An economy class seating concept for single-aisle fleets has been developed by Pitch Aircraft Seating Systems (‘Pitch’), which the company claims is the world’s thinnest aircraft seat. The concept, named ‘Q Ultra-Slim’, makes use of slimline design and sustainable bio-resins in a compression-moulding process to create a seat weighing just over 7kg per pax place.
By substituting aluminium structural seat components with FST-compliant (fire smoke toxicity) composite materials, Pitch claims that the operating weight of an Airbus A320 aircraft could be reduced by a minimum of 500kg through the replacement of existing economy seating shipsets with its Q Ultra-Slim model. The design does pare back seat design to its essentials though, even sacrificing the conventional tray table in favour of optional integrated cup and smartphone holders.
Pitch developed the seat design as part of a grant-funded project by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), an organisation which aims to encourage the development of innovative technologies in aviation. Pitch also collaborated with the Design Q industrial design consultancy and Cecence (a composite manufacturing and advanced engineering specialist), with additional support from SHD Composite Materials (a prepreg specialist), Wavelength NDT (ultrasonic inspection) and Plyable (a composite tooling specialist).
Pitch Aircraft Seating’s chief designer, Gary Doy, commented, “This collaborative project challenges future aircraft cabin design and inflight service, as well as seating, so it is truly innovative and potentially controversial, but this is an important part of helping the industry improve its environmental credentials.
“By using composite compression moulding, we can manufacture incredibly light yet strong, single-piece seats from more sustainable raw materials. The fitment is compatible with Pitch’s existing PF3000 frame [the company’s current lightweight seat for high-density cabins] for optimum flexibility, and an upgraded cushion system ensures a high level of comfort.”
Pitch plans to exhibit the Q Ultra-Slim concept at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) 2020 in Hamburg on 31 March to 2 April (Stand 3UB10). “We believe there is genuine scope for this seat to be introduced into cabins in the next few years and we look forward to demonstrating it at AIX,” added Doy.