Pitch Aircraft Seating unveils new light weight, modular economy seat. - Targets retrofit market.

Tuesday 27th March 2012

Pitch Aircraft Seating, the expanding UK-based aircraft seat manufacturer, is unveiling its new light-weight economy seat, the PF2000, at Aircraft Interiors Expo. Designed for the high-density, single-aisle economy class retrofit market, this clean line seat has been created by a talented team which calls on a wealth of experience in the automotive and aviation market.

Developed in co-operation with Intier Automotive, a division of Magna and leading automotive and premier aviation design specialists Design Q, Pitch's innovative seating solution weighs less than 25kg for a triple unit, thanks to the extensive use of lightweight composite materials.

The sculpted seat, designed to closely mould the human form and optimise knee and leg room, draws on the best of sports car design. Its curved shape gives an impression of greater space in the cabin while the back rest features a modular structure, giving airlines the flexibility for a fully integrated IFE package, an IPad carrier, or simply a high or low literature pocket.

The seat back modules are interchangeable which means that a customer can choose to address demand for IFE later on, with minimal modification work. The family of seats includes variants for front, exit and rear rows and the fuselage taper section, while to aid entry and egress the front of the seat cushions are angled and the armrests can be deployed between the backrest cushions. The seat back is fixed in a semi reclined position, giving passengers control of their own space and ensuring a good level of comfort.

Pitch is confident that it is bringing its seat to market at the right time, when many airlines, with a close eye on rising fuel prices and fierce market competition are hesitant about committing a big outlay on new equipment. For its retrofit plans It is already advancing with plans to support the Airbus A320 family and the Boeing 737 series.

"With a number of new-generation narrow body aircraft coming on to the scene some airlines are waiting to see how the market shapes up. The Pitch offering is a terrific solution for this dilemma. They can revamp tired cabins with our fresh light-weight seat, create more space and legroom as the fixed recline backrest of the PF2000 enables an extra 2.5 in of legroom over a standard economy seat. It is also available at a very competitive price," said Pitch Aircraft Sales Director Stewart Cordner.

Adopting automotive production techniques:

Importantly, Pitch is aiming to deliver the seats in record time, an achievement made possible through adopting advances in automotive production techniques, the speciality of Magna, which over the past two years has been developing the production seat solution in conjunction with Pitch. Magna has developed a streamlined production plan for the seat and aligned its production control processes to meet with the appropriate aircraft industry requirements in conjunction with Tenencia Aerospace. This will enable it to work toward lead times from placement of order to delivery in the region of 12 weeks.

Manufacture will be in a state-of-the-art facility in the West Midlands with a big emphasis on production tooling to ensure high quality. A reduced part count means fewer maintenance requirements.

Successful 16g dynamic test achieved:

In January this year Pitch successfully passed an indicative 16g dynamic test and its message to potential customers at Aircraft Interiors this week is that it is on target to complete certification by the third quarter of 2012 with a view to starting production in the fourth quarter of this year. Sophisticated computer analysis has been employed to optimise the structure to ensure certification test success.

Pitch Aircraft Seating Chairman, Ken Baker commented: "Passing these tests has been a significant milestone for us. It reaffirms that we are on track with our computer simulations and certification plan. We are very enthusiastic about the serious interest we are seeing in our seat from a number of airlines and believe we have a winning product with this new offering."


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