INTERIORS: Airbus invites co-development of new seats

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Airbus has invited aircraft seat suppliers and in-flight entertainment (IFE) specialists to work with the European airframer to develop three new seat prototype approaches for inclusion in a ground-based demonstrator that will serve as a platform for innovation.

The company is seeking input on an "ultra-light seat" module that will offer only essential functionality. It should be "very low-end, pure and light", totally wireless and with no IFE, says Airbus.

A second protype, dubbed "efficient", should be light, "wired and robust", and offer one solution for in-flight entertainment.

The third prototype approach identified by Airbus is for a "Flex seat", a light, flexible seat that takes advantage of the wireless revolution for a second IFE solution.

"We are currently looking for partners and then [we'd] like to develop these concepts together and have a demonstrator around 2012," says Airbus.

Participating in the demonstrator would be "win-win" for Airbus and suppliers, says Airbus, as the airframer "provides system integration competence and a marketing platform", while suppliers provide the technology solutions.