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Aircraft Interiors

September 25, 2014 Blog, Pilot_Posts No Comments

TOPIC: Aircraft Interiors

GOAL: To learn about aircraft interior design and the economics of passenger comfort

Level: Medium

Exercise #1: Read about aircraft interior design and then proceed to Exercise #2

Not too long ago, LAN Airlines’ passengers began enjoying the carrier’s new Premium Business Class seating. LAN offers this new Premium Business service on long-haul flights between North and South America and all other flights operating Boeing 767-300 aircraft in the fleet. Despite rising fuel costs that have seen its fuel bills more than triple over the last few years, LAN airlines is spending US$100 million on this new premium service. Why did the airline choose to invest in this type of seating while the aviation industry suffers from economic issues? The answer is easy: claiming market share by making the flight experience much more enjoyable than ever before.



This seating arrangement features a full-flat 180 degree recline, based on Sicma’s Majesty unit. “Our new 767 Premium Business class combines the best of our first-class amenities with business-class service,” says Ignacio Cueto, chief executive officer of LAN Airlines’ passenger division. “This centers on a new travel concept where the passenger’s rest is the design’s primary goal.”

The 180° position allows passengers to sleep in a completely horizontal position – a configuration currently available on only five airlines. Down comforters and soft pillows are added to create a more bed-like experience, along with dividing panels located between seats to offer maximum privacy during the flight. The incorporation of a backshell further protects passengers from being disturbed. In addition, seat pitch has been extended to 74in, a 32 per cent increase in space for passengers compared to LAN Airlines’ previous business class. Seat adjustment is performed via an easy-to-use control offering four preprogrammed positions: upright, berger, cradle and full flat. Full lumbar support is also offered, with leg rests, footrests and a built-in massage system installed in the seats. The armrests are automatically lowered when the seat is converted into the 180° horizontal position, providing an additional 5in of seat width when fully flat. The airline’s Thales’ i4000 inflight entertainment system , broadcasts via large 15.4in individual video monitors that offer a higher resolution and audio/video on demand. Passengers can choose from eight films and 20 short programs with the ability to fast-forward, rewind or pause selected films. Other entertainment options include 14 interactive video games and a musical library with 100 CD titles. Advanced noise-cancelling headsets complete the equation, enveloping the passenger in “a pleasant sensation of privacy”.

Last but not least, the airline has also redeveloped its inflight service: “In addition to the physical refinements, LAN worked with FutureBrand on the design of its coach new seating class, as well as the color and materials definition of the overall cabin scheme. To amplify the cabin’s perceived space and serenity; interior designers chose soft colors and curved forms consistent with the airline’s corporate identity. New carpeting and tapestries were used to generate an intimate and inviting environment. “Wood, leather and metal coverings were utilized to emphasize a vanguard and modern, yet elegant, aircraft cabin,” says Cueto, explaining the materials selection. While the cabin design is important for LAN, the airline would like its passengers to primarily focus on the seat design. “The principal element of the cabin is the new and modern seating, which offers maximum rest and privacy.” The designers also focused on increasing the seat’s storage capabilities. As a result, additional compartments were designed for storing passengers’ personal items. Asked to define the over-riding theme of the new class, Cueto gets straight to the point: “It is about elegance”.

It took LAN approximately two years to complete the full refurbishment of its 767 fleet. Boeing delivered the carrier’s new aircraft it has on order with the Premium Business class already installed, leaving LAN to retrofit its existing 767 fleet. “The first aircraft to feature the new Premium Business cabin were from the line-fit program,” explained Cueto. “Afterwards, we continued with our in-house retrofit program.” While LAN’s expenditure on its new Premium Business class service is sizeable, company officials argue the new product is a long-term investment.


Exercise #2: Watch the following videos about flight, and then proceed to Exercise #3

1.     A look at Emirates' A380 cabin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yWpw3zY9cE&feature=related

2.     A look inside of the new Boeing 747-8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYAppQ26E2w&feature=related

Exercise #3: Answer the following questions, which are based on the information contained in the text and video you’ve just studied.

1.      Where is LAN airlines based? 

a.      Chile

b.      Argentina

c.       Mexico

d.      Lan

Answer = a


2.      What is the name of the airlines new seating service?

a.      New Business Class

b.      Premium Class

c.       Premium Business Class

d.      First Class

Answer = c

3.      On what aircraft is LAN’s new seating class installed on?

a.      Boeing 747-300

b.      Boeing 767-300

c.       Airbus A320

d.      Airbus A380

Answer = b

4.      True or False: LAN airlines invested $100 million in the new service.

a.      True

b.      False

     Answer = a

5.      Why did the airline choose to invest in this type of seating while the aviation industry suffers from economic issues?

                         a.      To charge in-flight meals and drinks

b.       To look good

c.       To make the flight experience much more enjoyable

d.      None of the above

    Answer = d               

6.      This seating arrangement features a full-flat _____ degree recline.

a.      360

b.      270

c.       180

d.      90

                     Answer = c

7.      What does “lumbar” mean?


a.      Anything that deals with the lungs

b.      Pertaining to the abdominal segment of the torso, between the diaphragm and the sacrum (pelvis)

c.       The shape of a ‘Lum’

d.      None of the above

Answer = b

8.      What other features design elements were used in the new cabin refurbishment?

a.      soft colors, curved forms, new carpeting and tapestries

b.      photos

c.       new beverage carts

d.      None of the above

              Answer = a

9.      How long did it approximately take to complete LAN’s refurbishment program?

a.      5 years

b.      4 years

c.       3 years

d.      2 years

             Answer = d



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