As airlines continue to develop their products, eventually an airline might say “We need to offer full-flat seats with direct aisle access”. But in addition to offering that feature, they need to retain the density of their older products … or to you and me – seat counts.
Well, Stelia Aerospace have come up with a seat that might fit the bill – the Opal.
So, the Opal is a staggered seat – designed for the 1-2-1 formation on a plane. It’s being designed so you can pack the seats in on a 40.5″ seat pitch (converting into a 76.5″ bed). If you’re an airline that prefers to give customers more room, for every inch that you give extra in seat pitch – you’ll increase the bed length by two inches.
Standard width on a bed is 26.2″.
An optimised configuration of 80″ would require a 42″ seat pitch. I tried it at 44″, and there was a fair amount of space and a decent cubby hole for the legs to go.
The seating could allow some airlines to install an extra row of business class seats on their planes.
It seems the Opal seat has been through a few iterations since first shown at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2017, with the curves remaining, but the focus now on the details to bring the seat to production.
Details for example like this stowage box
Launched in 2017, Stelia Aerospace’s new generation Business Class seat, OPAL, will enter into service in the first half of 2019.
The Opal is due enter service in early 2019, with two customers in Asia-Pacific, and one in Africa. One of these customers is a “Five Star” SkyTrax customer. Which one – we’ll have to see (but it’ll be exciting to see what they do with it)..
Like all Stelia products, it’s highly customisable (as Singapore Airlines did with Solystis III for their regional Boeing 787-10 business class seat – although if you showed that seat to most airline execs they’d be arguing it’s a long haul business class seat rather than a regional mission seat).
When the Opal was launched Thierry Kanengieser (VP Interiors, Stelia Aerospace) stated:
“This new Business Class seat has been developed bearing in mind the high level of customization that our customers expect, while not compromising on layout efficiency. We are proud to introduce OPAL, the new generation of Business Class seats, taking our customers a step further into passenger comfort”.
For airlines where keeping the business class density is required to keep services full, or want to change their current lie flat seats to a more enclosed format without risking a cut in seat-counts – the Stelia Aerospace Opal offers them the chance to do so.
Economy Class and Beyond was a guest of Stelia Aerospace at Aircraft Interiors Expo.
We’re continuing look back at Aircraft Interiors Expo with things that caught my eye – or things that deserves more than the cursory quick post from the floor of the exhibition
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