James Park Associates unveils new airline seat

James Park Associates has designed a new business-class airline seat, which will launch to the market at the end of this month.

The Cirrus seat has been created for client Sicma Aero Seat Services, a seat manufacturer based in Issoudun, France. It will launch at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, which opens on 31 March.

James Park, founder of JPA, says a number of airlines are already lined up to take the Cirrus seat into service. Park says the aim of the Cirrus seat is to create a business-class seat that can be converted into a lie-flat bed without compromising the seating density of the aircraft cabin.

This is achieved through a reverse herringbone arrangement. Park says, ‘Similar things have been done before, but nothing quite the same as this – the arrangement is key to the design.’ It ensures that passengers are angled away from the aisle and not overlooked, while allowing cabin staff easy access.

The seat also features an electric pillow headset, stowage, a cantilevered, fully adjustable table and touchpad seat controls.

Park says JPA started work on the project about two-and-a-half years ago. Both JPA and Sicma had previously worked on seating projects for Singapore Airlines.

Laurent Stritter, marketing and innovations director at Sicma, says, ‘JPA had a lot of ideas in this area, and we had a need. Sicma is active in the business-seat market, but we realised we had a lack of product lines with a herringbone configuration – we saw that we were missing a part of the market.’

Stritter adds, ‘There are already products out there with a herringbone configuration, but none with a reverse herringbone configuration. The key issues with this seat design are comfort, privacy, and maintaining seat count, and these are addressed by the configuration.

‘Another technical issue that we overcame is that the seats are mounted directly on to tracks, unlike with some of our rivals, where the seats are installed on palettes.’

Stritter says a prototype of the seat has already been presented to the market, and has received ‘terrific’ feedback.

He adds, ‘Of course, we will continue to develop this – there is mileage in working with this configuration.’

Park says, ‘The core product can be adapted, and will be bespoke for different airlines. At the moment we’ve just developed standalone seating, but we may look to develop other collateral such as bulkheads.’

Stritter says Sicma and JPA are already working on another seating product.

Features of the Cirrus seat:

• Unique reverse herringbone configuration

• Mounted directly on to tracks, not palettes

• Lie-flat bed and electric pillow headset

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