Can F1 racing technology shape the future of business class?

Can F1 racing technology shape the future of business class?

At first glance, the cramped and noisy cockpit of a Formula One racer and the cosy cocoon of a business class seat would appear to have little in common, except perhaps speed – where, ironically, that business class seat in flight can be travelling three times as fast as a record-breaking F1 run down the straight.

But the two share a dash of common DNA such as the use of carbon-fibre composites, and that trend looks set to continue under a new partnership between JPA Design and Williams Advanced Engineering, part of the Williams F1 Group.

The coolest middle seat in the sky: JPA Design business class seats frame the ROKiT Williams Racing FW42.

The two cutting-edge firms will work together to evolve F1 materials into the aircraft cabin, with the aim of delivering what JPA describes as "a step-change in cabin layout, passenger comfort (and) fuel-saving... through the application of new interior design and lightweight materials."

JPA's most recent effort for Singapore Airlines – the second-generation Airbus A380 business class seat (below already wrapped in a light but strong composite-fibre shell.

Singapore Airlines' new Airbus A380 business class, by JPA Design

Now the push is on to weave more racing tech into the passenger experience, even through otherwise-invisible touchpoints.

"Passengers will benefit through a more spacious cabin and enhanced comfort for their journey due to the innovative design of the interior and seating," JPA Design espouses, with founder James Park promising "truly revolutionary advances to the air travel industry, both onboard new aircraft and retrofitted to existing aeroplanes."

"The fruits of this partnership will offer our customers better use of the space in their cabins, enhanced comfort and functionality for their passengers and a boost to airline profitability."

JPA Design and Williams plan to reveal the first fruits of their collaboration at the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo held in Hamburg in early April, 2019.

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.
 

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27 Mar, 2019 10:39 am

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