April 10, 2015: We’ll be reporting on all the latest aircraft seat launches next week, from Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. However, UK-based Acro will be focusing on new ideas for the future, including a prototype economy seat and – a new direction for the economy seat specialist – a premium economy seat concept that is in the early stages of development.
The economy seat (above) is a fixed-back product, designed with the Factorydesign consultancy around the principle of simplicity. A key innovation is that rather than an aluminum tube frame, the seat features a fully composite construction, which the company says enhances passenger comfort and seat durability, while reducing weight.
The premium economy concept (below) is based on a modular platform, with its design inspired by 20th century furniture. In a wide-body application, the premium economy seat concept has been conceived to be configured as 48in-wide double seats on wide-body aircraft, with 2.5in-wide armrests that can house IATs or front row monitors without modifying the rest of the seat. The big selling point, however, is that according to Acro the seat can be pitched at 34in and still meet Airbus’s 9in minimum egress requirements.
“This gives it a potential density advantage over competitor seats that are commonly pitched at 38in or more,” stated Chris Brady, managing director of Acro.
In a narrow-body application, Acro sees the seat as being suitable for first or business class, with a seat width of 54 or 60in. This variant would give each passenger a side console which provides additional space for personal stowage, increasing the separation between passengers as well as offering an elegant single-leaf table.
According to Acro, the effective schedule for entry into service of the two seat designs will depend on market response. We will find out more soon, as a number of key potential customers are due to evaluate the seats at the Hamburg show.
Cameron Allan, executive VP of the company said, “Acro has been winning awards and growing its business like never before this year, but in the aircraft industry, standing still is the same as going backwards. That’s why we’re investing in the next generation of Acro seats now, and keeping the passenger at the heart of it all.”