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AIX: HAECO targets new market with hybrid premium seat

HAECO Cabin Solutions is showing at Hamburg its new Eclipse hybrid seat, designed to be serve as a premium economy seat on widebody aircraft or as premium product on single-aisle types.

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HAECO Cabin Solutions president and group director Doug Rasmussen

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The US interior division of MRO provider Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company says the seat is aimed to provide a business-style travel experience, at the upper end of conventional premium economy products.

“We saw an opportunity to develop a premium product for an emerging new class between premium economy and business class seating that would be appreciated both by passengers and airlines,” says HAECO Cabin Solutions president and group director Doug Rasmussen.

Seat pairs are slightly offset for space efficiency, and to create some privacy. The seat is available with either electrically actuated or manually operated reclining mechanisms. The latter version involves a new electric locking system, which enables passengers to adjust the seat without pre-set recline positions.

The manual mechanism reduces complexity, maintenance requirements, and saves weight compared with the motorised version. HAECO declined to specify the seats’ weight.

An unnamed Middle Eastern airline has selected the seat for installation from the first quarter of 2020.

Part of HAECO’s concept is to provide cabin monuments for seats at bulkheads and class dividers, which replicate all the seat-back features found in a regular row in order to ensure product consistency across a cabin section.

HAECO says the monuments can create additional crew storage space – for example, by accommodating a service trolley – and ensure that overhead bin capacity is exclusively allocated to passengers.

Describing the concept as a “holistic approach to creating a new standard”, Rasmussen says: “The unique advantages of the Eclipse seat, together with the integrated cabin, can create up to a 14% increase in [passengers] within the same cabin space.”

The equipment has yet to receive FAA Technical Standard Order certification. HAECO says that Boeing has granted technical viability for installation, and that 737 and 787 cabin configurations are available.

Talks with airframers to make the seat available as line-fit equipment are under way, the Greensboro, North Carolina-based company says.

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