Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
kimimm19
Posts: 434
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:34 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:57 pm

The 2-5-2 configuration is far superior in comfort to 3-3-3.

For starters, couples and pairs can have an aisle and a window without an odd person next to them. And you don't have to clamber over two people from the window to get out into the aisle.

Sure the middle most seat in the five isn't great, but all other seats are either virtually the same or superior in terms of comfort.
 
CaliguyNYC
Posts: 1247
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:27 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:23 pm

IADCA wrote:
rjsampson wrote:
For the life of me: I don't understand why widebodies weren't configured as 3-3-3 from the outset. (?)

It's pretty obvious to the industry that not only is 3-3-3 more comfortable and easier for the crew to service -- but potentially having two passengers in order to exit/evacuate is unprecedented, and surely the safety implications would have been obvious?


2-5-2 makes a lot more sense in the context of 1970s and 1980s load factors than it does today. The middle of the 5 is an awful seat (trust me; I did a TATL in one with a bulkhead behind me, so I do know) but if you're only 85% full, then those seats are empty and every person either has a window, an aisle, or an empty seat next to them.


Ding ding ding. This is exactly what drove it. They basically assumed that the trapped middle would be empty and 2 on the window is netter than 3 (2 people trapped) plus people tend to fly in 2's or solo. That said, I think the configuration almost scared people. It made the plane look more full and/or cramped. So even if logic would say that most people got better seats, the people in the 5 section all "felt" cramped, people complained and UA (I believe it was them who had this) changed their configurations.
 
USAirALB
Posts: 2342
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:46 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:28 pm

CaliguyNYC wrote:
UA (I believe it was them who had this) changed their configurations.

UA only began to change in 2008/2009 and it was several years until the reconfiguration was complete. The project was completed as part of IPTE, which involved a new F/J class, along with new Y seats with AVOD throughout.

IIRC AVOD necessitated a move to 3-3-3 as well as modern IFE systems I think can only be installed in pairs of 3.
RJ85, F70, E135, E140, E145, E70, E75, E90, CR2, CR7, CR9, 717, 732, 733, 734, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 744ER, 752, 753, 762, 772, 77E, 77W, 789, 319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 343, 359, 388
 
Sokes
Posts: 2147
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:48 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:59 pm

airbazar wrote:
Max Q wrote:
It does minimize the number of middle seats however if you’re in that middle it’s a special kind of claustrophobic hell

...
The 3-3-3 also allows for larger overhead storage bins on the window sides as with 3 seats the bins can be extended further without protruding over the aisle.
...



CaliguyNYC wrote:
IADCA wrote:
2-5-2 makes a lot more sense in the context of 1970s and 1980s load factors than it does today. The middle of the 5 is an awful seat (trust me; I did a TATL in one with a bulkhead behind me, so I do know) but if you're only 85% full, then those seats are empty and every person either has a window, an aisle, or an empty seat next to them.


Ding ding ding. This is exactly what drove it. They basically assumed that the trapped middle would be empty and 2 on the window is netter than 3 (2 people trapped) plus people tend to fly in 2's or solo. That said, I think the configuration almost scared people. It made the plane look more full and/or cramped. So even if logic would say that most people got better seats, the people in the 5 section all "felt" cramped, people complained and UA (I believe it was them who had this) changed their configurations.


I believe it's all about psychology.
I asked my slightly claustrophobic son if he prefers B787 or A330. He prefers the 3-3-3 arrangement. The tube feels a little more spacious. I wonder how he would feel in the middle of 2-5-2?
If two people travel it's unlikely that more than one is claustrophobic or has social anxiety. I assume single travelers with such issues reserve an aisle seat.
I wouldn't choose my flight because of seating arrangement.

I never flew A380. But as many people get excited about it, I guess for some the spacious feeling is not trivial. Does this contradict what I just wrote about 3-3-3?

I believe overhead bins on A330 are o.k. Am I wrong? I doubt industry would have a problem to adjust in-flight entertainment.
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
User avatar
ClipperMonsoon
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 5:45 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:34 pm

b4thefall wrote:
I was unfortunate enough to once be stuck in the middle seat of a fully loaded Rich International L1011. MCO-YQX-BFS. Thank goodness for the refueling stop in Gander, where I was able to get off the aircraft and stretch my legs.


Loved the 2-5-2 config also, having a row of 5 seats to yourself was spacious, and also worked great for larger groups, your tour operator was the one who signed a contract for the Y345 pax configuration, most of Rich's L1011 fleet was in that configuration, but would be modified at the request of the company chartering the aircraft
The true Queen of the Skies has an HF antenna probe atop the stabilizer, the Boeing 707-321B
 
oldannyboy
Posts: 2580
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:28 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:39 pm

Sokes wrote:
airbazar wrote:
Max Q wrote:
It does minimize the number of middle seats however if you’re in that middle it’s a special kind of claustrophobic hell

...
The 3-3-3 also allows for larger overhead storage bins on the window sides as with 3 seats the bins can be extended further without protruding over the aisle.
...



CaliguyNYC wrote:
IADCA wrote:
2-5-2 makes a lot more sense in the context of 1970s and 1980s load factors than it does today. The middle of the 5 is an awful seat (trust me; I did a TATL in one with a bulkhead behind me, so I do know) but if you're only 85% full, then those seats are empty and every person either has a window, an aisle, or an empty seat next to them.


Ding ding ding. This is exactly what drove it. They basically assumed that the trapped middle would be empty and 2 on the window is netter than 3 (2 people trapped) plus people tend to fly in 2's or solo. That said, I think the configuration almost scared people. It made the plane look more full and/or cramped. So even if logic would say that most people got better seats, the people in the 5 section all "felt" cramped, people complained and UA (I believe it was them who had this) changed their configurations.


I believe it's all about psychology.
I asked my slightly claustrophobic son if he prefers B787 or A330. He prefers the 3-3-3 arrangement. The tube feels a little more spacious. I wonder how he would feel in the middle of 2-5-2?
If two people travel it's unlikely that more than one is claustrophobic or has social anxiety. I assume single travelers with such issues reserve an aisle seat.
I wouldn't choose my flight because of seating arrangement.

I never flew A380. But as many people get excited about it, I guess for some the spacious feeling is not trivial. Does this contradict what I just wrote about 3-3-3?

I believe overhead bins on A330 are o.k. Am I wrong? I doubt industry would have a problem to adjust in-flight entertainment.


It's true what you say...or paraphrasing it, "visuals are very psychological"...! The center block of 4 (not to mention 5) seats makes the cabin seem cramped, or at least very FULL, and very W I D E.
By the same token, some say (see=perceive) the 3-4-3 cabin looks wider (more spacious) that when kitted out 3-3-3 on the 777...
The 2-5-2 configuration was mostly ok because legroom was far greater back in the day, but would most certainly create a stronger claustrophobic feeling these days with the much reduced pitch. "Escaping" confines for a toilet trip was far easier with say a 34" pitch vis a vis 30/31" of pitch... I know because I pee a lot on long haul flights and I generally select aisle in order to accomplish my toilet runs without having to bother people.

The A380 feels a lot more spacious than other jets not just because it is factually wider, but also because the ceiling is very high, and the sidewalls are vertical (actually, convex), the windows are big, and most airlines operating it offer decent to excellent pitch even in Y. The extra quietness is the icing on the cake. There is a ton of difference between flying the back of the bus in a 10-across 777 or an A380.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Posts: 1138
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:29 pm

cedarjet wrote:
2-5-2 is far superior, as pointed out above, the middle seat is the only seat that’s two seats from the aisle, and you have a choice of which way out, whereas 3-3-3 has two seats that are two seats away from the aisle, and there’s only one way out. Plus couples are the most usual group, and in 3-3-3 they’re always joined by a stranger.


The original seating arrangements of wide-body airplanes wasn't calculated on 100% fill-every-seat-or-we-go-bankrupt occupancy. Spaciousness was the big deal, and the original seating plans for both the DC-10 and L1011 was 2-4-2. However, when times changed, and airlines added an extra seat, the original thinking was, according to what I have read, something along these lines:

2-5-2: Fraction of seats that are two seats away from an aisle: 1/7th of the arrangement, as only the middle-of-the-five fits that category. All other seats are either aisle, aisle-adjacent, or window.

3-3-3: Fraction of seats that are two seats away from an aisle: 2/7th of the arrangement, with window seats shouldering the brunt of that.

Personally, I loathe the 3-3-3 arrangement, as few traveling parties are groups of three. Someone is ALWAYS left out. Having said that, single travelers at the window must suffer through climbing over someone, and that's a pain whether it's one person or two.

Best arrangement: 2-2, 2-4-2, or 2-3-2. No middle seats whatsoever.
 
ShadowLaw
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:34 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:34 pm

Food for thought. Can the 787 Dreamliner do 3-4-2 or 2-5-2 ?
 
JayBCN
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:09 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:01 am

bananaboy wrote:
smi0006 wrote:
Was 2-5-2 ever adopted outside the US?


Yes. Air China, Cathay Pacific and Malaysian are amongst those who used it.


Lufthansa had 2-5-2 on their DC 10s. Great sleeping I remember. And the superior configuration as only 1 person is two seats away from aisle plus that person having 2 options to get to the aisle. 3-3-3 is terrible, crew have to reach over 2 seats for 2 pax per row rather than 1.
 
Ziyulu
Posts: 983
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:35 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:43 am

Lukas757 wrote:
rjsampson wrote:
Ziyulu wrote:
whereas 3-3-3 would be 3 seats in either direction.


I’m not 100% sure if I completely understand what you mean, but when evacuating only laterally in a 9-abrest Plane, you always have 4 seats in either direction if seated in the middle seat.


I did not quote that I'm not even sure what he means.
 
Motorhussy
Posts: 3673
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 7:49 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:09 am

I enjoyed NZ’s (TE back then) 2-4-3 Y-class configuration in their DC-10-30 fleet. It always gave us the option to all sit together when we were travelling as kids with parents living separately in the US and New Zealand.

Others may have covered this, but didn’t the 3-3-3 eventuate because of the hard-drives necessary for IFE at the time? A bank of 5 seats requiring two hard-drives meaning four per row rather than three.
come visit the south pacific
 
LH707330
Posts: 2372
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Thu Mar 12, 2020 4:34 am

If he plane is half empty, then I like the 3-3-3, because it means 3 people per row can sleep vs 1 or 2 in 2-5-2. I've gotten great sleep on 787s and A350s when I get an empty 3-pack and can stretch out.
 
SkyVoice
Posts: 418
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:34 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:03 am

Didn't the first Airbus A300s & 310s have 2-5-2 seating in coach? What was that like compared to flying on one of the tri-jets or quads?
"Tough times never last. Tough people do." - Dr. Robert H. Schuller
 
User avatar
Chipmunk1973
Posts: 300
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:23 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:02 pm

Did anyone ever try 2-4-1?

Cheers,
C1973
Cheers,
C1973


B707, B717, B727, B734, B737, B738, B743, B77W, A300, A320, A332, A333, A339, A388, BAe146, Cessna 206.
 
Motorhussy
Posts: 3673
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 7:49 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:29 pm

SkyVoice wrote:
Didn't the first Airbus A300s & 310s have 2-5-2 seating in coach? What was that like compared to flying on one of the tri-jets or quads?


No, they were always 2-4-2 except for a few charter airlines.
come visit the south pacific
 
User avatar
FlyCaledonian
Posts: 1986
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:18 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:39 pm

BA had 3-3-3 in their TriStars (but 3-4-3 in the very back section) but kept the DC-10s inherited from BCal in 2-5-2.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
bigb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:30 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:15 pm

I prefer the 3-3-3 layout. To me, the 2-5-2 just feels very cramped. I’ll pass.
 
questions
Posts: 2337
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:51 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:29 pm

2-4-3 on the A350!
 
User avatar
AC853
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:14 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Fri Mar 13, 2020 12:54 am

smi0006 wrote:
Was 2-5-2 ever adopted outside the US?

Air Canada and Canadian Airlines did on their L1011’s and DC10’s respectfully. I also believe Wardair had this on their DC10s.
 
User avatar
SEPilot
Posts: 5649
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:21 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:08 am

I flew BOS-LHR in 2006 on an AA 772 with 2-5-2 with my late wife. We loved it; I had the window seat, she had the aisle. Wouldn’t like it now, as with my present wife we also have a daughter. But all the flights we have taken have been 3-3-3 or 3-4-3.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
DRG
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:15 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:28 am

The 2-5-2 has more history than I have seen posted here. Back in 1973 when Delta purchased the L-1011 aircraft the configuration was First 50 Coach 200. Total 250 passengers. It was configured as 2x2 seating with the 4 the center separated by a coat rack. As the economics changed Delta removed the center coat rack with and added a seat. The configuration was changed to First 32 and Coach 270. Total 302. This allowed Delta to sell 52 additional seats on the same aircraft. It was the beginning and the ultimate end of 2-5-2 seating with the life of this aircraft.
 
User avatar
rj968
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:57 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:49 am

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
rjsampson wrote:
For the life of me: I don't understand why widebodies weren't configured as 3-3-3 from the outset. (?)


Probably because back then Y cabin was 2-2-2-2 configured. That is 2 seats, aisle, 2 seats, space, 2 seats, aisle and 2 seats. That middle space was certainly the reason of the 5 middle seats.

rjsampson wrote:
It's pretty obvious to the industry that not only is 3-3-3 more comfortable and easier for the crew to service -- but potentially having two passengers in order to exit/evacuate is unprecedented, and surely the safety implications would have been obvious?


Well if in a 2-5-2 you have one passenger per row that has to move two passengers in order to exit, in a 3-3-3 you have doubled the figure, and where you see it as unprecedented, it's been very common in widebodies to have two people between you and the aisle since the early days of the 747 and it's still continuing nowadays on other types.


Plenty of pictures on the internet of the early DC-10 and L1011 with the 2-2-2-2 seating. Just a quick look and I see L1011 EA/TW. DC-10 NW/AA/WA. If I'm lucky I'll add a picture from a.net
Some even had a small divider between the 2-2
 
transswede
Posts: 1008
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2001 9:30 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Fri Mar 13, 2020 5:09 am

2-4-3 is indeed the best of both worlds. Is there any current carrier that uses it?
 
speedbird52
Posts: 1034
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:30 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Fri Mar 13, 2020 6:14 am

Sokes wrote:
airbazar wrote:
Max Q wrote:
It does minimize the number of middle seats however if you’re in that middle it’s a special kind of claustrophobic hell

...
The 3-3-3 also allows for larger overhead storage bins on the window sides as with 3 seats the bins can be extended further without protruding over the aisle.
...



CaliguyNYC wrote:
IADCA wrote:
2-5-2 makes a lot more sense in the context of 1970s and 1980s load factors than it does today. The middle of the 5 is an awful seat (trust me; I did a TATL in one with a bulkhead behind me, so I do know) but if you're only 85% full, then those seats are empty and every person either has a window, an aisle, or an empty seat next to them.


Ding ding ding. This is exactly what drove it. They basically assumed that the trapped middle would be empty and 2 on the window is netter than 3 (2 people trapped) plus people tend to fly in 2's or solo. That said, I think the configuration almost scared people. It made the plane look more full and/or cramped. So even if logic would say that most people got better seats, the people in the 5 section all "felt" cramped, people complained and UA (I believe it was them who had this) changed their configurations.


I believe it's all about psychology.
I asked my slightly claustrophobic son if he prefers B787 or A330. He prefers the 3-3-3 arrangement. The tube feels a little more spacious. I wonder how he would feel in the middle of 2-5-2?
If two people travel it's unlikely that more than one is claustrophobic or has social anxiety. I assume single travelers with such issues reserve an aisle seat.
I wouldn't choose my flight because of seating arrangement.

I never flew A380. But as many people get excited about it, I guess for some the spacious feeling is not trivial. Does this contradict what I just wrote about 3-3-3?

I believe overhead bins on A330 are o.k. Am I wrong? I doubt industry would have a problem to adjust in-flight entertainment.

The spacious feeling isn't trivial for me either: It's one of the reasons I far prefer flying a 747 than any other airplane.
 
speedbird52
Posts: 1034
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:30 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Fri Mar 13, 2020 6:15 am

rj968 wrote:
SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
rjsampson wrote:
For the life of me: I don't understand why widebodies weren't configured as 3-3-3 from the outset. (?)


Probably because back then Y cabin was 2-2-2-2 configured. That is 2 seats, aisle, 2 seats, space, 2 seats, aisle and 2 seats. That middle space was certainly the reason of the 5 middle seats.

rjsampson wrote:
It's pretty obvious to the industry that not only is 3-3-3 more comfortable and easier for the crew to service -- but potentially having two passengers in order to exit/evacuate is unprecedented, and surely the safety implications would have been obvious?


Well if in a 2-5-2 you have one passenger per row that has to move two passengers in order to exit, in a 3-3-3 you have doubled the figure, and where you see it as unprecedented, it's been very common in widebodies to have two people between you and the aisle since the early days of the 747 and it's still continuing nowadays on other types.


Plenty of pictures on the internet of the early DC-10 and L1011 with the 2-2-2-2 seating. Just a quick look and I see L1011 EA/TW. DC-10 NW/AA/WA. If I'm lucky I'll add a picture from a.net
Some even had a small divider between the 2-2

So much of what the 787 claimed to be "new" was already in the L1011.
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8849
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:39 am

transswede wrote:
2-4-3 is indeed the best of both worlds. Is there any current carrier that uses it?

Last time I flew on a Nippon 777 it was 2-4-3
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
intermodal64
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 10:53 pm

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:36 pm

The DC-10 and L-1011 were originally designed for 2-4-2. The 4 in the middle were separated as 2-2 with a table or coat closet in the middle. The lateral dimensions of “hard” center galley structures (with below deck lifts) and the “hard” section partitions with garment bag elevators were consistent with this extra wide bank of 4 seats (with table or closet). Replacing this bank of 4 with 5 became the best fit for accommodating these fixed (“hard”) structures. And finally, the original 2-5-2 configurations enabled the center seat of the 5 to fold down into a table. When flights weren’t so full, most rows could still be configured as if 2-4-2. Then in the late 80’s seats were replaced with first generation slimline seats, and the fold down middle seat became fixed like all the others.
 
User avatar
OA412
Moderator
Posts: 4796
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2000 6:22 am

Re: What was the rationale for 2-5-2 configuration on older widebodies?

Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:32 am

raylee67 wrote:
KLM's MD11 has 3-4-2 config till the very end. But I think it's the only carrier going with 3-4-2 on MD11. The others are all 2-5-2 or 3-3-3.


AZ and SR were both 3-4-2 on their MD11s.
Hughes Airwest - Top Banana In The West

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 8herveg, ASguy2012, Baidu [Spider], Boten, CanukinUSA, Fiend, hibtastic, hummingbird, jeffrey0032j, mrglue, pascal7z, PERA346, qf789, tphuang, vhtje and 173 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos