Recaro has installed its connected economy class seat BL3530 on a TAP Air Portugal A321 single-aisle aircraft.
The “iSeat” pilot project is the first ever economy class seat to be designed, certified and installed as an ‘intelligent seat’, and is equipped with numerous sensors to gather data on seat performance and generic behaviour during flight. This includes if the seat is occupied, how many times a passenger uses the tray table, raises the armrests, reclines the seat, and whether their seatbelt is fastened.
Data retrieval will take place every two months, and the collected data will be analysed for future investigations, such as tracking passenger preferences and maintenance. Slated for a six-month trial run, this is the first piece of Recaro’s larger “connected cabin” strategy.
This initiative marks the first time that Recaro designed, produced and certified an aircraft installation under its own Design Organization Approval (DOA) authority, granted to Recaro by European Union Aviation Safety Agency at the aircraft level.
“TAP Air Portugal has been investing throughout the recent years in developing an in-flight product aligned with the brand and consistent on the entire fleet. This product improvement process has been one the pillars of all TAP’s recent transformation. TAP has today a cabin that was specifically designed to match TAP’s identity and to provide the best in-flight experience to our passengers. Recaro is a strategic partner on this transformation process and the “iSeat” will provide further data regarding the passengers’ needs and behaviours that will help TAP Air Portugal and Recaro in the development of new generations of seats to further enhance the comfort and safety standards“, said Nuno Leal, head of Fleet Planning & Contracts.
Photo – from left to right: Ricardo Gaspar (TAP/fleet engineer), Rui Santos (TAP/cabin engineer), Caetano Almeida (TAP/fleet engineer – Narrow Body coordinator), Anthony Medaglia (RECARO/project manager customer support), Violina Mikova (RECARO/innovation manager), André Simões (TAP/fleet manager), Eduardo Sanz Garcia (TAP/ fleet manager)