2862: Typical Seating Chart
|Typical Seating Chart
Title text: Now that airlines have started adding wheel locks to their drink carts, less than half of flights have one accidentally fall out through the hole.
This comic shows a seating chart for a 182-seat airplane (and its fighter escort) with several unusual features.
|Front of plane
|This looks like a train cowcatcher, a metal grate on the front of some trains, which is intended to deflect obstacles (including animals) rather than actually capture them. This one could help deflect livestock both on the ground (while taxiing) and perhaps also in the air (to "catch" flying cows, such as any that have decided to jump over the Moon).
A bit of trivia: in railroad parlance, the cowcatcher is known as a Pilot.
|Please only pick these seats if you're a pilot
|These are the cockpit seats, typically saved for the airline's employee pilots. However it's possible the airline might have a system like in 726: Seat Selection, where a passenger can pick this seat.
|This plane is set up to hold a concert or other performance in flight.
|A mosh pit is common in punk and heavy metal concert performances. Moshing during take-off, landing and (potentially) during periods of in-flight turbulence would not be very safe, but moshers (and any performers) would presumably also have a booked seat.
|Various fancy classes
|Airlines make a point of distinguishing between their "fancy classes", such as First Class and Business Class, but this one humorously buckets them together. (This is the first actual seating type.)
|Some airplane companies waste this space
|Randall is making a joke about how an airplane’s wings could hypothetically be used as extra seating space, and how he is surprised that not many airlines are taking advantage of this. In reality the space inside the wings is minimal. It may hold fuel but there would be not the vertical room available, in most airframes, compared to the fuselage which can hold at least one floor of passengers as well as cargo/functional space below. The Junkers G.38 was one airplane that had seating in the wing (and forward facing windows).
If the seating was on the surface of the wing, passengers would constantly feel the effects of wind. Additionally, airplane wings are designed to allow more air to flow over the top in order for the plane to stay up. If airline companies actually utilized this idea, the plane could not be able to fly so well due to the air-resistance (and resulting turbulance) from the seating and the passengers would be having a really inconvenient time.
|End of wings
|A "lookout" is more common at the edges of things like army encampments or pirate ships, not planes. These passengers seem to look for any dangers – perhaps the pursuers mentioned in the description of the tail gunners.
|Passenger has to pedal
|Exit row seats come with additional responsibilities to help in the case of an emergency. These passengers' responsibility is to pedal, turning the propellers. It is not feasible for two passengers to contribute sufficient power to make a significant difference to that already supplied by the two equipped jet engines. Pedal-powered planes do exist, although not in combination with jet engines.
|Hole for trash
|Middle of plane, just behind wings
|In reality, a big hole here would reduce cabin pressure and be a danger to people or things falling through the hole (such as drink carts as mentioned in the title text). Planes try to keep all trash on board until they land.
There have been reported incidents of waste (from bathrooms) falling from airplanes in the form of "Blue Ice", though these are by accidental leaks rather than by design.
|Attached to left side of plane, behind wings
|Some vehicles like motorbikes have a sidecar, a small device attached to the main vehicle. An airplane sidecar would make it less stable unless accounted for in the initial design. The Rutan Boomerang and Blohm & Voss BV 141 are notable exceptions, but their sidecars are not for passengers.
|Extra middle seats
|Back of plane
|Here instead of having an aisle between three seats on the left and three on the right, the aisle separates one seat on the left and five on the right. Those five seats are an aisle seat, three middle seats and a window seat. This setup could actually exist, although it would be inconvenient to traverse. Middle seats are considered less desirable than aisle or window seats, so intentionally adding more is unusual. Those who might actually like this arrangement include larger families with small kids who wish to sit together, as well as solitary travelers who want a seat that's both an aisle and a window, with no one next to them.
|Bumper car seating
|Just in front of tail
|These seats are presumably not attached to anything, instead able to move freely like bumper cars – not exactly a safe way to fly. Alternatively, the seats could simply be Bumper cars.
|A seat located in (or upon the front slope of) the vertical stabiliser, presumably higher than the rest of the seats. The tail of a plane does not usually have any seating, and airlines do not generally appreciate having passengers "higher than the pilot".
Some Etihad Airways planes actually have an apartment like cabin class called "the residence" that is sometimes called a penthouse by the media. That is located at the front of the plane, though, and it is unclear if this a reference to that.
|Hanging off of front-left surface of the horizontal stabiliser
|A common complaint with airplane seating is the lack of legroom. These seats do not have this problem – in fact, they have the entire atmosphere as legroom. Loss of shoes and/or glasses or other loose clothing could be an issue, as these seats appear to be outside the protection of the pressure-controlled main cabin, so passengers would bear the brunt of the wind.
|Separate, smaller plane
|A smaller fighter jet flying alongside the main plane, apparently with seating options for 14 passengers. A few seats are at the front of the fighter, which means that those passengers may have to operate the jet if it's not autonomous.
A fighter escort would more normally be deployed to escort a plane that was considered a potential target, but not usually as a simple extension of the main flight.
|Tail gunners (Must protect plane from pursuers but earn extra miles)
|Tail (riding above the stabiliser)
|People in these seats must protect the plane from any pursuers. The fact that these people are passengers is clear from the incentive of extra air miles. Frequent-flyer programs are a common system that airlines implement where passengers can receive special awards for flying often. It's not uncommon for different fare classes to earn different amounts of miles, but the difference is traditionally due to price or class, not because of in-flight services rendered.
The total of 182 seats on the plane is a similar amount to a typically equipped Boeing 737-800, a very popular passenger plane. Up to 7,000 are in use around the world for short-range and mid-range flights. A typical Boeing 737-800 with 189 seats has a one-class layout in the configuration of three blocks (port/amidships/starboard) with each row of each block having three seats (left/middle/right). A bit simpler than what's seen here.
The presence of lookouts, tail gunners and a fighter escort suggests that this plane expects to be a target of air-to-air attacks, which suggests it may be carrying VIPs and flying over uncontrolled airspace with the possibility of attack.
The title text expands on the hole, suggesting that it was a common occurrence for drink carts to fall down the hole until they implemented wheel locks. The lack of wheel locks would make it easier for a cart to slide towards the hole.
|This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
- Typical Airliner Seating Chart
- [Labeled items of a plane from front to back:]
- [Front of plane:]
- [Cockpit (2 seats):]
- Please only pick these seats if you're a pilot
- [First Class section (22 seats):]
- Main stage
- Mosh pit
- Various fancy classes
- [Wings (2 x 55 seats):]
- Some airplane companies waste this space
- [Ends of wings (2 x 1 seat):]
- [Propellers (2 x 1 seat):]
- Passenger has to pedal
- [Middle of plane, just behind wings:]
- Hole for trash
- [Left side of plane, behind wings (7 seats):]
- [Back of plane (24 seats):]
- Extra middle seats
- [Just in front of tail (4 seats):]
- Bumper car seating
- [Tail (1 seat):]
- [Hanging off of left side of tail (3 seats):]
- Extra legroom
- [Tail (4 seats):]
- Tail gunners (Must protect plane from pursuers but earn extra miles)
- [Separate, smaller plane to the right (14 seats):]
- Fighter escort
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