Moda Living and joint venture partner Apache Capital are about to launch a public consultation on their plans to deliver a 720-home build-to-rent scheme in Birmingham.
Categories: Property

Blackstone sells Chiswick Park building to Stanhope

Property Week News Feed - 6 hours 4 min ago
Blackstone has sold the last building it owns at Chiswick Park to Stanhope, the original developers of the West London office campus, for £312m.
Categories: Property

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