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.