Remember the Chair VIP seating concept by Lufthansa Technik that was a finalist in the 2015 Crystal Cabin Awards? The design has been progressing, with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) having granted two ETSOs (European Technical Standard Orders) for the 9g certified and 16g certified family of seating, meaning that production of the design can begin. This ETSO designation can also be used for FAA TSO certification.
In simple terms, the Chair design is based on a pedestal upon which is mounted a baseline core skeleton or structure. This pedestal and structure is intentionally left incomplete, allowing designers to create a Chair to meet the particular needs of a particular cabin, whether it is a dining room, video lounge, office, bedroom, etc. The height, width and depth, and also the overall look and feel of the seat can be configured to suit the space. The shape, upholstery and padding can also be selected to allow for an uncompromised interior design under one certification.
The certification process will allow Lufthansa Technik to validate changes to Chair without intensive re-testing. EASA testing was designed and passed to maximum dynamic load cases. This enables changes to be classified as minor deviations under the umbrella of the granted ETSO.
“After achieving this major step, Chair is now officially available in the market. Chair is not just another seat, it’s an innovation in aircraft seating from many points of view. We now break the paradigm of designing cabins around bulky seats to selecting the appropriate chair for any environment, just like at home,” stated Oliver Thomaschewski, head of seating and structures at Lufthansa Technik. “I am very proud of the work performed by our team, which developed intelligent solutions and gained sophisticated expert knowledge.”
Aircraft interior designer Jacques Pierrejean, who helped create the Chair design commented, “Thanks to the design philosophy of the evolutionary and totally adaptable Chair family, the concept opens up an unequaled degree of freedom for cabin interior designers and passenger wishes. It can wear completely different colors, materials, layers and accessories depending on the level comfort requested. Chair is really a seat for all of us.”