2014 Research Foundation Grant Recipient: Peter Axelson, PhD, MPH

Airline Travel: Assistive Technology for Non-ambulatory Passengers

Peter Axelson, MSME
Beneficial Designs
$141,863 (2 Years)

This grant focuses on three aspects of airline travel for people who are non-ambulatory:

  • Using a boarding chair or lift system to get down the aisle of a plane and into the airline seat.
  • Sitting on a standard economy airline seat for the duration of greater than a two-hour flight.
  • Transporting and protecting the wheelchair that is stowed in the belly of the aircraft.
  • Data collection will include consumer input, participation in a simulated boarding process assessing passenger and flight attendant posture and safety, pressure mapping and postural tendencies after transferring into an airline seat, and detailed methodology of manual and powered wheelchairs being transported to and stored in the belly of the aircraft.
  • The outcomes will provide design concepts and parameters of assistive technology to improve the safety, comfort, and quality of the flight for the passenger and wheelchair.