Home' Asian Aviation : AAV May 2010 Contents Aircraft Interiors
Innovation is alive and well in airliner seating
design, and not just in relation to the quest
for the "magic triangle" of reduced weight,
optimum comfort and space.
New seating configurations are also
under consideration, with developments in
all cabin classes -- numerous e orts are underway
to improve the economy-class travel experience
and lure more travellers.
The global economic crisis has obviously had an
e ect. "The economic climate has made people
question the relevance of some of the more
overtly opulent cabin designs we have seen in
recent years," says design consultancy James
Park Associates (JPA). "This has undermined their
position as the ideal to which all other seats aspire
and allowed designers to focus on passengers
real needs of comfort, privacy and service."
JPA has been responsible for its fair share of
opulent designs. The company designed Japan
Airlines (JAL s) latest rst-class suites for its Boeing
777-300ERs; the world s widest business-class seat
for Airbus A380s and 777s operated by Singapore
Airlines (SIA); and the rst class suites on SIA s 777-
JPA is currently working with Gulf Air to redesign
the cabin interiors on the airline s international
eet, as well as with an unidenti ed Asian carrier.
"Both of these programmes have provided us with
an opportunity to design some truly innovative
cabin interiors and we are looking forward to the
launches in the not too distant future," JPA says.
One JPA design now attracting considerable
attention from airlines is the Cirrus seat, developed
in partnership with Sicma Aero Seat. The Cirrus
concept is based on a reverse herringbone
design and has been launched by US Airways on
its Airbus A330-200, with plans to introduce the
design to A330-300 business-class cabins.
"The Cirrus concept has generated a lot of
interest from airlines and we anticipate many
more taking on this product, mainly because
it o ers ... so much exibility, with the pitch for
example. Cirrus can be pitched at a high-density
43 inches, as in US Airways case, or at a 53-inch
pitch, which is a Business First-type of product,"
says JPA. Cirrus also o ers "unparalleled levels
of privacy" due to its unique con guration, with
passengers facing away from the aisle. The one-
two-one layout also means that every passenger
has direct aisle access.
Meanwhile, European manufacturer EADS
Sogerma is trying to make rst class even more
pleasurable with its recently launched premium
first-class product, the Ultimate 17 seat. This
luxury-suite concept provides greater comfort,
space, privacy and stowage space, according to
the manufacturer. The Ultimate 17 is one of EADS
Sogerma s four major products dedicated to rst
and business classes along with the Class 180
rst-class seat; the Solstys business-premium full
atbed; and the lightweight Evolys.
The company is expected to show its latest
development, the Ultimate Sleeper, at the Aircraft
Interiors Expo in Hamburg in May. The seat is the
result of a partnership formed with Lufthansa
Technik last year.
The partnership brings together Lufthansa
Technik s Aerosleeper premium-class bed
assembly with EADS Sogerma s Ultimate 17
seat. The Aerosleeper, developed by Lufthansa
Technik s Innovation unit, incorporates, alongside
the seat, a real bed that can be folded over the
fully reclined seat to provide a smooth and
"What s unique about this product is that it
o ers passengers a two-fold improvement in
comfort in almost the same amount of space
as before: they can sit comfortably on well-
engineered seats and lie comfortably on beds
designed for the purpose," says Harald Merensky,
project manager at Innovations and inventor of
the Aerosleeper. But it s not just about increasing
comfort and luxury in premium-class cabins.
"Green" considerations are increasingly important
for seat manufacturers and designers, particularly
"In pursuing designs that provide the user
with an uncluttered product that is intuitive to
use, stripping away non-essential elements is
something we always strive for. Of course one of
the bene ts of this approach is that we shed a lot
of weight," says JPA. At the same time, JPA says
it is looking at innovative ways to maximise the
e cient use of space to allow greater passenger
density without compromising comfort.
JPA is also exploring new technologies and
methods that will inform its design approach. This
currently includes looking at an alternative way
of engineering structure that has the potential to
Seating innovations offer comfort, profits
The airline seating sector is bubbling over with innovative ideas to allow airlines to maximise profitability,
while offering passengers more comfort and privacy, writes Emma Kelly.
20 AsianAviation | MAY 2010
Airborne Hotel's concept offers in-flight sleeping quarters
for the average air traveller without sacrificing floor space.
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