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In-flight affair; the radical new seating plan that will make plane travel a whole lot more intimate

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A radical new flight seating plan promises to banish elbow fights forever more - with an alternative that is really rather intimate.

Zodiac Aerospace, a mainstay industry supplier, wants to maximise passenger numbers with its new Economy Class Cabin Hexagon design.

The blueprint proposes flipping the middle seat of a row to face the two behind, with all seats in a hexagon shape and in lightweight folding formation - similar to the kind you would find in a cinema.

Hexagonal

If implemented, the result means airline commuters would have more elbow and shoulder space.

The room space between seats would increase by 15%, lending each passenger four more inches of leg room. That's precious leeway indeed on your average short-haul flight.

But as well as diminishing the risk of arm rest spates, the new plan will also force passengers to face one another, prompting intense - and potentially awkward or amorous - levels of eye contact.

We don't know about you, but three hours spent trying to avoid the explicit sandwich guzzling of the person directly opposite you can feel like a very long time indeed. If they're a George Clooney lookalike, on the other hand, we might not be quite so grumpy about it...

hexagonal

The French aeroplane equipment supplier promises "business class width" with its new design, which it says will accommodate around 80 extra passengers compared to current plans on a short-haul flight.

The patent application for the new seating plan is a long way off becoming a reality on commercial flights; and it would need to undergo a series of rigorous safety and endurance tests before it ventured down that route. 

However, Zodiac Aerospace says its plan has already attracted interest from several airlines, after it was presented at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in April 2014. Take a look at a video introduction to the concept, below. 

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