Latest Videos

The Air-Hybrid concept seat

womenmakeusbetter_video

Mattress manufacturer Simba Sleep has devised the Air-Hybrid concept, intended to be the world’s most advanced airline sleep surface. The lie-flat bed features memory foam layers and 2,500 conical pocket springs, and according to Simba, the company is in talks with airlines about the technology

18 August, 2017


The Making of Crystal Skye

womenmakeusbetter_video

Crystal AirCruises – a cruise operator that is branching out into 'air cruises' – has teamed up with Greenpoint Technologies to create one of the most special Boeing 777s in the sky.

11 August, 2017


This guy really loves aircraft interiors!

womenmakeusbetter_video

There are aviation geeks, and then there is Anthony Toth. Toth has spent the last 30 years and over US$150,000 perfecting his replica Pan Am B747 cabin

11 August, 2017


Visit Our YouTube Channel

Read Latest Issue

Many flyers love to complain about comfort in economy class, but also love cheap fares. Do you foresee a point in the next 20 years when long-haul economy is significantly more comfortable?

Supplier Spotlight

Join our
LinkedIn Group


Web Exclusive Articles

« back to listing

Inspired design guides A350 XWB cabin development

 

Airbus knew its A350 XWB had to be a revolutionary aircraft from the design process onward, as discussions with operators of existing widebody jetliners revealed many were interested in something completely new. This spurred the company’s decision to develop a cabin interior the likes of which had never before been seen.

 

Airbus’ Executive Committee seized the opportunity by proposing what became known as the “chrysalis cabin.” Designers traditionally start work by looking at existing cabins and identifying evolutionary improvements that would add incremental benefits for passengers and airlines. The inspiration for the chrysalis cabin was the potential of new technologies to allow a break with the past, so discussions began with a blank sheet of paper.

 

Right: With a cross-section of 220in from armrest to armrest, the A350 XWB cabin provides the widest seats in its category


“We saw no point in simply tweaking existing cabin designs when the aircraft itself was going to be completely new,” explains Kiran Rao, Airbus’ head of strategy. “The chance to offer customers a substantially better cabin as well as excellent performance, range and efficiency was too good to miss. After all, the quality of the cabin is what matters most of all to passengers.”


Older widebody jetliners are tapered at the front and back, but this places limitations on seat configuration and makes an aircraft feel narrow as passengers look along the cabin. Curved walls also reduce shoulder room in window seats, and for many passengers the view from these windows is quite limited. The chrysalis cabin was designed with no tapering at all between the doors, straighter walls and panoramic windows that are 50% bigger than those on the A330 – setting a new industry standard.


Dropping the floors allowed straighter walls, a change that also increased the feeling of spaciousness, made room for bigger overhead storage bins and meant that crew rest areas could be installed above the passenger deck. “The more seats on the passenger deck and the more cargo in the hold, the better,” Rao adds. “Putting the crew’s bunks above everything else increased the available revenue space even further.” Other proposals included LED lighting, 3D and ultra-HD ready in-flight entertainment, a flat floor and full connectivity.

 

Left: The A350 XWB cabin design, with its smooth curves, flowing lines, innovative lighting and wide windows, helps create a pleasant and soothing atmosphere for business travellers

 

 


Determined delivery
“When we saw the chrysalis cabin requirements that arrived from the Executive Committee, we were slightly stunned,” remembers Jochen Mueller, cabin supply module head of engineering. “We didn’t think it was actually possible and neither did some of our suppliers, but being engineers, we soon started thinking in terms of solutions.” The scale of the challenge led to a new way of working. Mueller believes that the key to the team’s successful delivery was their adoption of the requirement-based system, introduced for the first time with Airbus’ A350 XWB.


In the past cabin engineers had worked out exactly what they wanted and then asked suppliers to produce it. For the A350 XWB the process was changed. “Our suppliers became RSPs (risk sharing partners) and we trusted them much more, we let them work out the finer details as long as what they produced met our requirements,” says Mueller.


A prime example of this approach arose with the aircraft’s new LED lighting system, which had to be zonal, programmable and provide the full range of colours – but explaining how bright it should be was a problem. “We could have done a lot of research before giving exact specifications, but instead we said we wanted the rest rooms to be bright enough for passengers to put their make-up on and then left it to the lighting experts to achieve that,” Mueller explains.


Of course, careful, regular, systematic checks were essential to monitor progress, but showing faith in the ability of RSPs to deliver made fast work on the cabin possible.

 

Right: The A350 XWB allows for high-comfort economy seating in a nine-abreast arrangement, with Airbus’ standard 18in seat width


A quick glance at the new cabin’s credentials confirms Mueller’s assessment. Air pressure and humidity levels are better while state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment (IFE) is delivered through larger, higher quality screens. Mood lighting can help passengers to avoid jet lag, changes to suit each phase of the flight and allows airlines to brand the interior by using colours against the white aircraft walls.


Despite the state-of-the-art IFE, the floor is flat and IFE boxes have been shrunk to have no impact on passengers’ feet. Overhead bins are larger, shoulder room is better and the lack of tapering makes the cabin feel more spacious. And the panoramic windows offer a noticeably better view. Even the hot beverage machines and ovens have their servicing needs monitored by a centralised computer system.


“Being presented with non-negotiable requirements is every engineer’s nightmare but our job was to overcome any problems,” says Mueller. “It took a few years, but with the help of our RSPs I think we did it.”

 

7 May 2014

Read Latest Issue

Read Latest Issue

Web Exclusives

A major air disaster with low loss of life – 2013's Asiana 214 crash offers lessons in what went right and what went wrong inside the passenger cabin
Click here to read more

While flight 1549 has been dubbed ‘the Miracle on the Hudson’, that no one died was down to the skill and judgment of the crew – crew like Doreen Welsh, who spoke to Marisa Garcia to give her professional, first-hand perspective of an airplane crash
Click here to read more

Find out a little more about the new chairman of the Oneworld global airline alliance, Pekka Vauramo. In his other role as CEO of Finnair, he has found that experience and wise spending is better for profits than constant cost cutting
Click here to read more

Germany-based aircraft interiors specialist, SII Deutschland has developed the first accessible seating area for senior passengers in economy class
Click here to read more

Inflight connectivity may be becoming more powerful, but will it be able to keep pace with the demands of data-hungry apps? Let’s consider the future demands that tech-savvy passengers will be placing on inflight wi-fi systems, and how providers should react
Click here to read more


Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightClick here for listings and information on leading suppliers covering all aspects of the aircraft interiors industry. Want to see your company included? Contact simon.hughes@ukimediaevents.com for more details.

فروشگاه اینترنتی فروشگاه اینترنتی سیستم همکاری در فروش ماهواره جیبی اندروید کانال تلگرام چت روم ماهواره آنلاین اندروید دانلود فیلم فروشگظ;ه اینترنتی

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the aircraft interiors community? Good or bad, we'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to adam.gavine@ukimediaevents.com

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email simon.hughes@ukimediaevents.com