Home' Asian Aviation : AAV April 2011 Contents 36
6 AsianAv i
Av i ation | APRIL 2011
Hamburg Expo offers interiors showcase
Cabin comfort, utility, weight and entertainment
issues will all come to the fore when Germany's
Hamburg Messe hosts this year's Aircraft Interiors
Expo on 5-7 April. The exhibition covers the
entire spectrum of the cabin interiors market and
attracts airline buyers from around the world.
At the show, airline seat specialist Recaro will be
presenting one of its lightest economy-class seat
designs yet. The company's engineering team
has significantly reduced the weight of each
Basic Line 3520 seat to less than 11kg, making
it about 30 percent lighter than the previous
That weight reduction has been achieved
through a combination of the use of high-tech
materials and careful design. The seat also
creates more living space for passengers, since
the magazine pocket is positioned above the tray
table instead of in front of the traveller's knees.
Responding to demand for 'softer' surfaces
around passengers during flights -- particularly
next to first- and business-class flat beds, MGR
Foamtex will be displaying a new, patented, soft
trim panel at the show.
Cathay Pacific's new business-class product,
which is now being installed across the
airline's long-Airbus A330-300 and Boeing
777-300ER fleets, uses MGR SoftWall to
line headboards and cover bed extensions.
Developed in partnership with Zotefoams,
MGR SoftWall meets stringent flammability
requirements and uses high performance foam
that is three times lighter than silicone-based
alternatives. It is also hypo-allergenic, while its
sound-deadening properties make it ideal for
crew rest areas too.
Leading aviation seat cushion supplier
Franklin Products conducted research into the
ergonomics of airline seats during last year's
Aircraft Interiors Expo, and will be sharing the
full findings of this work with customers and VIP
visitors during this year's show.
The research included investigations into
factors affecting passenger comfort levels,
including the height and firmness of seat
cushions and the sense of space around a seat.
Three different seat cushions -- of increasing
levels of firmness -- were tested at a variety of
seat heights. The softest cushion was placed at
the top height and the firmest at the lowest.
While the overall response was positive to all the
different settings, the softest cushion gained the
most approval and the top seat height, although
not dramatically different from the other two,
was felt to provide the best thigh support and
Making its debut at this year's Expo is another
seat cushion specialist: Aerofoam Industries. At
the event, the company it will be introducing a
line of innovative, lightweight, high performance
foams for aircraft seat cushions. Development
of the foams has been driven by current market
needs for cushions offering increased comfort
with significant weight reductions, helping to
save fuel costs.
The company believes its new flotation foam,
at 24kg per cubic metre, is the lightest flotation
foam currently available that is also able to be
'Cathay Pacific unveiled its new business class seat in December.'
Additionally, the manufacturer wants the aircra
to adapt easily to di erent types of route, allowing
carriers to modify their eet according to market
needs and helping lessors quickly place aircra
returned from a lease with new operators.
Up to now, Airbus has o ered customers a
choice of interior equipment from a catalogue
listing quali ed suppliers for buyer-furnished
equipment (BFE). e customers would then
have to negotiate with the suppliers themselves,
and would be contractually responsible for
choosing the right equipment and ensuring it
is delivered on time.
The new system designates some interior
items -- such as seats and IFE systems, which
are traditionally BFE -- as 'Airbus-contracted
supplier (ACS) items, making their selection
similar to that of other aircra systems.
us, suppliers have been chosen via a more
thorough quali cation process, much earlier in
the aircra programme than in the past, allowing
them to take part in the joint-de nition phase.
is, in e ect, makes them programme partners,
with a contractual obligation to ensure that all
technical aspects of the equipment they provide,
including quality, supply chain and product
support, are in order ahead of time.
Airbus said the A350 XWB interior selection
system will o er a lead time of eight months -- about
30 percent shorter than the current A330/340
widebody family. e manufacturer added that it
will still agree to install BFE seats in its premium-
class cabins to maintain the customer s ability to
customise its product. n
CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS
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