WORLD EXCLUSIVE ‘ENTERTAINING’ CONCEPT SEAT LAUNCHED AT EXPO

A ground-breaking concept in aviation seat design that will give passengers a unique and entertaining in-flight experience, will be unveiled at the Aircraft Interiors Expo next week to stimulate debate within the industry.

UK seat manufacturer Contour Aerospace Limited has teamed up with Factorydesign to create a prototype that is not only technologically advanced but also reflects social changes in the way passengers want to spend their time on board.

Visitors to the Hamburg exhibition (5-7 April) will be the first to see the NFW (Not for Wimps) concept on Contour’s stand (7B20); a seat dedicated to the cutting-edge in in-flight gaming entertainment.

Contour’s technical sales director, Bob Lovell, said: “The concept design and creation of this seat shows our long-standing commitment as a company to the very highest level of innovation in the industry.

“People can’t place an immediate order for the NFW but we are hoping to stimulate much debate with the airlines at the Expo. We want to know whether such radical thinking is viable. Aircraft interior design changes rapidly so you never know what the next 10 years will produce for cabin configurations and passenger experience, which is why the creation of this chair is crucial in maintaining  innovative breakthroughs in the industry.

This is not the first time Contour has blazed a trail in in-flight seat innovation; they were also the first company to put a lie flat seat into a British Airways fleet in 1996.

Contour and Factorydesign have also collaborated in previous years to create the last seats fitted to Concorde, and have continued the lightweight theme for the NFW concept.

The design is dominated by a huge arc of composite Kevlar and carbon fibre that rises up from the top of a curving bucket seat and over the passenger to clip into a state-of-the-art monitor in front.

While essentially a video gaming station, the design can be adapted as technology advances or to become a docking station for passengers to use their own devices, without having to remove the whole seat.

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Adam White, director at Factorydesign and project lead, said: “NFW is designed to appeal to customers who would rather spend their time on long-haul flights locked in a gaming or viewing experience rather than dropping off to sleep. I can see certain, more adventurous airlines dividing off a part of the J class cabin and rolling out a couple of rows of these seats straight away. It’s not just appealing to customers but, because of the lightweight design, the fuel savings for the airline are considerable too.”

Bob Lovell said that Factorydesign’s alternative response to the broad brief to create ‘something different’ for the Expo paid off: “Factorydesign took an unconventional approach to pitching for this work. Rather than supply us with sketches they simply wrote us a one-page letter explaining their thinking and we felt that they would be the most likely to push the boundaries furthest – and they certainly did.”

In addition to the NFW concept, Contour will be showcasing a range of products and the latest engineering tools at the Aircraft Interiors Expo, and are hoping that the unveiling of NFW will create a real ‘buzz’ at the show.

 

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