Home' Asian Aviation : AAV May 2010 Contents Aircraft Interiors
With each new aircraft that
is launched, come interior
innovations aimed at
improving the passenger
experience and reducing
weight and complexity.
The latest new aircraft on the production line
or the drawing board are no exception, with their
interiors receiving a level of attention never seen
before. First to enter service will be the Boeing 787,
which, since its conception, has been designed
with passengers in mind. The 787 interior was
designed to "reconnect passengers with the
positive aspects of ying", Boeing says.
"The cabin architecture creates a strong sense
of spaciousness and the joy of ight with the
broad, welcoming entryway; larger windows,
vaulted ceiling; and blue sky lighting e ects," the
Boeing worked with universities around the
world to understand the effects of altitude,
humidity, contaminants, lighting, sound and space
on passengers. This has resulted in an aircraft with
lower cabin altitude levels than today s standard;
gas ltration technology coupled with increased
humidity; reduced interior noise, thanks to engine
developments; and 70 percent larger windows
than competing aircraft, made possible thanks to
the airframe s composite structure.
Unlike other aircraft, the 787 features an
electrochromic, dimmable window system that
controls the level of exterior light in the cabin,
replacing conventional shades. The windows can
be dimmed from fully transparent to completely
dark. The Alteos interactive window system was
developed by PPG Aerospace, with electrochromic
technology by Gentex, and the 787 marks the rst
time electrochromic window shades, powered by
an interactive system that passengers control,
have been used in commercial aviation.
Airline bene ts
But it s not all about the passenger: the system
bene ts airlines too.
"While Alteos interactive window systems make
the ying experience more comfortable and fun
for passengers, they a ord operating e ciencies
for airlines. They are lighter-weight than other
shading systems and o er reduced maintenance
because they are self-contained with no moving
parts," says Mark Cancilla, PPG business platform
leader for commercial transparencies.
Lighting contributes to the feeling of space in
the cabin through the use of softer light emitting
diodes (LED). "The lighting can gently simulate
a full flying day for longer flights, gradually
changing through a spectrum of lighting from day
into night," says Boeing. And because LED lights
have no lament they last 10 to 20 times longer
than traditional incandescent lights. In addition,
they generate less heat than conventional cabin
German company Diehl Aerospace is supplying
the complete cabin lighting for the 787, which is
the rst aircraft to be exclusively equipped with
LED lighting. The lighting "allows completely
new design options for cabin lighting, enhancing
comfort and well-being of passengers, while
heavily reducing maintenance costs", says Diehl.
Even stowage has been designed to create the
feeling of space, with a new stowage bin design
meaning the bins store up and away rather than
taking up overhead space like conventional
stowage bins, says Boeing.
For seating, Boeing has six pre-certified
suppliers in its 787 catalogue -- B/E Aerospace,
Brice, Contour, Recaro, Sicma and Weber.
Customers can also choose their in-flight
entertainment system from offerings by
Panasonic or Thales -- no longer the wireless
solutions that were initially envisaged -- while the
aircraft manufacturer is continuing to study its
Elements of the 787 interior are currently
undergoing ight testing on the third test airframe,
ZA003, which undertook its rst ight in March.
The aircraft is tted with a partial interior, with
135 seats, multiple lavatories and two crew rest
areas. The interior includes instrumentation racks,
ight-test equipment and engineer workstations
to support testing of the lighting, dimmable
windows, overhead bins, galley inserts and other
features, says Boeing.
Interior lessons learned from the 787 are owing
through to other Boeing programmes, with the
Boeing Sky Interior for the 737 also designed to
"connect passengers to the ying experience". All
of the elements of the new 737 interior, the rst
example of which will be delivered to Flydubai in
October, have come from the 787, says Boeing.
These elements include sculpted sidewalls
and window reveals; pivot bins with greater
capacity; colour LED lighting to enhance the
sense of spaciousness; brighter colours and décor;
passenger service units with LED reading lights --
The future is now
Aircraft manufacturers are promising even better cabin interiors for their
next-generation aircraft programmes. Emma Kelly examines what's in store.
Elements of the 787 interior are being put through their paces in the flight-test programme.
36 AsianAviation | MAY 2010
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