Stand-up seats

Week in travel: New stand-up seats invented for economy class

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And an underwater hotel opens in the Maldives, while the biggest Lego replica of Titanic rises docks in Tennessee, and marine transportation sets a target to be emission-free in 2035

Finally, what we’ve all hoped for ages could soon become reality. Oh yes, who wouldn’t love even more crowded planes?

At this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Italian aircraft seat manufacturer Avio Interiors unveiled a seating design called the Skyrider 2.0 that is supposed to make the density in the aircraft cabin “ultra-high”.

The “cowboy-like” seat style has a reduced pitch which gives passengers a more upright perch, rather than sitting as normal.

While being only half the weight of other standard economy seats, Skyrider 2.0 should allow airlines “to increase the passenger number by 20 per cent allowing increasing profits for airline companies”, Avio Interiors said in a press release.

But to be fair, their intention to pack passengers like sardines in a flying tin is not just for the sake of sadism. The company actually thinks of the perches as a great opportunity for those of us who are less well paid. They consider the design “the new frontier of low-cost tickets and offering a possibility to fly to whom today cannot afford it”.

Autistic boy from Iceland builds world’s largest Lego Titanic replica

The mistakenly proclaimed “unsinkable ship” has had its biggest replica made out of Lego bricks created by a 10-year-old boy from Reykjavik, Iceland.

To finalise the construction, Brynjar Karl Bigisson, who is reportedly on the autism spectrum, spent around 700 hours and used 56,000 Lego bricks.

“When I travelled with my mom to Legoland in Denmark and saw for the first time all the amazing big models of famous houses and planes, locations and ships, I probably then started to think about making my own Lego model. By the time I was 10, I started to think about building the Lego titanic model in a Lego man size,” Brynjar said.


At the beginning of this month I had the privilege of seeing the LEGO Titanic ship at @titanic_museum in Pigeon Forge. 10 year old Brynjar from Iceland built the 26-foot long replica of the Titanic ship using 56,000 LEGO bricks. Diagnosed with autism when he was only 5 years old, Brynjar found himself “trapped behind a fog.” By age 10 he became fascinated with the Titanic and had the ambitious idea to construct one out of LEGOs. His family started a crowdfunding campaign for donations to purchase the LEGO bricks and he received old LEGOs to use as well. It took over 11 months to complete this ambitious project and the Titanic Museum is the first place in the United States to showcase this incredible work of art and raise awareness for autism, too. Stop by to see it in person. The photos don’t show just have big it is! #titanic #legoboy #brynjar #titanicmuseum #pigeonforge #pigeonforgetn #autismawareness #autism #autistic #legos #lego #iceland #titanicpigeonforge #titanicreplica #tourism #easttennessee #smokymagicmediaspotlight #socialmediamarketing #socialmedia

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Brynjar had two great helpers for the outstanding model completion. His grandfather Ogmundsson, who happens to be an engineer, scaled down the Titanic’s original Blueprint to a Lego size.

And Brynjar’s mother, Ludviksdottir, served as his personal assistant. “If she had not supported my dream project, it would have never been a reality,” Brynjar said.

“When your child comes to you with an interesting big crazy dream, mission or goal, he or she would like to reach and needs your help. Listen carefully and make an attempt to find ways to support the child to reach that goal. It might be the best investment you ever make for your kid,” Ludviksdottir said.

The eight-metre-long and 1.5-metre-tall Titanic replica is now docked in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Maldives to construct world’s first underwater hotel

Waking up, breakfast… and decompression. This is likely to be the routine for travellers visiting the Maldives that decide to spend their trip in world’s first underwater residence.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island have announced that they plan to complete a unique underwater hotel called Muraka, which means a coral in Dhivehi, the local language of the Maldives.

Week in travel: New stand-up seats invented for economy class

The residence aims to give their “guests an intimate and immersive experience of one of the Earth’s most breathtaking marine environments”, the company says.  

“Driven by our inspiration to deliver innovative and transformative experiences to our global travellers, the world’s first undersea residence encourages guests to explore the Maldives from an entirely new perspective below the surface of the sea,” said Ahmed Saleem, director at Crown Company and chief architect and designer of the undersea residence.

“The Muraka marks our second venture in underwater architecture and technology, next to Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, which is celebrating its 13th anniversary this month. Through our rich history of being a trailblazer in innovative luxury hospitality, we are proud to remain at the forefront of cutting-edge design, technology and architecture.”

The $15m project should be ready in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Electric ferries to make sea travel emission-free by 2035

Despite being considered the greener option to other forms of transportation, the global maritime shipping industry produces one thousand million tonnes of CO2 per year.

But, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, this could end relatively soon. By the year 2035, the industry has agreed to become completely emission-free through a combination of technical, operational and policy measures.

In line with these eco-friendly efforts, passengers will have the option to sail on the first electric ferry through the Danish waters, as the E-ferry project based on Aeroe island in Denmark should be launched this summer.

“We have a long tradition of being self-suppliant with sustainable energy,’ said Trine Heinemann, E-ferry’s project coordinator.

“But then our only connection to the mainland is passenger ferry, so I think there’s a local interest in trying to reduce emissions from that.”

For one charging, the E-ferry sail up to 22 miles while recharging will take 15 to 20 minutes as cars are loaded on and off. To boost the battery’s power, the boat will have longer and slower overnight charges.

“At the end of the day, basically we are getting close to the energy reserve level,” Heinemann said. ‘It gets to a point where we really want to kind of fill the batteries up again. So that’s what we do during the night with slow charging so that the battery’s up to full capacity in the morning when we start sailing again.”

And finally… Aeroplane bathrooms to be equipped with bidets

That’s right. Not only we will soon be standing on our flights, we will also have the option to wash our behinds in the onboard toilette. (And some of us will have the Michael Jackson song stuck in our heads).

At the same Hamburg Aircraft Interiors Expo at which the stand-up seats were presented, Zodiac Aerospace, one of the giants of the cabin interior component manufacturers, unveiled their concepts of an upgraded onboard bathroom that will feature a plethora of new functions.

The toilet should be easy to maintain, include special disinfectant UV lighting, and a programmable bidet. With the new equipment, Zodiac aims to attract customers mainly from Middle Eastern and Asian countries.

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