Flying into the future by the Economist

New lightweight technologies are also having an impact in the back of the aircraft. Last year Air Mediterranée, a French carrier, removed the 220 economy seats in an Airbus A321—it bought them for about $300,000 in 2006—and replaced them with a new, lighter version. The skinny seat (pictured) is made by a Paris startup called Expliseat and weighs just 4.2kg (9.3lb) compared with the 12kg seat it replaced, says Air Mediterranée’s Christophe Costes.Expliseat’s seat-frame is constructed of titanium and carbon fibre. The “titanium seat”, as it is named, cost Air Mediterranée nearly three times as much as each aluminium one it replaced, but this will be more than compensated for by fuel savings. Expliseat’s lightest seat weighs just 3.9kg. Air Tahiti, which has also bought the company’s seats, reckons the weight savings will allow some of its turboprop aircraft operating off short runways to carry 55 rather than 50 passengers, says Benjamin Saada, Expliseat’s co-founder...Read the full article at the Economist website :