Meerkat Seat Concept (Aircraft Passenger Seat) by James Lee
2011 - 2012, Platinum A' Vehicle, Mobility and Transportation Design Award Winner
The inspiration came from hours of flying long haul in economy class. I know that there are many ways to improve passenger experience. Yet with an education background in engineering and experience in the airline business, I fully understand the economic and technical constraints.
The Meerkat is a concept for long haul economy class seating that introduces new ways to enhance passenger experience while minimizing fuel & maintenance cost. Passengers will benefit from the patented dual-user armrest that eliminates the battle for the armrest, as well as a backrest that helps them stretch-out. Amenities such as a tablet stand & a headphone hook brings convenience, yet does not introduce weight/complexity to the benefit of the airline. The shared literature rack reduces weight of magazines and helps minimize fuel cost.
Design Challenges
While passengers these days demand more and more creature comfort, airlines on the other hand want to trim cost. But those two criteria are often contradictory- new features are likely to add weight and complexity, and hence increase cost of operations. Thus the challenge was to design a product that has all the features passengers desire, yet keeping the package light & simple in order to minimize fuel burn & maintenance cost, as well as the associated carbon emission.
Production Technology
The seat frame can be made of milled aluminium alloy and aluminium tubes. Non-structural parts such as backshell and table etc can be made of injection molded plastic and vacuform plastic.
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