February 2017

Prototype firm delivers next generation aircraft seat

A Letchworth prototyping company has manufactured a state-of-the art seat for business class air travel.

Ogle Models was asked to create the next generation in business class aircraft seat innovation for Zodiac Aerospace, a world leader in aerospace equipment and systems for commercial, regional and business aircraft as well as helicopters and space applications.
Already owning an extensive portfolio of business class seats, Zodiac approached Ogle to make modifications and improvements to their existing Aura design.

Boasting LED mood lighting, a flat screen TV, air conditioning and storage for electrical parts, Ogle were tasked with building a full-scale functioning exhibition model with precise aesthetic appearance for exhibition at The Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

The centre console had to feature two working production tray table units along with a functioning privacy screen. The complete model had to be built between two side-by-side business class seats and incorporated into the stage floor of Zodiac’s stand to give a floating appearance.

The Senior Design Engineer at Zodiac Aerospace, said: “With ever increasing demands of airline customers to improve product functionality, quality and customer experience, Zodiac Seats UK relies on partners such as Ogle Models & Prototypes to showcase product innovation in the best possible light.

“Partnering with Ogle Models & Prototypes has meant Zodiac Seats UK can commission superb quality prototypes, essential in securing the confidence of major airlines, that Zodiac Seats UK will deliver a top-quality product. Ogle was selected by Zodiac Seats UK based on their reputation for applying extensive knowledge of developing prototypes from initial design conception to final product execution.”

The model required intricate detailing as well as strength and rigidity. Fibreglass was used for production because it delivered add strength and drastically reduced the weight of the model as well as leaving a cavity for the electrical cabling for the air conditioning and TV unit to be stored.

In order to create the highest quality detailing needed for the project, Ogle used Stereolithography (SLA) – a process which is so accurate it can meet measurements as small as ±0.1 mm per 100 mm.

Dave Bennion, Marketing and Sales Director at Ogle, said: “Most importantly for this premium product was the surface finish to ensure the model was as visually accurate to the production seat as possible. The variety of technologies available at Ogle, industrial 3D print, CNC and skilled model makers, allowed the team to tailor each element of the model to its best suited production method. This ensured there was no compromise on durability and overall quality.”

“Precision model making combined with the fabrics and leathers that were supplied by the client, created a visually-accurate model for the exhibition.”

Zodiac Seats UK is a premium manufacturer of Business & First Class seating systems, supplying to a global customer base and working with the some of the world’s most premium airlines.

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