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Publication numberUS20070018494 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/186,517
Publication dateJan 25, 2007
Filing dateJul 21, 2005
Priority dateJul 21, 2005
Also published asEP1903915A2, WO2007015832A2, WO2007015832A3
Publication number11186517, 186517, US 2007/0018494 A1, US 2007/018494 A1, US 20070018494 A1, US 20070018494A1, US 2007018494 A1, US 2007018494A1, US-A1-20070018494, US-A1-2007018494, US2007/0018494A1, US2007/018494A1, US20070018494 A1, US20070018494A1, US2007018494 A1, US2007018494A1
InventorsJoseph Gutosky
Original AssigneeBe Aerospace, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combination footrest and baggage bar for aircraft passenger seat
US 20070018494 A1
Abstract
A passenger seat having at least one leg assembly for attachment to a supporting surface, with a seat bottom and seat back carried by the at least one leg assembly. A footrest bar that can also serve as a baggage bar is fixed in a stationary position below and laterally extending between opposed sides of the seat bottom and in a relatively-forward position relative to the seat bottom for supporting feet of an aft-seated passenger.
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Claims(17)
1. A passenger seat, comprising:
(a) at least one leg assembly for attachment to a supporting surface;
(b) a seat bottom and seat back carried by the at least one leg assembly;
(c) a footrest bar fixed in a stationary position below and laterally extending between opposed sides of the seat bottom and in a relatively-forward position relative to the seat bottom for supporting feet of an aft-seated passenger.
2. A passenger seat according to claim 1, wherein the seat includes two spaced-apart leg assemblies, and further wherein the footrest bar is connected to and extends between the two leg assemblies.
3. A passenger seat according to claim 1, wherein a rear-facing surface of the footrest bar is positioned at an anatomically-appropriate oblique angle for supporting the feet at a heel down, toe up position.
4. A passenger seat according to claim 3, wherein the footrest bar is positioned in generally vertical alignment with a forward edge of the seat bottom.
5. A passenger seat according to claim 2, wherein the spaced-apart leg assemblies each comprise a single leg member.
6. A passenger seat according to claim 2, wherein the spaced-apart leg assemblies each comprise a single leg member and further wherein the respective single leg members support the seat bottom and seat back from a position below a forward portion of the seat bottom.
7. A passenger seat according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the footrest bar comprises a baggage retention bar for preventing forward movement past the baggage retention bar of baggage stowed under the seat bottom.
8. An aircraft passenger seat according to claim 1 or 2, and including a stationary shell for supporting the seat back in a stationary position.
9. An aircraft passenger seating group, comprising:
(a) a pair of laterally spaced-apart leg assemblies for attachment to an aircraft deck;
(b) a plurality of laterally-adjacent seat bottoms and seat backs carried by the leg assemblies;
(c) a combination footrest and baggage bar positioned below and laterally extending between opposed sides of the seat bottoms and in a relatively-forward position relative to the seat bottoms for supporting feet of an aft-seated passenger.
10. An aircraft passenger seating group according to claim 9, wherein a rear-facing surface of the footrest bar is positioned at an anatomically-appropriate oblique angle for supporting the feet at a heel down, toe up position.
11. An aircraft passenger seating group according to claim 10, wherein the footrest bar is positioned in generally vertical alignment with a forward edge of the seat bottoms.
12. An aircraft passenger seating group according to claim 10, wherein the spaced-apart leg assemblies each comprise a single leg member.
13. An aircraft passenger seating group according to claim 12, wherein the spaced-apart leg assemblies each comprise a single leg member and further wherein the respective single leg members support the seat bottom and seat back from a position below a forward portion of the seat bottom.
14. An aircraft passenger seating group according to claim 9 or 10, wherein the footrest bar comprises a baggage retention bar for preventing forward movement past the baggage retention bar of baggage stowed under the seat bottom.
15. A passenger seating group according to claim 9 or 10, and including a stationary shell for supporting the seat back in a stationary position.
16. A passenger seating group according to claim 9 or 10, wherein a bottom side of the combination footrest and baggage bar is positioned flush with the aircraft deck.
17. A passenger seating group according to claim 9 or 10, wherein a bottom side of the combination footrest and baggage bar is positioned in spaced-apart relation to the aircraft deck.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a combination footrest and baggage bar for an aircraft passenger seat. The invention has application principally with coach-class seating on either long-haul or regional passenger aircraft. Traditional aircraft coach-class seats typically include pairs of legs that support a group of laterally-aligned seats. These legs are typically spaced-apart in both a lateral and fore-and-aft orientation. For example, a typical three-abreast seating group will include a pair of legs on each end and a pair of legs intermediate the ends, i.e., four pairs of legs for three seats. Other combinations exist, of course, with some coach class seating areas having six or more seats abreast with a comparable leg arrangement.

These types of seating arrangements require stowage space for at least some carry-on baggage to be provided under the seats for the use of aft-seated passengers. The aft-seated passenger must in many instances make room for baggage while leaving enough room for his or her feet, either on top of, to both sides or to one side of the baggage. The intermediate pairs of legs restrict the position of both luggage and feet, and also form divisions that require each passenger to stow baggage under the seat directly in front of that passenger whether or not room remains for the feet to be comfortably accommodated, as well.

Regulations require that seats with underneath baggage storage space include means to prevent baggage from being pushed forwardly by the aft-seated passenger and from sliding forward into the foot and leg space of the passenger seated in that seat. This is most often accomplished by means of a “baggage bar.” The baggage bar is formed of a lightweight material such as aluminum and typically extends under the seat laterally from one end of the seating group to the other, curving around the ends to opposite termination points. This baggage bar is generally aligned with the front edge of the seat bottom and is spaced upwardly from the aircraft deck by approximately one-half of the distance from the deck to the bottom side of the seat bottom. In the event of sudden deceleration of the aircraft, the baggage bar prevents baggage, handbags and other objects from sliding forwardly beyond the bar, as well as preventing aft-seated passengers from “poaching” into the leg and foot space of the forwardly-seated passenger. In conventional coach-class seating, the baggage bar is much too far forward to be reached by the feet of an aft-seated passenger.

Newer coach-class seats have been engineered to reduce the number of leg assemblies needed by, for example, the use of strong and lightweight tubes on which the seats are mounted. In addition, some new coach-class seats are designed with rigid, non-reclining, stationary seat back shells that support the seat back. The passenger seated in the seat reclines by, for example, coordinated translation of the seat bottom and seat back. This design allows fore-and-aft rows of the seats to be spaced somewhat closer together while providing the aft-seated passenger with a fixed living space that cannot be confiscated by the forwardly-seated passenger's reclined seat back.

These new arrangements have freed-up space under the seat to permit more foot and baggage stowage space. The need remains for some means by which baggage is prevented from being placed or moved too far forward under the seat, as described above. However, with new seat designs the opportunity now exists for a footrest to be provided passengers, while maintaining the open underseat environment permitted by these new seat designs. This application describes and claims a footrest for the comfort of passengers and a baggage bar to satisfy the requirements that baggage be placed and maintained in a specified area under the seat.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, it is an object of the invention to provide a seat that includes a footrest for an aft-seated passenger.

It is another object of the invention to provide a seat that includes a combination footrest and baggage bar for an aft-seated passenger.

It is another object of the invention to provide a seat that includes an open below-seat area suited to easily and comfortably accommodate both the passenger's feet and an adequate amount of baggage.

These and other objects of the present invention are achieved in the preferred embodiments disclosed below by providing a passenger seat having at least one leg assembly for attachment to a supporting surface, with a seat bottom and seat back carried by the at least one leg assembly. A footrest bar is fixed in a stationary position below and laterally extending between opposed sides of the seat bottom and in a relatively-forward position relative to the seat bottom for supporting feet of an aft-seated passenger.

According to one preferred embodiment of the invention, the seat includes two spaced-apart leg assemblies, and further wherein the footrest bar is connected to and extends between the two leg assemblies.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, a rear-facing surface of the footrest bar is positioned at an anatomically-appropriate oblique angle for supporting the feet at a heel down, toe up position.

According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, the footrest bar is positioned in generally vertical alignment with a forward edge of the seat bottom.

According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, the spaced-apart leg assemblies each comprise a single leg member.

According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, the spaced-apart leg assemblies each comprise a single leg member and further wherein the respective single leg members support the seat bottom and seat back from a position below a forward portion of the seat bottom.

According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, the footrest bar comprises a baggage retention bar for preventing forward movement past the baggage retention bar of baggage stowed under the seat bottom.

According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, the seat includes a stationary shell for supporting the seat back in a stationary position.

According to yet another preferred embodiment of the invention, an aircraft passenger seating group is provided, and comprises a pair of laterally spaced-apart leg assemblies for attachment to an aircraft deck and a plurality of laterally-adjacent seat bottoms and seat backs carried by the leg assemblies. A combination footrest and baggage bar is positioned below and laterally extends between opposed sides of the seat bottoms and in a relatively-forward position relative to the seat bottoms for supporting the feet of an aft-seated passenger.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Some of the objects of the invention have been set forth above. Other objects and advantages of the invention will appear as the invention proceeds when taken in conjunction with the following drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view, with parts omitted for clarity, of a coach-class passenger seating group according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the seat shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary side elevation of the seat end cap and combination footrest and baggage bar;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation of a pair of fore-and-aft seating groups showing a typical passenger seating position;

FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of a coach-class passenger seating group according to an alternative embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary perspective view of the combination footrest and baggage bar of the seat shown in FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is a side elevation of a pair of fore-and-aft seating groups according to FIG. 5 showing a typical passenger seating position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT AND BEST MODE

Referring now specifically to the drawings, a passenger seating group according to the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1-4 and shown generally at reference numeral 10. The seating group 10 is formed from three abreast seats 20, 30 and 40. The seats 20, 30, and 40 have respective seat backs 21, 31, 41 and seat bottoms 22, 32 and 42. The seat backs 21, 31, 41 are preferably fixed in a stationary position and include a rigid shell 23, 33, 43. The seats 20, 30 and 40 are supported by a seat support beam 50 that extends between two end leg assemblies 52, 54. Note with particular reference to FIGS. 2 and 4 that the curvature and position of the seat backs 21, 31, 41 provide a significantly enlarged and fixed space for the aft-seated passengers because the seat backs 21, 31, and 41 do not recline.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention a combination footrest and baggage bar 60 is affixed to and extends between the leg assemblies 52, 54. The bar 60 may be flush with or slightly spaced above the aircraft deck to which the seating group 10 is connected. The bar 60 is preferably a lightweight solid bar or tube fabricated from, for example, alumimum or a carbon fiber resin material. As is best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the bar 60 according to one embodiment of the invention is generally trapezoidal with radiused corners, and has a rear-facing surface 61 positioned at an anatomically-appropriate oblique angle for supporting the feet at a heel down, toe up, neutral foot position. This position enables the passenger to support the foot in a natural position and thus avoid discomfort caused by plantar hyperflexion of the foot. The bar 60 also permits the passenger to engage in resistance exercise by flexing the foot back and forth against the resistance of the bar 60, and may aid in increasing blood flow in the lower extremities, reduction of cramping and a generally more comfortable travel experience.

An alternative preferred embodiment of the seat is shown in FIGS. 5-7. A seating group 100. The seating group 100 is formed from three abreast seats 120, 130 and 140. The seats 120, 130, and 140 have respective seat backs 121, 131, 141 and seat bottoms 122, 132 and 142. The seat backs 121, 131, 141 are preferably fixed in a stationary position and include a rigid shell 123, 133, 143. The seats 120, 130 and 140 are supported by a seat support 150, shown in FIG. 7, that extends between two intermediate leg assemblies 152, 154. The leg assemblies 152, 154 are secured to the aircraft deck by track fittings 156, 158.

Note with particular reference to FIG. 7 that the curvature and position of the seat backs 121, 131, 141 provide a significantly enlarged and fixed space for the aft-seated passengers because the seat backs 121, 131, and 141 do not recline.

In accordance with this embodiment of the invention a combination footrest and baggage bar 160 is affixed to a pair of intermediately-positioned leg assemblies 152, 154 and extend to the opposing ends of the seating group 100. The bar 160 may be flush with or slightly spaced above the aircraft deck to which the seating group 100 is connected. The bar 160 is preferably a lightweight solid bar or tube fabricated from, for example, alumimum or a carbon fiber resin material. As is best shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the bar 160 according to one embodiment of the invention is generally trapezoidal with radiused corners, and has a rear-facing surface 161 positioned at an anatomically-appropriate oblique angle for supporting the feet at a heel down, toe up, neutral foot position, and functions as described with reference to the bar 60 shown in FIGS. 1-4.

While the combination footrests and baggage bars 60, 160 have been described with reference to seats having stationary seat backs, it is anticipated that some seat designs that include reclining or translating seat backs will be suitable for use with a combination footrest and baggage bar as described in this application. Similarly, the combination of a footrest and a baggage bar will also find application in seats and seating groups with varying leg types and positions and designs.

A passenger seat with a combination footrest and baggage bar is described above. Various details of the invention may be changed without departing from its scope. Furthermore, the foregoing description of the preferred embodiment of the invention and the best mode for practicing the invention are provided for the purpose of illustration only and not for the purpose of limitation—the invention being defined by the claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8201890Nov 19, 2009Jun 19, 2012Naoki Nagoaka MiharaAdjustable seat system
US8534759Sep 24, 2010Sep 17, 2013Be Aerospace, Inc.Passenger seat armrest recline mechanism
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/423.1
International ClassificationA47C7/50
Cooperative ClassificationB64D2011/0648, B64D2011/0662, B64D11/06, B60N3/06
European ClassificationB60N3/06, B64D11/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 19, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: BE AEROSPACE, INC., FLORIDA
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A.;REEL/FRAME:021398/0978
Effective date: 20080728
Owner name: BE AEROSPACE, INC.,FLORIDA
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A.;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100525;REEL/FRAME:21398/978
Dec 9, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: B E AEROSPACE, INC., FLORIDA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GUTOSKY, JR., JOSEPH MICHAEL;REEL/FRAME:016876/0496
Effective date: 20051012