Lufthansa Technik’s New Chair Is Shaping Up

2014-10-22 14:02 ‘Chair’ will be available in more than 8,000 variants

Some months ago the German manufacturer presented a unique new concept for individual seating in VIP jets and simply called it “chair.” Although promising unrivaled design variants, it mounts on a modular concept that, instead of seat tracks, has a conical pod on which numbers of ribs form the frame of each chair.

“We are changing the paradigm to what an aircraft interior should look like to have real chairs rather than one type of seat used for all functions, just like at home,” says Dave Crossett, principal executive for marketing and sales at 
Lufthansa Technik’s original equipment innovation product division. The company has been working for three years with the Pierrejean Design Studio “to bring this concept to life, which is to give our customers what they want when entering their aircraft: a feeling like being at home, where you have different chairs for different functions – for example, dining room, living room and desk chairs.”

‘Chair’ will be available in more than 8,000 variants. After presenting the first mockups at EBACE in May, LHT went for certification, especially in regard to g loads. This is being done in a two-steps to minimize risk, and to serve two distinct markets – for 9g and 16g aircraft. The first data package, including information regarding testing conducted for 9g, will be sent to 
EASA by the end of this month, with approval expected some weeks later. The 16g data should be ready shortly before Christmas and approved in early 2015. Destructive testing has also been carried out, as have analyses of the corrosion or flammability characteristics of the chosen materials and coatings.

LHT (Booth 2289) has so far garnered 10 expressions of interest in “chair” from completion centers. “I am confident that we can win at least five of them,” says Crossett. The launch contract is expected to be announced by the first quarter of 2015, with production starting immediately afterwards. The company expects to sell about 200 “chairs” in the next 24 months, and hopes to expand the customer base to prominent aircraft interior design studios.

Here at NBAA, Lufthansa Technik is launching an online configurator for “chair” as part of its web page. “We are sure that this will boost our marketing activities as the new tool helps people understand how you can design and customize your own ‘chair’,” Crossett says.

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