Giving airlines interior options and creating a better passenger experience drove Bombardier to think both big and small for it’s new CSeries cabin mockup.
While CSeries customers can outfit their cabins the traditional way by selecting individual suppliers, Bombardier is featuring a “total interior package” it developed with cabin suppliers that aims to take away the legwork by giving airlines what the suppliers think is the best interior design for airlines and their passengers.
“By having a fully integrated package, we could design the cabin the way we wanted. If you don’t do that the risk is you might not be able to optimize certain features for the best possible solution,” Bombardier product manager Antonio Ficca says at the Paris air show, where the mockup was officially unveiled.
“They are the cabin experts. We are the aircraft experts. When you put the two together and work together the common objective, everything comes out in a better way.
One selling point is that the total interior package calls for extra comfort and space to middle seat passengers by giving middle seats 19” of width, an extra half-inch over the window and aisle seats. The economy cabin can seat five passengers per row in a 2-3 configuration.
To offer “maximum flexibility” Bombardier has an optional 2-2 business class cabin configuration that can support a 11” Thales fourth generation in-flight entertainment system or a 12” Panasonic fourth generation solution, both available in smaller sizes for economy seats.
The mockup features a prototype of the new slimline “Dragonfly” seat. While Ficca says the seat cannot support embedded in-flight entertainment, it brings weight savings, including in one new way: relocating the recline button from the armrest to the base of the seat to reduce wiring.
The seat can bring time savings. The prototype versions are 17” in width, creating an aisle width of 20”, unlike the 18” typically found on Airbus aircraft, Ficca says.
“Operators, especially low-cost operators, are interested sometimes to have more space to have faster turnaround times. What they will do is reduce space for passengers and have more aisle space. What that means is you can load your bag while someone else is doing that” behind you, he says.
Keeping low-cost operations in mind is also evident with the inflight entertainment options. If an airline wants to go forgo personal screens, be it to reduce costs or because they will deploy the CSeries on short sectors that do not require personal screens, Bombardier offers small monitors— “customer service displays”—in the overhead passenger service unit at every row that can display a safety demonstration video, short entertainment clips, and arrival services like connecting gate information. Ficca says Bombardier is studying a larger monitor better suited to play longer in-flight entertainment programmes.
Being a new aircraft, the CSeries has to be compliant with recent regulatory changes to be able to accommodate reduced mobility passengers. The side walls of the large-sized lavatory can swing open so wheelchair passengers can enter the lavatory, but all passengers will appreciate the lavatory: Bombardier worked with an industrial design PhD student to make the lavatory more user-friendly with more space and streamlined, prominent features.
Bombardier is also giving passengers larger windows at eyesight level as well as the guarantee of a window seat at every row rather than sometimes straddling two rows on existing regional jets. CSeries overhead bins will also be over-hauled from regional jets with up to three rolling bags fitting in a CSeries pull-down bin.
The mockup will be based at Bombardier’s Montreal headquarters for prospective customer inspections but will also travel to airshows and industry events.