Aviation consultancy Factorydesign has envisioned how social distancing could be achieved on planes after the peak of the coronavirus pandemic with its Isolation screen divider kit.
The London studio designed the kit to allow airlines to offer increased protection for passengers by temporarily dividing seating in economy cabins once widespread commercial flights resume.
"We felt there was a need to offer airlines the simplest possible addition to a seat," explained Adam White, director at Factorydesign.
"This could be temporarily fitted to enforce separation where there are multiple seats, to help protect passengers."
Isolation is designed to enable airlines to quickly adapt current cabins in the short term, to improve social distancing and reassure passengers while the amount of people traveling remains relatively low.
"We wanted to offer something that, in turn, passengers could get re-assurance from, that was offering a degree of separation beyond simply not selling centre seats," White told Dezeen.
The kit would be used to convert the central seat in a row of three into a physical divider. The translucent screen, which would be supported on the chair's armrest and belted into position, would require no permanent alteration to the aeroplane.
Factorydesign said that the kit, which is "designed for all types of commercial airline" is currently under development and several options could be made available.
"There are several translucent materials available for use in aircraft cabins that pass all current certification requirements," said White. "These may be used as a single piece as illustrated or as a window in flexible, solid material."
Isolation has been designed to be easy to clean with no dirt traps. It also includes a holder for a personal amenity kit that could contain a mask, hand-sanitiser and disinfectant wipes
The studio designed the Isolation screen as a way of temporarily improving airline cabins, but believes that in the long term more substantial changes to aircraft interiors may be required.
"This is a temporary solution," said White. "Longer term there certainly are opportunities to make aircraft cabins better able to cope with transmissible disease and needless to say we are at present working hard on further ideas."
Italian design firm Aviointeriors is another studio that is aiming to improve social distancing in aeroplane cabins. It has proposed two concepts. The first, called Glassafe, divides passengers with a plastic hood, while the second, named Janus after the Roman god with two faces, has a reversed centre seat.
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