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Embraer's Comfort Engineering Centre

 

A passenger’s comfort during a flight is not just a product of ergonomics, aesthetics and entertainment, it is a product of functionality. To achieve the ultimate in cabin comfort, addressing all factors, Embraer has opened a Comfort Engineering Center (CEC), the only one of its kind outside of Europe, as a reference point for comfort studies.

 

The 300 square metre CEC was built for the Cabin Comfort Project, a partnership between Embraer, the Federal University of Santa Catarina and the Federal University of São Carlos, with financial support from the Research Assistance Fund of the State of São Paulo and the Study and Project Funding Office. The centre is located in the University of São Paulo (USP) Polytechnic School in the Brazilian capital and is the result of six years of work and R$15 million (US$7.4 million) of investment.

 

Left: Just eight of the comfort parameters being evaulated at the CEC

 

Ghislain Bouan, an Embraer spokesperson, explains how the parties work together: “The educational establishments contribute to the project by incorporating their background in thermal comfort, acoustics and vibration, ergonomics, statistics, and psychiatry among other disciplines, in order to better understand passenger demands and improve cabin comfort in future products. Simulations of flights are performed to get the human response to different cabin parameters.”

 

 

The CEC has two full-size mock-up sections of Embraer 170 and 190 cabins for performing tests. One of the models is used for reproducing thermal conditions. The other is set up in an area similar to a boarding area, with a 30-seat structure installed inside a pressure chamber, which is able to reproduce conditions very close to those of a real flight (pictured above).

 

 

Using the latter mock-up, Embraer and USP engineers can determine how various parameters, such as air pressure and humidity in the cabin, noise, vibrations, temperature, lighting, and other factors impact the perception of comfort of the passenger during a flight. ‘Passengers’ will be asked about the comfort of their experience as cabin parameters change, under the guidance of Professor Jurandir Itizo Yanagihara, the director of the research and of the CEC.

 

The findings will be applied to all future Embraer aircraft. “The results of the research are already being used on actual Embraer product developments and it will be continuously considered on future aircraft design. All results of the project are considered in future cabin design, including cabin pressurization,” explains Bouan.

 

There are no plans to install mockups of the rest of Embraer’s aircraft range, or any future models, as all work can be carried out in the two existing models. 

 

“Improving aircraft interiors and providing superior levels of well-being for passengers is one of the most relevant objectives of Embraer’s technological development,” states Mauro Kern, Embraer’s executive vice president of engineering and technology. “The passenger’s in-flight experience will increasingly be a decisive factor for the success of our aircraft on the global market.”

 

21 June 2012

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