The Innovation of Airplane Chairs With New Materials

As aircraft continue to advance in terms of efficiency, aerodynamics, and performance, so too do the various internal equipment and furnishings within them. Aircraft seats are a constant evolving feature, airliners consistently finding new ways to improve the balance between weight and comfort. Regardless of whether a flight is short distance or international, customers will often remember an uncomfortable seat, possibly damaging the reputation of the airline. As reduced weight and integrity is paramount for fuel-efficiency, it is incumbent on the airliner to find a solution that can benefit the company while appeasing customers. To strike this perfect balance, many have been experimenting with various materials.

Many parts of the airplane chair can be enhanced with new materials, including the seat pan, frame, seatback, and more. One solution for more lightweight chairs is the use of composite materials, that of which can be used for producing a single piece backrest for economy class seats. Foams are another major material that is finding potential implementation, allowing for passenger comfort while also guaranteeing structural performance. With the use of foam, a plastic or aluminum seat pan can be avoided to further reduce overall weight.

A major player in innovating aircraft seat design is Mirus Aircraft Seating, known for their ability to create very light furnishings. To achieve low weights, Mirus takes advantage of carbon fibre materials that serve to revolutionize the seat structure. Through the use of state-of-the-art composite manufacturing cells and 3D printing, Mirus will be able to build upon production with their expansion. With their plans, Mirus will utilize continuous reinforced fibre and forged chopped fibre.

Another company that is focused on seating is Expliseat, whom of which claims that they deliver the lightest seats available in the market. This claim is backed by their manufacturing practices, taking advantage of titanium and carbon fibre. By utilizing both material types, Expliseat is able to create seats that exhibit less weight and increased strength, rigidity, and resistance to corrosion as compared to more conventional aluminum seats. While such materials can reduce overall weight, the next step is to find how seat designs can best be implemented to maintain the strength necessary for safety.

While weight reduction is key for fuel-efficiency, most manufacturers understand that they cannot risk cutting corners in design. As such, they seek to reduce weight while meeting or exceeding the same performance, durability, and reliability of conventional seats. This can be executed in various ways, many entities taking advantage of computer-aided modeling, organization, and collaboration.

Once the basic seat structure is finalized, the next major component is the seat covering. While maintaining a lightweight design, coverings will also need to be easy to clean, comfortable, and durable. Operators also often dictate coverings, some wanting artificial leather for appearance and maintenance. With the use of various materials, high wear areas can be reduced while exhibiting minimal degradation and less inspections.

As aircraft seat design continues to be researched, we may soon see new furnishings coming to airlines that improve fuel-efficiency and comfort. At Parts Needed Yesterday, we are an online distributor of aircraft parts, offering customers access to over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts. Take the time to explore our vast offerings at your leisure, and our team of industry experts are always on standby 24/7x365 to assist you through the purchasing process however needed. Due to our strict adherence to quality control standards, we proudly conduct operations with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation. Give our team members a call or email at your earliest convenience and see how we can serve as your strategic sourcing partner for all your operational needs.


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