Lufthansa Technik Offers New Take On Seats

2014-10-18 14:02 Innovative options include slimline armrests with a special coupling system

After years of struggling with conventional 16-g VIP aircraft seat designs, Lufthansa Technik (Booth 2289) has developed its own proprietary seat structure design that uses carbon-fiber construction and eschews the bulky appearance and boxy pedestal surrounds of existing designs. Lufthansa did a “soft launch” of its new seat concept at EBACE in May, but is making a splashier showing here at NBAA. The new structure is scalable and can trim as much as 40 pounds from the weight of a finished seat, according to the company.

The new seats are the fruit of a three-year research program undertaken by Lufthansa Technik and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and funded by the Department of the Economy and Innovation in the City of Hamburg.

Lufthansa Technik turned to Pierrejean Design for initial styling concepts that include “office, classic and lounge.” Customers will be able to choose from a variety of backrests, headrests and footrests–altogether more than 8,000 possible configurations. The seat will be manufactured primarily in Germany under contract by Draexlmaier Aviation, a supplier of premium interiors to the automotive industry.

The new seats were developed in “bionic harmony” and are “luxurious, lightweight and space-saving,” according to Lufthansa Technik, and are optimized for “working, eating and relaxing.” Innovative options include slimline armrests with a special coupling system for attachments such as small tables, cup holders and tablets/personal computers.

The weight savings on the seat comes from using a carbon-fiber reinforced polymer pillar that attaches to the floor structure and thinner, ergonomically-tailored foam. The ribbed backrests attach to a spine-like structure that helps absorb and diffuse passenger loads.

Although lightweight, the chair already has delivered positive results in a variety of dynamic or crash tests. Certification approval is expected in late 2014 and customer deliveries could be made in early 2015. Lufthansa Technik said it will make the seats available to the marketplace, including direct competitors to its own completion centers.

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