HAMBURG, Germany – Faced with currently hefty fuel costs, airlines are seeking lighter products for their cabin interiors – but ones that also make the passenger experience as comfortable as possible. Next month a whole range of these innovative products will be on display during Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.
Here airline seat specialist Recaro will be unveiling one of its lightest economy class seat products yet. The company says it has significantly reduced the weight of each BL3520 seat unit to less than 11kg, making it about 30 per cent lighter than previous models. The seat creates more living space for passengers as the literature rack is positioned above the tray table instead of in the knee area, giving the potential for more legroom.
Italian seat manufacturer Aviointeriors will be launching its UltraLight Plus economy seating system for short haul flights. The system is made from a mixture of aluminium and composite panels allowing for increased passenger comfort and a larger living space for passengers even at 28″ pitch.
Responding to requests for ‘softer’ surfaces around passengers during flights – particularly next to flat beds in first and business class, MGR Foamtex will be displaying a new, patented, soft trim panel. Cathay Pacific’s new business class product, which starts being installed across the airline’s long-haul A330-300 and Boeing 777-300ER fleets this month, uses MGR SoftWall to line the headboard and also to cover the bed extension. The product uses high performance foam that is three times lighter than silicone-based alternatives.
A recent trend has also seen seat designers linking up with inflight entertainment providers to jointly create products that are integrated and more lightweight. Intelligent Avionics will be launching its production ready, seat-integrated AURA system, displayed in an economy class configuration. The company says this integrated, multi-touch, gesture controlled entertainment and communication system is more than one tonne lighter than other comparable audio-video on demand (AVOD) systems.
Meanwhile French IFE supplier Vision Systems’ will be promoting its new VisiTouch system. Integrated into a seatback, this AVOD system claims to be easy to install and maintain thanks to the design of the plate which fixes it on the seat.
Aircraft Interiors Expo takes place from 5-7 April at the Hamburg Messe in Germany.