Why don't passenger seats on aircraft face backwards?

Wednesday 22nd July 2009
Submitted by Gareth Mitchell
Billy Doyle, by email

Air crash investigators have found that flight stewards in rear-facing seats have suffered less severe injuries in accidents than forward-facing passengers. This is because the energy from the body as it decelerates rapidly in a crash is dispersed evenly through the seatback, rather than concentrated on the seatbelt, which cuts into a person facing forward. Although rear-facing seats are probably safer, airlines have resisted them, largely because they fear passengers will find the idea unacceptable. British Airways has installed rear-facing seats in its Club World cabins; Southwest Airlines in the US experimented with the idea in economy class, but reverted to conventional forward-facing seats.

What's the sharpest object ever created?
previous qanda Article
How do search engines find results so quickly?
next qanda Article
Q&A Tabs

Lobsters and other shellfish have harmful bacteria naturally present in their flesh. Once the lobster is dead, these bacteria can rapidly multiply and release toxins that may not be destroyed by...

Phlegm is the mucous secretion of the respiratory passages. The cilia cells that line these passages are continually driving the phlegm upward to the throat, where it triggers the swallow reflex...

All of it! Every neuron in the brain is continually active, even if firing only slowly. Neurons that stop responding die. Even so, many people seem to believe that we use only part of our brain....

The powder is actually tiny scales made from modified hairs. Moths, like butterflies, belong to the order Lepidoptera, which means 'scale wing'. The scales are pigmented but they also contribute...

It depends on how high (or low) you set the bar of fluency. Ziad Fazah, born in Liberia, brought up in Beirut and now living in Brazil, claims to be the world's greatest living polyglot, with...

All female mammals have a clitoris, the sole purpose of which is to react to sexual stimulation, and presumably this stimulation has evolved to be pleasurable for most species. But establishing...

To create a sound, we have to set matter - whether it's a gas like air, a liquid or even a solid material - in regular motion, creating a wave of specific frequencies, which we hear as a sound of...

Mirrors don’t reverse left and right either – that’s just our interpretation of what happens. Your reflection in the mirror is actually reversed front to back – if you have...

Discovered by an American student named Gary Flandro in the mid-1960s, the slingshot manoeuvre usually involves spacecraft briefly 'coat-tailing' a planet orbiting the Sun, extracting some of the...

The ice disappears because the wind blows away water molecules that have evaporated or 'sublimed' from the ice, so the ice slowly shrinks in size. The molecules that escape are those with the...