It is not uncommon for airline companies to collaborate with luxury car manufacturers to come up with innovative cabin design and features to improve passenger comfort. Recently, Emirates launched a new first class suite created in partnership with Mercedes-Benz, which is inspired by the S-Class flagship sedan. One of the biggest requirements while crafting a passenger aircraft’s interior is maximizing the use of space on board, without affecting passenger comfort. Two UK-based companies have collaborated to bring Formula 1 technology to commercial air travel. Williams Advanced Engineering and JPA Design teamed up to come up with a concept seat for commercial airlines built with some of the same advanced lightweight materials used in F1 racers. Revealed at the Passenger Experience Conference in Hamburg, Germany, the innovative design promises to create a more comfortable environment for air travelers and lower operating costs.
“Our motorsport heritage has given us significant expertise in the innovative use of lightweight materials and rapid product development to deliver enhanced benefits to passengers and airlines alike,” said Craig Wilson, Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering, in a statement. “The maximization of available space and the use of lightweight materials to do more in the same amount of space on an aircraft is at the heart of the work we do commercialize Formula One-derived technology.”
The prototype aircraft seat is built with William’s proprietary lightweight technologies called 223 and Racetrack. According to the company, the seat is created using super light, strong, yet affordable and recycled materials. JPA Design came up with the monocoque configuration for the seat that uses carbon fiber composite molding as the primary support structure, which eliminates the need for the traditional metallic sub-frame making the seat lighter. The prototype will take another 18 months of development until it’s ready for the aviation market.