Qantas will trial a new overhead bin system in its Boeing 737-800 aircraft designed to fit not only larger carry-on bags, but more of them.
The retrofit system, codenamed Project Amber and developed by aircraft interiors firm Heath Tecna, will be installed by Qantas into one of its Boeing 737 jets in the fourth quarter of 2012 and promises to boost overhead storage capacity by 30-40%.
Project Amber is a pivot bin system (similar to that adopted by Boeing in its Boeing Sky Interior design) which can replace Boeing's standard 'shelf bin' designs for the Boeing 737 and 757 aircraft to increase overhead storage capacity.
The bins can also be used to upgrade newer 737-800 'Next Generation' aircraft which have been factory-fitted with the Boeing Sky Interior.
Heath Tecna claims the pivot bins can not only hold a larger bag size than the 737-800NG's standard Boeing Sky Interior bins, they can hold more bags – "approximately 36-42 more roller bags per cabin than the BSI, depending on the cabin’s configuration" according to Heath Tecna veep Gary Chris.
"At the heart of Project Amber’s design is a pairing of odd sized pivot bins that allow passengers to transversely stow up to seven roller bags on their sides per 80 inch module supplied", Chris says.
"Furthermore, the bin assist system will help to close fully loaded bins more easily and travelers will enjoy extra head room as the new pivot bins arch upwards.”
Qantas is the first airline in the world to trial the system, says Qantas Domestic CEO Lyell Strambi. "The easy stowage of carry-on baggage is important for our customer experience and the trial will allow us to test a new design.”
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.