A double passenger deck layout for standard narrowbodies is one idea the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI) is evaluating as part of a manufacturer initiative to develop interior concepts.
BDLI has gathered a number of interior specialists, including Airbus, Diehl, Goodrich, Recaro, B/E Aerospace, Hutchinson, AOA Apparatebau Gauting, Telair International, Wittenstein Aerospace & Simulation, and Zodiac for its Network Cabin Cargo.
The group is focusing on five areas where aircraft interiors could evolve. Stefan Berndes, head of air transport, equipment and materials at BDLI, says the aim is to "think from the inside of the aircraft out to the exterior".
This is contrary to current methods, where aircraft are designed on the outside with the interior ending up as a tube to be kitted out to accommodate passengers, despite the cabin being where the revenue is generated.
Maximum space architecture is one of the five core research areas, with designers evaluating whether two passenger decks could be possible on narrowbodies. Travellers would board the aircraft via mid-level entrances with a few steps into the passenger compartments.
With traditional overhead bins it would not be possible to achieve standing height, but better storage management is the second area of research. Designers are looking at ways for passengers to leave luggage in the entry area but still have access during the flight.
Better integration of' personal digital devices and customer data management is another area of research, while several companies are looking at ways to integrate different layers of interior lining more efficiently. This could include interactive cabin surfaces with organic LEDs to create different lighting effects or using the cabin as a projection screen.
The final research area focuses on how to improve the hygiene and ambience of lavatories.