BACKGROUND: Recent research indicated that an 18′′ ×30′′ aircraft seat resulted in nearly the same level of comfort as a 17′′ ×34′′ seat. However, it took less space in the floor plan. OBJECTIVES: This study explores seat layouts preferred by experts regarding different criteria. Those results of the experts are later compared to layouts produced by computational algorithms to evaluate the advantages of each method. METHODS: Eighty-eight experts in the field of aircraft interior were invited to make a floor plan of a part of a Boeing 777 aircraft where comfort was one of the main goals. Participants worked in groups of 3 and are given the freedom to design a section of the cabin between economy and first-class (5.87 m wide and 3.7 m long), where besides these two types of seats, an old business-class size seat of 20′′ ×36′′ was introduced as well for more flexibilities in design. Computational algorithms were also applied with the same inputs and constraints to generate layouts as a comparison. RESULTS: In total, 29 floor-plans were made, and these plans were analysed to compare against the complexity of the operations, the number of passengers on board, the revenue of the airline, and the width of the aisle. Results showed that 14 groups opted for the economy seats, while the rest utilized a hybrid setup where the business class seats were used in the configuration. These results are compared to the 126 computerized layouts generated. CONCLUSIONS: Among all layouts designed by experts, a combination of 28 18′′ ×30′′ seats and 20 17′′ ×34′′ seats had the highest potential revenue of US$21,984. This floor plan fits the regulations with an aisle width of 0.93 m. The computerized layout had a better outcome in maximizing profit of US$22,416 with 32 18′′ ×30′′ seats and 16 20′′ ×36′′ seats. However, the comfort of such results was to be explored as some seats were rotated 90 degrees.
- Aircraft seat