Flying with Infants
One of the infants observed on airlineTranslation of ideas from brainstorm and mockup tests.Testing of ideas in environment.Illustrating ideas for communication purpose. Test of prototype in Umeå river. The result has 3 different placement possibilities depending on the passengers placement in the plane and seats accessible. The bulkhead being the safest option but also the most limited in numbers.Airborn can be placed directly on the airline seat, attached with the two-point belt, if the passenger choses to pay for an extra seat.If the passenger choses to keep the infant in the lap, Airborn lifts the infant to relive the adult the heat and weight. The air cushions keeps the infant from being harmed by the adult in the unlikely event of an accident.Walkthrough on AIrborn's features

Abstract

The regulations of flying with infants are divided in two distinctly different fields. Either the infant have to wear a loop-belt attached to the parent’s lap belt. Or it is forbidden to use a lap belt and the infant is in this case unrestrained. None of these travelling methods are safe for the infant. The parent also has the option of using their own infant car seat if it is approved for airlines. This method is seldom used since the parent needs to pay for an extra seat for the infant also due to the hassle of bringing a seat on board that rarely fit the airline seat. This project proposes a solution that increases the comfort and safety for both parent and child by: -placing the infant in a safer position, protecting the infant from impact with low-tech aircushions, -securing the infants’ head at impact and during emergency evacuations and -by providing a safe and easy to use alternative to the lifejacket.

Inspiration and Method

The project is strongly research-based and the solution comes from many levels of mock-up’s and tests. Deep user studies, following infants and their parents, as well as discussions with experts in this very specific field gave many useful insights. Two dolls weighted to resemble a 3 month old and a 17 month old were made early in the project to ensure viable ideas.

Result

The final concept allows for tree different areas of use:
- On the bulkhead wall, the seat is lowered in the unlikely case of an emergency to clear the adult’s crash zone and protect the infant from the adult and flying objects.

- In the lap of the adult passenger, placed on the armrest (in this case the infant and the seat is attached to the adults belt). The lifejacket is inflated before impact and acts as an impact distributor over the infant’s body. This allows for more seats since the bulkhead seats are very limited.

- Placed on its own passenger seat (the parents will have to purchase an extra seat) The Airborn would be working as an infant car seat. These three solutions cover most users’ needs and improve the safety for small children in commercial aircrafts.