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higher seat backs?

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  • higher seat backs?

    I have noticed looking at the Bearhawk, the kitfox, Just Aircraft, Rans, and others that seatbacks all tend to be somewhat low. Same with many production planes like Cessna's, Pipers, etc. I am 6'4, and my height is in my torso, so I find many of these seat backs just don't give the long term back support like a car seat or desk chair that have higher seat backs? Are the short seat backs mainly so seats can be folded forward to allow access to the second row or cargo area? Has anyone ever put higher seat backs into their planes, and if so, what pros and cons did you find with that? Thanks.

  • #2
    Very interesting question..


    • #3
      You can certainly make them however you like. I made a set of headrests to try and lengthen the seat backs but didn't like how they turned out, and don't use them. I found it was easy to make them tall enough so that the right seat was in the way when I was flying solo.


      • Westward_Flyer
        Westward_Flyer commented
        Editing a comment
        What don't you like about them? I have that part of your builder's log saved, I was thinking about doing something similar.

      • jaredyates
        jaredyates commented
        Editing a comment
        To be effective as headrests, the would need to stick way up there, much longer than I made them.

    • #4
      Another thing to consider is the seat cushion. I am messing around with that right now and have decided on a 1 inch thick memory Medium - Hard foam cushion.

      I see three inch cushions everywhere.
      Brooks Cone
      Southeast Michigan
      Patrol #303, Kit build


      • #5
        I see three inch cushions everywhere.
        What is the issue ? I’m interested in this as my seats are ready to cover. Isn’t a 3” cushion better to increase visibility over the cowl ? Bear in mind I’m new to taildraggers. Been doing a few hours recently in a Piper cub. It’s pretty humbling and I’m a long way from going “solo”
        Nev Bailey
        Christchurch, NZ


        • #6
          Just build the seats to suit you. I’m only 6’1” all torso and can’t see how a taller back would be any more comfortable. I can sit in my factory seat for 5 hours without any discomfort.

          At first thought the only issue I can see with taller backs is they would hit buttons on the panel when you tilt them forward. That and the extra time you’d spend building them but if that’s what you want then do it.

          I can’t remember exactly how thick my seat cushions are. I think they are 1.5”. I wanted them as thin as possible to maximize headroom. My seat is always 1 hole back from full forward. Visibly is fine and I have adequate headroom.
          Scratch Built 4-place Bearhawk. Continental IO-360, 88” C203 McCauley prop.


          • #7
            I’m also tall and tried every seat cushion combination and couldn’t make it comfortable. Ended up extending the seat back 3 or 4 inches and now I no longer have a sore back after flying.


            • #8
              Originally posted by whee View Post
              Just build the seats to suit you. I’m only 6’1” all torso and can’t see how a taller back would be any more comfortable. I can sit in my factory seat for 5 hours without any discomfort.
              Agreed, my legs and butt give up long before I even notice the back rest.

              I thought they were short when building, but after flying I have never noticed it or had any comments from passengers etc.


              • #9
                I found the stock seat as supplied in the kit to be uncomfortable as I am 6'4" tall and wide in the rear end. I am just finishing a custom seat install in my Patrol. Here is the form fitted carbon fiber seat pan that retrofits on to the stock sliding seat arrangement. It is taller and wider at the top where it counts. It has a cutout for the stick which gives me an additional 3" of leg support, something I find really nice for long flights. The entire seat is hinged and swings forward to provide much improved access for the rear seat passenger. The upholstery is in the works.



                • way_up_north
                  way_up_north commented
                  Editing a comment
                  you should do a write up on how you formed and made a great article for to read how you did it

              • #10
                That's a good looking seat spinningwrench. Very similar to one Cubcrafters builds.

                I've seen numerous adaptations over the years of automotive or marine seats into aircraft, and I myself have used summit/jegs molded seats and seat covers, but one that caught my eye recently was Kyle Bushman installed a pair of RZR seats into an experimental Cessna 175. Just another option for those looking.