Roll out the barrel but leave this seat on the drawing room floor

Bombardier’s very first CSeries test aircraft is poised to start taking shape after the first fuselage test barrel was delivered to the airframer’s St Laurent facility outside of Montreal. Check out Bombardier’s video (hey, those are some nice multi-media skills you’ve got going there, Bombardier!).

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Bombardier is being very forward-thinking with this aircraft. Indeed, the narrowbody game is well and truly on due in no small part to the CSeries.

For instance, Bombardier is seriously studying wireless IFE – or at least elements of wireless – for the CSeries, which is expected to enter into service in 2013. One thing the airframer is NOT interested in, however, is stand-up seats. Yes, I know, this has been one of my favourite interiors topics of late and I’ve now harassed every major airframer, but one, about it (Hmmm, I’m in Sao Paolo right now so I wonder if that could be remedied.)

In any case, here is a quote from my recent interview with Bombardier vice president commercial aircraft programmes Ben Boehm:

“We have not had any customer approach us on that [vertical seating] so that’s the first part, and second of all, knowing the requirements for certification of seats on airplanes, the fact that seats have to withstand a 16g impact, I find it very difficult to understand how you’re going to deal with that.

“I suppose the other question really becomes ‘are we going a little too far in terms of what we’re going to put our passengers through’. If anything we’re seeing trends that airlines are starting to maybe compete a little bit again on passenger comfort, with customers talking about new configurations. It will be awfully hard to work on your laptop standing up.”

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One Response to Roll out the barrel but leave this seat on the drawing room floor

  1. James Garth August 25, 2009 at 5:27 pm #

    I think the concept of stand-up seats breaks down when one considers the detail design issues. For example, how does one seat a 2 year old in a stand-up configuration? Or a passenger who is elderly or who has a disability? The seat would need to have a mechanism with a crashworthy, robust locking capability to enable the contour to be vertically adjustible, to conform to different people’s backs. This adds complexity. Finally, the higher location of the passenger’s C.G. will induce larger bending moments on the seat-to-floor interface than a conventional arrangement. To alleviate this, one could install an additional rail along the roofline to anchor the top of the seat (ie. utilize an essentially simply-supported arrangement) but this rapidly changes the structural design philosphy of the airframe. It is likely the weight penalty incurred from the introduction of such an additional rail would eliminate any efficiencies gained from introducing the stand-up seats in the first place.
    cheers,
    James Garth
    Principal Design Engineer
    Melbourne, Australia

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