Aircraft Interiors International is the first media outlet to have details of Thompson Aero Seating’s all-new business class seat, the VantageDUO. We ran some preliminary information in our news preview of Aircraft Interiors Expo, where the seat will be formally launched next week, but can now share more details of this long-range, single-aisle platform.
The headline feature of VantageDUO is its space-efficient design. Thompson says the VantageDUO can be fitted at a 41in pitch, similar to that of traditional single-aisle business-class recliner seats, but while those seats can typically only have a maximum 110° of recline in that space, the VantageDUO will have 130°.
The company’s engineers have also developed another notable feature for the seat – the Immersive Relaxed Position – which is based on the zero-gravity principle. While VantageDUO does not transform into a fully flat bed, research into the relationship between posture and pressure has been applied to establish the most comfortable position possible in an angled seat. The seat development programme began by placing the passenger in the most comfortable position possible, and the designers and engineers then worked the seat around enabling that position.
The team has named that position the Immersive Relaxed Position, and when selected, actuators elevate and recline the passenger into it, suspending them in a neutral posture that creates what Thompson calls ‘a feeling of weightlessness’, which takes pressure off the heart and reduces stress. The team also worked on the seat kinematics to ensure that the body is supported at all angles of recline.
The passenger envelope has also been refined during the development phase, with the lower sections of the seating structure sculpted out to maximise the open area, and the angle of the seat tweaked to maximise leg room. The passenger behind also benefits, as the fixed backshell means that however much of that 130° recline is used, the structure will not impinge on the space of the passenger behind.
Andy Morris, VP commercial for Thompson Aero Seating, said of the project, “The fast-emerging mid-to-long-range single-aisle market means that passengers want greater comfort and privacy, but not necessarily a fully flat seat such as the VantageSOLO. The VantageDUO offers exceptional comfort and a very marketable seating option, with the same number of passengers as traditional [angled]business-class seating.
“Our aim was simple – greater comfort in the same space, which we have achieved through our many years of experience in design and engineering innovation. The result: no loss of density, no increase in weight, just greater comfort, space, and recline for the passenger,” he added.
Visitors to Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg next month can try out the VantageDUO on stand 7A05. As well as evaluating the comfort and density, visitors can try out the various seat features and options, which include:
- Options of seat heating/cooling and a pneumatic lumbar and massage system
- A drop-down seat arm to help accessibility for wheelchair users
- Electronics: function buttons, touchscreen controls, reading light, headphone jack input (and a headphone hook), power socket, USB, and provision for wireless charging
- Provision for a 13.3in IFE monitor as standard, with options up to 16in
- Stowages for water bottles and tablet devices, and an amenity pocket. A PED holder is an option
- Seat numbers integrated into the fabric on the privacy wing, for a modern look
- The extended countertop area of the window seat, enabled by the seat geometry
- Coat hook