Bombardier starts thinking about CSeries interiors

Bombardier is in an interiors frame of mind. The Canadian airframer has started hiring cabin interior specialists and key members of its customization and interior systems engineering team for the five-abreast CSeries, which is expected to enter into service in 2013. C&D is charged with the overall interior design.  

CSeries interior.JPG

As a member of the aforementioned team, for example, one’s duties would include the preparation of trade studies, equipment requirements, testing, certification, as well as integrating operations and customer support requirements for the interior work package.

Okay, so what might we see from Bombardier in terms of innovation for the CSeries’ interior and IFE for that matter?

I put that question to Bombardier commercial operations VP Rodney Williams today during the firm’s annual pre-holiday media luncheon at the Willard in Washington DC.

Williams says it’s too early on in the programme to talk serious specifics, but assures me he’ll keep RWG posted. In short, keep an eye on this space for news on that space.

, , , , ,

3 Responses to Bombardier starts thinking about CSeries interiors

  1. Anonymous December 9, 2008 at 4:50 pm #

    RWG, I truly hope the someone at Bombardier is taking action on the interiors for the new C-Series, specifically the seating. Some history: Bombardier and Embraer both signed with C&D exclusive risk sharing contracts that only allow C&D interiors to be delivered to customers from the factory. (don’t know the details) Great idea for standardization and cost savings, not optimum for the flying public. Smart move by C&D, absolutely genius! However, without the incentive of competition this created stagnation in the interior design of the aircraft. Once everything was certified, minimal changes and minimal improvements were made. Airlines, big or small could not customize beyond color and some very minor features. There was no way to create unique comfort features, until Jet Blue wanted Live TV and the seat back design had to be changed. (A whole different story)

    Fast Forward: Today with a new C-series on the way and the new “slim seat” being touted by Embraer wouldn’t it be best to bring the competition in on the interior, even just to promote new thinking. Bringing in the competitive seat suppliers alone would shave tons off of the weight, improve the comfort and reduce the costs (look at the 737 and A320). What incentives are there really for Embraer and Bombardier to make the interior the best it can be. Not to mention what incentive does C&D have to design the best seat it can and to start from scratch instead of putting lipstick on the existing pig. Hopefully the purchase of C&D by Zodiac will utilize Zodiac’s other seat vendors to help design the new seat for the C-series. Hopefully having Lufthansa as one of the launch customers will help, since we all know LH is heavy into seat design on their own (International Business class, and the new coach seat). Nothing creates new and better products than old fashioned competition. Sure, maybe you sacrifice the longstanding relationship you have with your supply partner, or you utilize what you learn from the competition and together you design something above and beyond expectations and continue the relationship for years to come.

    Hope this sparks some discussion

    -K

  2. Mary Kirby December 9, 2008 at 5:08 pm #

    Thanks so much for your very thorough comment. This is precisely the concern that engineering house MmilleniumM Group head Indi Rajasingham recently mentioned to me – that exclusive deals such as these breed stagnation. I’m going to write a fuller blog from that interview but Indi suggests that airframers look to Silicon Valley as a guide. Exact quote:
    ‘To find a suitable model, one needs look no further than Silicon Valley, where the specifications, for example, are constantly changing with interactive input from industry innovators who are attracted with suitable business models to move to this space to create value.”

  3. Anonymous December 9, 2008 at 5:34 pm #

    RWG, Absolutely agree, however what you have is a trend in the industry to go the other way, much to the disdain of the airlines. The Big B is doing their “Catalog” for the interiors on the 787. Their thought is to drive down the lead time for the aircraft because the interior is the longest lead item. However what they are doing is upsetting the customer base who’s marketing departments are paid to make the “experience” unique inside their aircraft. Now people have and are writing articles and papers, etc… on the fact that standardization is important for the industry, however their thoughts don’t take every angle in to account.

    Does the ability to customize and change need to be as drastic as what happens in Silicon Valley, no. However the ability to choose comfort characteristics and to modify certain items to make the product unique are important.

    There is a happy medium somewhere. We shall see what happens. Keep up the good work.

    -K