The Butterfly seat is one I’ve kept an eye on, with them showing off the latest their latest single-aisle suites.
The demonstrators were showcased at the stands of Tapis and Kydex featuring extensive use of high-performance aviation fabrics provided by Tapis, as well as aviation-grade thermoplastics with proprietary Infused Imaging technology provided by Sekisui Kydex.
The seat design is a flexible seating solution that allows instant transformation between premium economy/regional business class, and long-haul flatbed suites, allowing to convert a seat set from two premium economy seats, without the need for the aircraft to be taken out of service to be reconfigured.
This is incredibly powerful, as an airline could adjust the cabin configuration in real-time, offering the chance to maximise the space and revenue as needed. It also gives the chance for passengers to buy extra space as required.
The design has been optimized for single-aisle aircraft such as the A320 and B737. It has also been adapted for use on coaches as RunwayGirl Network covered.
Butterfly Single-Aisle’s extra-wide seats and lower pitch requirement makes full use of the available cabin width.
In the demonstrators shown, the seat was fitted out as an all-manual option for recline, as well as other functions. This allows for a reduced weight as well as maintenance cost.
The design also featured lots of useful storage areas which can be used in both modes.
As for the tray table, it had no issue having a 14″ Macbook Pro on it, along with a phone – perfect for working on the move. For those who like their bags next to them, a rucksack also makes a good seat companion.
Consideration to power has been given too, with Astronics Empower elements shown in the demonstrator.
A lot of innovation
Launching a seat is hard – end of the matter. However, The Butterfly seat is starting to gain traction (be it in the road-travel industry, as opposed to aviation). It’s a concept that has to be tried to understand, and it piques curiosity.
The strength it has is that butterfly flexibility, that allows it to go from premium economy to business class with a few changes and minimal downtime – something that airlines could love as we move to adaptable cabins.
At Economy Class and Beyond, we’ve been paying attention to the incremental changes to the butterfly seat, as the design is refined and those changes will pay off day by day.
And we would still love to see this aboard an aircraft.
Disclosure. Many thanks to TAPIS for access to their stand and James of Creative Director of Butterfly Flexible Seating Solutions (BFSS) for spending time with me going over the innovations in the seat.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, featuring in-depth coverage, unique research, as well as the humour and madness I only know how to deliver.
Also remember that we are part of the BoardingArea community, bringing you the latest frequent flyer news from around the world.