Aircraft seats with air-filled cushions offer passengers much greater comfort than conventional seats using foam and are exceptionally light. Lantal, a supplier serving the aviation industry, has developed a system that uses films made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) from Covestro. Compared with conventional foam cushions, weight savings of up to 3 kg per seat can be achieved in business class, and as much as 5 kg in first class. That saves fuel and reduces CO2 emissions. In addition, the seats require no maintenance.
Air travelers can individually adjust the firmness of their seats or backrests as desired, simply by further inflating the cushions or releasing air from them. The extremely elastic and flexible TPU films ensure that the pressure inside the cushions is optimally distributed.
The seats were tested aboard the Solar Impulse solar-powered aircraft in a trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Seville.
Also of Interest
- First Round-the-World Solar Flight,
ChemistryViews.org 30. July 2016.