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Aging Passengers On Newer Planes

Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:03 pm

"Senior Suits" help engineers design aircraft cabins........ While Boeing and Airbus duke it out for sales supremacy some interesting developments are taking shape in aircraft manufacturing. As the U.S.'s 77 million baby boomers pass age 60 and have more time, money and desire to travel, Boeing is researching how to make its 250-passenger 787 Dreamliner more "age-friendly." Here comes the unflattering part: To impersonate senior citizens, Boeing engineers donned vision-distorting goggles and padded suits that restricted their movements. Then they tried to find seats, store luggage, adjust air flow and maneuver in the lavatory. Designers are experimenting with easier latches, more legroom, ergonomic seating, better signs and more spacious, well-lit lavs. The company wants to make airplane interiors more comfortable for seniors without making them look, well, "geriatric." "If we don't do something, you are going to have 60 percent of the population that can't go anywhere," a Boeing engineer told a TV news channel, and being grounded is no way to spend your golden years. (Article from "Executive Travel" magazine)

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