Seat pitch and comfort of a staggered seat configuration

Zhihui Liu*, T. Rotte, S. Anjani, P. Vink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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BACKGROUND: Staggered seats are a solution for the Flying-V aircraft, where the cabin's longitudinal axis has a 26 degrees angle with respect to the direction of flight, to compensate for an otherwise oblique sitting position. However, little is known on acceptable pitches in this staggered configuration. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this research is to evaluate the comfort of different pitches for seats that are staggered relative to the cabin's longitudinal axis. METHODS: Two rows of staggered seats are positioned at three different pitches (27, 29 and 31 inches). 53 participants were seated in each setup. For each, a questionnaire was completed including questions on comfort and discomfort, top view photos were taken to analyse postures and physical dimensions were recorded to define passengers' space. RESULTS: Comfort as well as discomfort were significantly different for the three setups. The comfort at 27 inches was seen as unacceptably low. The 29 and 31-inch configurations showed to result in acceptable levels of comfort, comparable to higher-end seating layouts. There were very little complaints about space in lateral direction (elbow and seat width), showing the advantage of having your won armrest and shoulder space in the staggered configuration. Interesting was that at larger pitches more complaints were found for the seat characteristics, probably in the shorter pitch the other discomfort was overruling this. CONCLUSION: The 26-degree staggered configuration offers improvements in shoulder- and elbow-space. The results for the 29- and 31-inch are expected to allow enough design freedom for further exploration of such a configuration for the Flying-V cabin interior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S151-S159
Number of pages9
Issue numbers1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • comfort
  • oblique sitting
  • seat pitch
  • sitting postures
  • Staggered seats


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