We all know of the Recaro CL3710 seat (the companies long-haul economy class product, that’s in service with various airlines), and that it won the Crystal Cabin Award 2019 for Passenger Comfort Hardware.
The title of the updated hardware? Sleeping comfort above the clouds.
But how does it achieve this?
I spent some time with Dr Mark Hill of Recaro going through the improvements on the CL3710 product. Let’s look at the improvements step by step.
In the past, a six-way headrest was offered with the seat. This is still offered as an option, but the company has introduced some good innovations to it, with fold down arms. If you’ve flown the classic British Airways World Traveller product, you’ll know the concept. However, these were thick foam blocks with minimal give.
The Recaro implementation is one that’s a lot more ergonomic than a lump of foam against the neck and face.
It can be deployed with one or two arms down, and it can also be adjusted up and down as needed – a novelty compared to some economy seats.
And yes, this would mean you can leave your comfort pillow at home.
Next, let’s go down the seat, and look at the movable pad to create more lumbar support. This folds down from the top of the seat back and onto the seat. The pad is held by magnets to keep it in the position, creating more back support.
Both the options above can be retrofitted if needed to existing CL3710 seats that are in flight today.
Finally, the major improvement is under-knee support, which extends the support area under the knee for those who have longer legs, or just want to have their feet feel weightless. By having a flip out option, it allows the passenger to be comfortable as they need it. Imagine the top part of a leg rest, without the full length of one of on a seat.
The changes are options to the current CL3710 seat, allowing operators to customise it to requirements.
For airlines, they’ll find they can fit all these changes within a 30” seat pitch window. Of course, adding more pitch can add more legroom and comfort if an airline wishes to implement it, giving passengers more living space in the cabin – a welcome win for any passenger in a long haul cabin on an aircraft.
A clear win for Recaro
The CL3710 impresses me – a lot. And it impressed the judges at the 2019 Crystal Cabin Awards to win the Passenger Comfort Hardware category.
And there continues to be innovation in this seat. Innovation in the small space that is the economy class seat is something to be grateful for – whilst the seats maybe thinner, thanks to better paddings, fabrics and clever designs, the passenger space can be enhanced. With some of the options available for retrofit too, there are some clear benefits to the passenger experience, as well as to the airline who can improve the passenger living space at a minimal weight increase
The delivery list for the seat is long- for example Virgin Atlantic has will install the CL3710 upcoming Airbus A350-1000. The seat also flies with Avianca, TAP Portugal, Air China, KLM, Delta, Singapore Airlines and many more airlines.
As a primarily economy class traveller, I’m looking for as much comfort as possible when travelling – and this update would push me in the direction of this seat vs a Premium Economy Seat I would struggle to fall asleep in (for example, I had some issues sleeping when travelling back from Chicago recently due to the seat positioning in the cabin, and some non-optimised use of space).
And I for one welcome these improvements and innovations like this in the cabin.
Many thanks to Recaro for access to their stand both before Aircraft Interiors Expo and during the show.
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