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Old 02-15-2009, 09:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Cabin width

So I got to thinking about airplanes after mentioning the C150 in another thread. Then I got to thinking about spirited threads we had over on GS re: tandem seating arrangements: do they suck or not? And I recall telling Mr. Gammyleg that I didn't think a cabin much narrower than what the Metros already have would fly. *edit* And I recall debating about the Opel Ecospeedster, as some were holding it up as the shape of things to come... it doesn't show in the photos I've found, but it is knee-high to a grasshopper and it sounds like I wouldn't physically be able to squeeze my carcass in there! (And I'm reasonably limber too.)

So now I looked up Cessna cabin width and the 150 is 38" wide. Well I recall flying in C150s and C152s and having to take jackets off for winter flying if I wanted to close the door and have room to move!

Quote:
The 152 also featured cabin size upgrades to accommodate larger pilots, though the 152 cabin is still fairly small and many large pilots are uncomfortable, preferring instead the more spacious 172.
The 172 is about 40" wide early model and 44" late model.

Seems all GA aircraft got a bit wider in the '60s and settled on about 40-44" width, but then when newer designs started coming out in the '80s they spread out to about 50". Seems may cars are about 58"; my Tempo is 53.9".

You'd think GA aircraft would represent the minimum acceptable cabin widths for side-by-side seating.

Metro shoulder room is listed at 48.9". Personally I wouldn't want it to be any more than 5" narrower if non-staggered side-by-side seating is retained.

Smart fortwo shoulder room is listed at 48". Aptera dimensions are what?


Last edited by Frank Lee; 02-15-2009 at 10:10 AM..
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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People can't even tolerate maximized usage of existing width-- Gotta have a center console wasting width even with an auto trans.

A certain amount of waste has to be engineered into products meant for American customers.
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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People might get skinnier and more grateful for rides before things we build now wear out. A lot of public facilities have had to grow with the trend to obesity in just the last decade or so. We might make staggered seating an option, cutting into the cargo area when it feels better that way. My own favourite is Bobsled style. It recognizes the rarity of a passenger, is a versatile use of the space, and is better for conversation than long-tandem.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winkosmosis View Post

A certain amount of waste has to be engineered into products meant for American customers.
Car makers build around a set of anthropomorphic data tables and the 95th. percentile numbers listed.

The idea being the 100% of cars will fit 95% of the population.

One thing which always intrigues me about American cars is the thickness of the doors.
They seem to be really vast compared to many from Europe and locally built offerings.

By the way I used to own an MGB and the cabin width was around 48 inches and the total width of the body was around 60 inches including external mirrors.

Cheers , Pete.
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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my truck seems small at 54.1 in shoulder width. hell my new is 57.7 in

i think under 50 is way to small

but in the 98 i have had on several occasions 3 people in the 54 inch span.
my new one has a fixed console so only 2 can be up front.
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Cabin width

seems like the tandem is always gonna win on frontal area,but may never gain with public acceptance.I'm pretty lean and I had trouble shoe-horning myself into a J-3 but I felt like I wore the plane once inside.The C-150 is definitely a shoulder-rubber and seems like the bare-minimum for space.My uncles V-tail Bonanza was a little wider but we sat at pretty close quarters and I think the swing-away single-yoke setup probably added to the illusion of more cabin spaciousness.I have a fuselage of one and I'll measure for width.-------------- With ground vehicles I'm okay with some added room for crumple-zone and impact and cabin penetration protection.After all,when Ken and Barbie are dead set at crashing into you,you need a little something in your favor.
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
re: tandem seating arrangements: do they suck or not? And I recall telling Mr. Gammyleg that I didn't think a cabin much narrower than what the Metros already have would fly.
Suck in what sense? And fly in what sense?

I think you're talking about consumer acceptance, yeah?

If consumers couldn't accept the Honda Insight (gen 1), I don't think they're going to go for tandem, or smaller.



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Old 02-16-2009, 08:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, consumer acceptance is one aspect of it.

But even for the weirded-out stuff modders would put up with there must be a limit. Of course it depends on how big a galoot we're talking about. Maybe some guys would be OK with taking the steering wheel on and off every time they ingress/egress? (think Opel Ecospeedster or whatever that thing was). And a guy has to be able to move his arms and junk around a bit once inside, just to function and have a little stretching room.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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weirded-out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
Yes, consumer acceptance is one aspect of it.

But even for the weirded-out stuff modders would put up with there must be a limit. Of course it depends on how big a galoot we're talking about. Maybe some guys would be OK with taking the steering wheel on and off every time they ingress/egress? (think Opel Ecospeedster or whatever that thing was). And a guy has to be able to move his arms and junk around a bit once inside, just to function and have a little stretching room.
The mini-hypercar is so "tight" I'll have to do the Momo removable-style steering wheel just to be able to snake my legs in and around the the VW pan mechanicals up into the footwell crash box.I wouldn't ask anyone else to put up with that but it's no real hardship for me if I think some good will come of it.---------------------- I do think "space" is definitely an issue and I'm curious to see how far others are willing to go.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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How small can you go...

Gordon Murray Design Limited

I'm anticipating the packaging that Gordon Murray (that Mclaren FI designer) for the micro-mini class architecture. The diminishing returns on safety & comfort are (hopefully) balanced with ultimate space efficiency & minimized carbon foot print. Aero-sculpting are also pared down to the smallest form it could be.

...the North American market (...would you like to super-sized that, sir) is another matter.

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