Formula One Technology Reaches for the Sky

By Paul Joseph

UK companies Williams Advanced Engineering and JPA Design have teamed up to create an innovative airplane seat concept built with the same advanced lightweight materials used in Formula One racing cars.

Unveiled at last week’s Passenger Experience Conference in Hamburg, Germany, the design promises to create a more comfortable environment for air travellers as well as lower operating costs.

“Our motorsport heritage has given us significant expertise in the innovative use of lightweight materials and rapid product development to deliver enhanced benefits to passengers and airlines alike,” says Craig Wilson, Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering.

“The maximization of available space and the use of lightweight materials to do more in the same amount of space on an aircraft is at the heart of the work we do commercialize Formula One-derived technology.”

The prototype aircraft seat is built with William’s proprietary lightweight technologies called 223 and Racetrack.

According to the company, the seat is created using super light, strong, yet affordable and recycled materials.

JPA Design came up with the monocoque configuration for the seat that uses carbon fibre composite molding as the primary support structure, which eliminates the need for the traditional metallic sub-frame making the seat lighter.

The prototype will take another 18 months of development until it’s ready for the aviation market.

By Paul Joseph