Rockwood Composites to partner with HAECO on aircraft seating

New compression molded modular seat surround is said to provide the feel of a first-class seat at a much lower cost.

HAECO Cabin Solutions (Greensboro, N.C., U.S.) has announced that Rockwood Composites (Devon, U.K.) will do the tooling on its new Eclipse cabin platform for seat shells and console work.

Eclipse is a new line of seating that HAECO says will redefine short haul business class and long-haul premium economy with a patented staggered seating arrangement. The arrangement provides a similar experience to that found on long haul business class flights, while also improving the airline’s route economics.

The bespoke seat will feature compound, molded surfaces and respective tooling design. Rockwood’s role is facilitating the design for manufacture of the surround seating system and undertaking tool design and manufacture.

The surround attaches to the back of the seat, as opposed to being attached to the floor plinth. This new configuration has many economic advantages, takes up less space, making qualification less costly and provides the feel of a first-class seat, though at a much lower cost. The component is a compression molded modular design that is bonded together then finished and coated.

“To secure the right rigidity, strength and flexibility of the set surround was a real challenge, and one we met head on,” says Mark Crouchen, managing director of Rockwood Composites. “Working closely with HAECO Cabin Solutions, we have deployed our expertise in composites to deliver a seat which is fully compliant and could easily be mistaken for a first-class environment.”

HAECO has hinted that there is already a commitment to refit a large fleet for an unnamed Middle-East-based airline.