UK manufacturer Rebel Aero has unveiled an all-new short-haul economy-class seat that it believes will revolutionise the sector.

Managing director Gareth Burks says long experience in composite manufacturing drove him to make the leap from component supplier to seat designer.

“We see other people designing parts with composite and not getting the benefits they could. If you have it in mind from the start then you can optimise the design,” he says.

The basic design of an aircraft seat “has not changed in 40 years” he says. So rather than simply swap aluminium components for identical parts made from carbonfibre, Rebel instead embarked on a clean-sheet design.

“We sat down, looked at all the rules and regulations and drew up a list of what, as passengers, we would want from a seat.”

That approach means that it has “optimised both the materials and the space available”, says Burks, creating “a passenger envelope that’s the maximum you could possibly have within the regulations”.

Initial tests of the seat have been completed and a supply chain is in place. Full certification will not be sought until a launch customer has been secured.

Despite the extensive use of composite, the narrowbody seat weight is “middle of the road” thanks to incorporation of a number of novel safety features, including the use of a three-point harness.

Burks hopes that, if the seat proves popular, it will end up making around 200 seats per month within one to two years.

Source: Flight Daily News