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Inside scoop on the Aircraft Interiors Expo

March 16, 2011, Hamburg, Ger. - Airline seat specialist Recaro will be presenting one of its lightest economy class seat products yet during Aircraft Interiors Expo, which takes place next month in Hamburg.


March 16, 2011
Carey Fredericks

The company’s engineering team says it has significantly reduced the weight of each Basic Line 3520 seat unit to less than 11kg, making it about 30 per cent lighter than the previous model; this weight reduction has been achieved through a combination of the use of high-tech materials and intelligent design. The seat also creates more living space for passengers as the literature rack is positioned above the tray table instead of in the knee area. This gives passengers more comfort even when the seat pitch is reduced.
 
Responding to requests for ‘softer’ surfaces around passengers during flights – particularly next to flat beds in first and business class, MGR Foamtexwill 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. Developed in partnership with Zotefoams, MGR SoftWall meets the cabin interior’s stringent flammability requirements and uses high performance foam that is three times lighter than silicone-based alternatives. It is also hypo-allergenic and its sound-deadening properties make it ideal for crew rest areas too.
 
There is a whole science behind airline seating. What affects passengers’ comfort levels? Is it the height of the seat cushion, its firmness or the sense of space around a seat that influences passenger perceptions of comfort? A great deal of research goes into finding out just what makes an airline seat comfortable. Leading aviation seat cushion supplier Franklin Products conducted some research into the ergonomics of airline seats during last year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo. The company will be sharing the full findings of this report with customers and VIP visitors during this year’s show. 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 comfort.
 
Another seat cushion specialist Aerofoam Industries is making its debut at Aircraft Interiors Expo this year where it will be introducing a line of innovative, lightweight, high performance foams for aircraft seat cushions. Development of the foams was driven by current market needs for seat cushions that would offer increased passenger comfort but also come with considerable weight reduction, thus helping to save fuel costs. The company believes its new 24kg/m3 (1.5pcf) flotation foam is the lightest flotation foam currently available that is also able to be recycled.
 
Aircraft Interiors Expo takes place from 5-7 April at the Hamburg Messe in Germany. The event covers the entire spectrum of the cabin interiors market and attracts airline buyers from around the world. For more information please visit www.aircraftinteriorsexpo.com.