While Business Class and First Class seats can flaunt a wealth of bolt-ons and differences from their competitors – from sliding doors to fully flat beds – the sheer scale and economics of the economy cabins means that the product cannot really change very far from the product set we’ve seen in the skies for a few decades. Seats may get thinner, seat pitch may be shrinking, weight may be reducing and comfort allegedly still at the forefront of seat innovation, but tangerine’s recent foray into the market showcases the small differences that airlines have to consider when it coming to make a seat purchase for their economy passengers.
However, a new concept, named ‘Poise’ was less an exercise of showcasing seat innovation and more about how collaborating parties can come together to make a product. The result is a showcase of the agility and capabilities of four industry leaders in the aircraft interior aerospace industry and how they could demonstrate the value add of a ready-made supply chain to their core customers; seat manufacturers.
UK based tangerine joined forces with industry leaders; seat cover manufacturers, Bradfor Ltd, plastic injection moulding company, IPC Mouldings and the foremost magnesium manufacturer, Magnesium Elektron.
Dan Flashman, design lead at tangerine, said: “POISE rethinks the structure of the economy class seat to enhance the passenger experience, creating extra legroom for every person, irrespective of where their seat is positioned relative to the seat track. Creating the seat design around delivering this small innovation will have a significant impact on the level of comfort enjoyed by the passenger. Other features such as extended headrest wings, magnetic meal tray, are only made possible by the close collaboration and buy-in from the key stakeholders.”
In contrast to certain seat designs that can take years to finally see the light of day from a simple sketchbook creation, the Poise project managed to prototype in just eight weeks. This is all about supply chain, and does bring into challenge the way the industry currently operates. Whether the seat ever makes it to an airline is another matter, but we like the fact that designers are now starting to challenge the industry, and find more economic, expedited ways of bringing designs to market, which in turn (eventually) should benefit airline and passenger alike.
One thought on “New Product ‘Poise’ Highlights The Small Differences In Range Of Economy Seats”
Let say, that at first sight, I don’t see what this new entrant brings as potential comfort enhancements.
As well pointed by Mr Clark, it is much more about showcasing the agile workforce combinations in creating an industrial piece at a super fast time frame, faster than the usual. Interesting case study, indeed. Also, because this experience has been headed directly and managed by an industrial design agency overlook. Normally an “in-between” actor with the tripartite organization with such project (the Airline, the seat Supplier and optionally a Creative/Industrial design guidance and supervision with style /trim and Finish/ Engineering processings or all together at once.
Ok, In terms of quantity the economy seat market produces obviously more items than any of its high yield Bros. However, it does economically generate less (supposed incomes per seat/pax ratio etc..). It is also the real estate where the competition is less tensed (exception of IFE implants).
So, all this to say that the eco-section is not the #1 top priority on airlines agenda. Even for the most concerned ones (LLC/All leisure etc), excepting to use visually thinner seats to gain “fake” inches of comfort, as the inches gained are immediately optimized by… additionals seat rows. Back to zero comfort benefits though (from a travellers viewpoint).
The “new/not so new” kid on the block receiving the biggest emphasis recently has been the new cabin Graal of the Eco Premium wûnderland. An “in between” product avatar. “Better then, less good as” tricky to manage and sale (not every airline is successful good at with this complex task. No blame).
One main issue for airlines with seat orders (and potential production hazards) is, that the whole process (from selection to delivery and final installation) could take a certain number of years in between with calendar service roll out. Which is usually based on the first aircraft available to be served will then benefit from the new product set up.
However, fleet management is very complex to make this organization coherent from a customer-centric perspective. It is the reason why you can see flamboyant brand new innovative aircraft arriving with “not so” last generations seats…or, luckily enjoy a good old lady out of C-check or D-Check maintenance, benefits from the brand new installlation. Not so commercially coherent indeed. I real airline conundrum told you. Don’t blame.
At the end, the whole situation resulting disparate fleets interiors and seating products (especially for the ultra-large carriers). Small carriers or at least those having flexible leasing fleets can juggle far better with aircraft switch if needed. The reason why some charter airlines (the few of them who sincerely care about your body comfort and vein thrombosis risks – no limits with discomfort) can be better outfitted with some very last generation seats (Y/Y+) than some wealthy sophisticated legacy carriers.
The tips for XP seekers travelers is to check (if you are agile enough) fro your next planned trip your aircraft registration and potential life cycle Checks to expect to be sure on day One, to get this such comfy seat you have ever dreamed of. An all new air traveler planning organization. Good luck to your sexy buttocks, though 😉