September 20, 2016 – Embraer has inaugurated a new 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility for its premium seating solutions subsidiary, Embraer Aero Seating Technologies (EAST), in Titusville, Florida. The operation will soon start production of seats dedicated to the company’s business and commercial aviation products, including the seats for the first class cabin of its next generation commercial aircraft family, the E-Jets E2 (see HERE for an in-depth look at the E2 cabin design).
“Having spent nearly 50 years designing and developing aircraft for various markets, Embraer recognizes the distinct importance of the aircraft seat, the ultimate customer touch point. That’s why we made the strategic decision to bring this expertise in-house,” said Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, Embraer’s president and CEO.
Over the past two years, the Embraer E2 seats have been evaluated by many potential customers and have undergone some steady revisions following feedback sessions. With regard to the staggered first class seating, while the 15in floating IFE monitors of the original concept looked smart, during trials it was found that some passengers used them to support their weight when exiting their seat, which was clearly a potential maintenance issue – indeed one monitor in the mock-up was damaged during a customer evaluation. Thus the monitors are now integrated into the seatbacks, which Embraer’s design consultancy, PriestmanGoode, believes fits the general aesthetic of the interior better and is more consistent with the economy class seat design.
Above: The latest version of the clever staggered first class seating for the E2
Other than the monitor option, the modular seat concept, which fits on the same tracks as the economy seats, has received minor styling enhancements and there are plans to add a tablet holder function to the tray table. As Christina Carlsson, project manager at PriestmanGoode, stated, “The update of the seats is really good. The previous design had more of an office chair aesthetic, and this is more like home furniture.”
The E2 project is now nearly complete, with prototype flight testing having begun on May 23, and first deliveries of the E175-E2 to launch customer SkyWest Airlines due in the first half of 2018.
Hiring has commenced for the Embraer EAST Titusville location, with positions available in management, quality control, upholstery and assembly. Candidates are encouraged to apply online at www.embraer.com.