walking through the sky

Seating and treadmill exercise device

Patent Number: US7052441 B2

Patent Filing Date: Jan 23, 2004

Patent Issue date: May 30, 2006

How long it took for patent to issue: 2 years

Inventors: Mithra M. K. V. Sankrithi

Assignee: The Boeing Company

U.S. Classification: 482/54

Claims: 12

If you’ve ever been on a long distance flight you know the feeling of sitting upright for countless hours, not being able to stretch your legs. You try and walk up and down the aisle, but between flight attendants handing out food and drinks, passengers waiting in line for the lavatory, and people making conversation it makes it difficult to efficiently stretch your legs. What if you could take a ten-minute walk while 36,000 feet in the sky? This patent proposes to create a seating and treadmill exercise device for aircrafts that would allow passengers to stretch their legs and partake in low impact aerobic exercise as well as a safe seat for the flight attendants.

There were 12 claims outlining the assembly and main components of the device. The seating and treadmill exercise device would be capable of being in a stowed or deployed position. While stowed, passengers would be able to board and exit the aircraft as well as create extra space in the cabin. A folding chair would be secured to the backside of the treadmill in order for a flight attendant to be safely seated during take off and landing. The folding chair will be capable of moving from the folded to unfolded positions as well as being wide enough to seat two flight attendants. While in flight, the treadmill can be in the deployed position for passengers to use. The treadmill will have on-off controls, speed controls, and a safety handrail. To go from the stowed to deployed position and vice versa, the seating and treadmill exercise device will be rotated about an axis and secured to an interior wall by a securing device such as a latch, clamp, hook, or belt. This device will allow passengers to easily exercise and stretch their legs, as well as maximize cabin space.

Figure 1: Device in stowed position

Figure 2: Device in deployed position

The treadmill will work like a typical treadmill you would find at your local gym. There will be a motor to drive the endless belt and its rollers. A possible motor would be a 2.5 horsepower DC motor that operates at 18 amps, 6700 rpm, and 130 VDC. This device is different from previous devices because it is meant for an airplane and doubles as a seat! There have previously been folding treadmills, but not one with a chair attached to it that can be used in the sky.

I think this a great idea that would benefit passengers who need a little bit of an extra stretch. Anyone on a long distance flight that wants to get his or her legs moving, and take a break from their seat would definitely use this device. This would especially benefit passengers who are at risk for DVT (deep vein thrombosis), because walking and stretching their legs would allow for increased blood flow.

Being someone who has been on a lot of international flights, I would definitely use this machine. After the first 5 hours of being on a flight my legs start to cramp, my back starts to hurt, and I get restless. If I were able to take a ten-minute walk mid flight, it would relieve the pain in my back and get the blood flowing in my legs again. It’s a great way to get passengers moving while 36,000 feet in the sky.

You can view the full patent here!

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