THE British Airways Concorde will sport new design features created by Conran & Partners and Factory Design when it resumes commercial flights in September.
The work is part of a £14m phased revamp of BA’s planes, which began in 1998 and was signed off just before last year’s fatal crash near Paris of an Air France concorde.
The aim is ‘to make the interior as beautiful as the exterior and bring the 20th century icon into the 21st century’, says a BA spokeswoman. C&P is providing ‘the overall vision, look and feel’, while Factory is ‘the product designer’.
The first plane to be revamped will feature seats designed by Factory, the lightness of which has helped to counter some of the extra weight added to the wings to boost safety. ‘The ambition was to achieve a 20 per cent weight reduction,’ says Factory co-director Adam White.
Factory has ‘influenced’ the design of washrooms and galleys, due to be introduced in spring, in collaboration with BA and Britax Contour. It has also worked on the Macmeter digital displays at the end of the cabins giving data on height and speed, and created a ‘wave of blue light’ to run through the centre of the cabin when the plane breaks the sound barrier.
Carpets, curtains and colourways specified by C&P are part of the first revamp phase. C&P has also worked on Royal Doulton china and glassware with BA design manager Paul Wylde.
The C&P-designed Concorde clubroom at London’s Heathrow Airport was completed in February. Branding, which has developed with Wylde, has yet to be signed off, the spokeswoman says.
None of the changes apply to the Air France Concorde fleet.