c933103
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Is there any systems that can allow airlilnes easily move seats forward backward?

Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:42 pm

Like, on a regualr A320 with 180 seats, is it possible to make a [not too heavy, not too expensive, won't cause too many time to change setup, and fit safety regulatory requirement] system that would allow airlines to dynamically adjust seat pitch? so that for instance, a standard ticket with 30" seat pitch will cost you US$80, you can pay $5 more for each extra inch seat pitch or get back $3 for each inch seat pitch you give up. And then airlines would put those who ask for more seat pitch in front while putting those don't want so many at the back and then adjust distance between each row by pulling seats forward or backward. This way airlines can maximize the profit for each inch of space they have and can put in extra passengers if most people choose to downgrade or gain a premium if most people choose to buy more legrooms. But then you would also need to be able to aadd or remove seats from the aircraft ad hoc to achieve this. and if ad hoc adding/removing seats to/from is to be considered, how about changing the amount of business class seat available on every flight?
When no other countries around the world is going to militarily stop China and its subordinate fom abusing its citizens within its national boundary, it is unreasonable to expect those abuse can be countered with purely peaceful means.
 
Dalmd88
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Re: Is there any systems that can allow airlilnes easily move seats forward backward?

Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:01 am

Short answer no. Seat pitch layouts are a very calculated layout. It isn't just put a seat every 30 inches. The biggest mandate is the emergency exit rows. Since it is an egress row it has a minimum regulated width. It is the only seat row the Fed's really care about. Once those are marked then you lay out the rows aft and forward to the monuments or next regulated egress row. It takes about a shift to install the seats on an airplane with clean seat tracks. That's in the proper place and locked down. It is a lot of crawling around between seats. It can take another shift to just to hook up all the entertainment cables and install all the track covers (the cables hide under those covers.) Re pitching on a inservice aircraft really sucks because you have to clean the gooey gunck out of the tracks to move the seat. Peanuts, Cheerios, coffee stir sticks and this brown goo coat the tracks under the cover.

I am so glad I don't have to do this task anymore. After that shift you are wiped out and very bruised and rug burned.
 
CanadianNorth
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Re: Is there any systems that can allow airlilnes easily move seats forward backward?

Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:51 am

Doable? Yes definitely. Practical? Not even a little bit.

Typically seats are mounted in tracks that run the full length of the cabin with a notch every inch, and theoretically they can go in any spot along those tracks. However there are minimum spaces for exits and such, so generally you have a fixed wall at the front or back (galley, lav, bulkhead, whatever) and then an exit, and you usually get your seat pitch based on how many inches you have available divided by how many rows of seats you want to put in.

Where I work we pull seats in and out all the time for combi work, but depending on how many seats need to get moved it can take a couple of hours, and that's with the seats going in at the same place they always do. First you have to figure out where on the tracks the seat is supposed to go, then it can take a couple of tries to get the seat to line up with the right hole in the track, and then you have to crawl around to tighten down each of the four "feet" of each seat assembly. On top of this you also have to factor in dirty tracks from people and/or freight, bent seats from years of in out in out, and by the time you are done it can take a couple people a good portion of a shift to do a 737 sized airplane.

Another issue would be if you are changing the seat pitch around you'd have the problem of aligning the overhead panels with the reading lights, call buttons, etc. You'd have to live with them never being lined up or you'd have to move them around each time you reconfigure. These are usually also track mounted with spacer panels mounted between them, so you can move them around all you want but it would certainly be a labour intensive chore to realign them and then find spacer panels the right size every time.

Also, at least in Canada, each individual configuration has to be approved. For each of our airplanes we keep a book of approved engineering drawings that shows what configurations are approved for that aircraft and what seats, bulkheads, emergency equipment, etc., needs to be installed where for each configuration.
HS-748, like a 747 but better!
 
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CARST
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Re: Is there any systems that can allow airlilnes easily move seats forward backward?

Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:34 am

I am very sure in the early 90s I read an article in a LH onboard magazine, about how they had a quick-change system installed in their 747 combis. That article featured a photo of a 747 combi witth stacks of seats (like 12 or 18 together) being moved through the cargo door into the cabin or out of it.

They had the (I guess heavy) system in place, to use the aircraft for freight ops on one day and for pax ops on the next. It said they just need a few hours for change the complete layout of a 747. Of course this was before in-seat IFE with PTVs, perhaps just one audio cable per stack of seats, I don't know.

I just know a few years later this system was deemed ineffective and LH coverted all combi 747s (-400M) to regular -400 model planes, plugging the freight door etc.
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: Is there any systems that can allow airlilnes easily move seats forward backward?

Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:36 pm

CanadianNorth wrote:
Another issue would be if you are changing the seat pitch around you'd have the problem of aligning the overhead panels with the reading lights, call buttons, etc. ... These are usually also track mounted with spacer panels mounted between them.


What connections are needed for each over row unit then? I am assuming the chemical packs for the oxygen masks are self contained, is it just power to each unit, data to the flight attendant call button and flexible conduit for the air nozzles, or am I missing something?
 
WIederling
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Re: Is there any systems that can allow airlilnes easily move seats forward backward?

Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:47 pm

CARST wrote:
I am very sure in the early 90s I read an article in a LH onboard magazine, about how they had a quick-change system installed in their 747 combis.


Seating blocks were loaded just like freight pallets.
You can find the same arrangement in the A310 MRTT planes.
There you can fit seating, 2/3storey beds for lighter injuries, ICU beds, or just freight pallets or containers to your liking.
( The ICU beds an their care infrastructure need access to the cargo hold ( some things are stored below decks.)
Murphy is an optimist
 
pygmalion
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Re: Is there any systems that can allow airlilnes easily move seats forward backward?

Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:58 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
CanadianNorth wrote:
Another issue would be if you are changing the seat pitch around you'd have the problem of aligning the overhead panels with the reading lights, call buttons, etc. ... These are usually also track mounted with spacer panels mounted between them.


What connections are needed for each over row unit then? I am assuming the chemical packs for the oxygen masks are self contained, is it just power to each unit, data to the flight attendant call button and flexible conduit for the air nozzles, or am I missing something?


The connections are simple. The data and power is multiplexed so they just plug to each other and the to the airplane in each zone... they're pretty easy to move around..

All that said its hours/shifts not minutes.

The real issue is each configuration has to be certified to meet all the safety requirements. The seats are all 16G certified and that includes seat to seat head strike distances etc. Increasing pitch can make head strike conditions worse as you are changing where the head and upper body hits the seat back in front of you. Monitor edges etc can cause injury and must be addressed. Each seat test program is done in pairs at all the expected approved seat pitches etc and as they are all sled tests with real seats and instrumented dummies... not cheap.

Airlines can and do adjust seat pitch... but is not a simple or quick task.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Is there any systems that can allow airlilnes easily move seats forward backward?

Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:08 pm

And of course most seats would not have to be trackable, a dozen or so rows might be nice.
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c933103
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Re: Is there any systems that can allow airlilnes easily move seats forward backward?

Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:37 pm

I recall some smaller aircraft types with "QC" in their name allow quick conversion of aircraft between passenger and cargo within the time of less than an hour, how's that achieved?
When no other countries around the world is going to militarily stop China and its subordinate fom abusing its citizens within its national boundary, it is unreasonable to expect those abuse can be countered with purely peaceful means.
 
CanadianNorth
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Re: Is there any systems that can allow airlilnes easily move seats forward backward?

Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:50 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
What connections are needed for each over row unit then?


Wiring to the seat belt lights, no smoking lights, call buttons, reading lights, and then the ducting for the air vents. Some designs also the oxygen plumbing, but most newer aircraft the oxygen is self contained generators.

To adjust the spacing you shouldn't need to connect or disconnect anything, but it would still be a job to take out the spacer panels, align the service panels with the seats, and then find and install the new spacer panels.
HS-748, like a 747 but better!
 
CanadianNorth
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Re: Is there any systems that can allow airlilnes easily move seats forward backward?

Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:54 pm

c933103 wrote:
I recall some smaller aircraft types with "QC" in their name allow quick conversion of aircraft between passenger and cargo within the time of less than an hour, how's that achieved?


The ones I've seen have a roller floor installed for cargo pallets, and then to "Quick Change" into passenger mode they have the seats and carpets mounted on cargo pallets and once the last pallet of cargo is off you slide the seat pallets in and lock them down. Much faster than installing the seats individually, but doesn't look as nice for the passengers and also adds a significant amount of weight to the passenger configuration.
HS-748, like a 747 but better!
 
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vatveng
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Re: Is there any systems that can allow airlilnes easily move seats forward backward?

Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:02 pm

CanadianNorth wrote:
c933103 wrote:
I recall some smaller aircraft types with "QC" in their name allow quick conversion of aircraft between passenger and cargo within the time of less than an hour, how's that achieved?


The ones I've seen have a roller floor installed for cargo pallets, and then to "Quick Change" into passenger mode they have the seats and carpets mounted on cargo pallets and once the last pallet of cargo is off you slide the seat pallets in and lock them down. Much faster than installing the seats individually, but doesn't look as nice for the passengers and also adds a significant amount of weight to the passenger configuration.


And the seats are always in the same configuration, so no need to adjust the overhead service panel/oxygen masks, and no need to recertify.
 
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HAWK21M
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Re: Is there any systems that can allow airlilnes easily move seats forward backward?

Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:52 am

c933103 wrote:
I recall some smaller aircraft types with "QC" in their name allow quick conversion of aircraft between passenger and cargo within the time of less than an hour, how's that achieved?


You are probably referring to the B737-200QC where the seats were mounted on pallets & can be moved into position when needed.
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