Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Air Access" designed by British Designers Priestmangoode can potentially change how wheelchairs users fly

Priestmangoode: air access designs of the year 2013 shortlist

The 'designs of the year 2013' exhibition opened at London's design museum on March 20th, 2013 presenting the more than  90 nominations of this year's contest, divided into seven categories: architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphics, product and transport. 

One of the selected shortlisted projects was 'air access' by British transport designers priestmangoode, a concept which transforms air travel for passengers with reduced mobility (PRMs) with particular benefits for long haul trips on wide body planes. 

Facilitating an easier transition between gate to aircraft, 'air access' is composed of two components: a detachable wheelchair which passengers are assisted into at their departure gate, transporting them onto and off the airliner; and a fixed-frame aisle seat which is already on board in which the wheelchair is seamlessly mated via 360-degree pivoting wheels, sliding sideways into the infrastructure and locked in place. 

The result is a regular airline seat. upon arrival, 'air access' is simply unlocked and slid out into the aisle and the passenger is wheeled off the plane and transferred to their own / or airport wheelchair, or zimmer frame.

This is how the seat in locked position looks like! (source: Designboom)

The Air Access Chair Promises to Change the Way Airlines Transport Passengers in a Wheelchair
This is how the seat looks when removed for mobility! (Source Designboom)
Called ‘Air Access’, this seat could potentially be installed into all aisle seats on an aircraft. And that would mean that::
  • There would be more seating available for passengers with disabilities, and mobility-impaired passengers would get to sit with their traveling companions in larger groups, particularly on wide-body planes.
  • Using the toilet becomes infinitely easier, because all you’ll need is assistance to unlock the seat and be wheeled up the aisle.
  • The seat pad is removable, so passengers with a spinal cord injury and other conditions can sit on their own specifically designed cushion for maximum comfort during the flight.
  • Because it integrates seamlessly into the plane’s interior, anyone can sit in the seat when it’s not being used by a passenger with a disability.
Air Access is comprised of two elements: a detachable wheelchair into which passengers are assisted at their departure gate so they can be easily transported on and off the aircraft, and a fixed-frame aisle seat already on board. The wheelchair has 360-degree, pivoting wheels so it slides easily into place and locks securely. It looks just like a regular airline seat. At the end of your flight, the wheelchair unlocks from the frame, and you exit the aircraft as effortlessly as you boarded.

See the video of Air Access here. http://vimeo.com/48791724

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