Mary Hanson: The passenger is foremost in mind with the design of this new interior. The Dreamliner offers wider seats and aisles in addition to other benefits such as more spacious luggage bins, larger lavatories and electric window shades that can be controlled by the passenger.
Reducing the spacing between seats is largely a matter of how many rows of seating are provided. One way a manufacturer can increase spaciousness is by making a wise choice on the width of the passenger section. With 226.5 inches across, airlines can provide 8-abreast seating with 18.5-inch economy class seats -- the widest in the industry, the passenger-preferred comfort level pioneered on the Boeing 777. And, even with those wider seats (some large airplanes use 17.2-inch seats in this class), the aisles are wider than even the 777 -- that means that passengers can get by a service cart! And space is much more than just your seat -- we've designed our passenger cabin for the passenger -- its widest point isn't at your ankles like on the competitor's airplane -- it's at your shoulders, where you want the most space. In addition, we're providing more carry-on baggage space and taking advantage of vertical space to provide a comforting vista throughout the airplane.
Semana: When you refer to a cabin more comfortable and spacious, are you referring to a bigger plane or is it an optical illusion?
M.H.: With a cross-section of 226.5 inches, the 7E7 is 14 inches wider than comparable models. In addition, the innovative architectural and technological features of the 7E7 contribute to a more relaxed and spacious environment that will make passengers more comfortable during flight.
Use of composite materials in the airframe will allow the cabin to be pressurized at 6,000 feet rather than the standard 8,000 feet. In addition, the corrosion-resistant composite construction will also allow more humidity to be introduced into the cabin. Both of these will contribute to overall passenger comfort.
This is no illusion -- the airplane is bigger as described above and it is more comfortable thanks to advanced new technologies. Passengers will feel more comfortable throughout and after their flight thanks to a lower cabin altitude (6,000 feet rather than 8,000 feet) and to higher humidity. We don't expect most passengers will notice these specific nuances but at the end of the flight they will know that it has been a more pleasant experience.
Semana: Will be radical changes in the tourist seats? How will you reflect comfort in this class?
M.H.: There are several ways airplanes configure their airplanes and the best designs are highly flexible and allow this to happen with ease -- such will be the case with the 7E7. Economy seating is typically the third of a three-class configuration and as described above, that will be 8-abreast seating in 18.5-inch seats. Some airlines cater to those looking for the lowest possible prices for vacation-destination routes. Those airplanes are typically configured in single-class high-density configurations so that passengers can get the lowest fairs. Today's airplanes in this class use 16.5-inch seats and 16.5-inch aisles -- both the Boeing and Airbus products have this sizing. The 7E7 will have 17-inch seats and 18-inch aisles with 9-abreast seating. As for the seats themselves, Boeing does not manufacture seats. In fact, there are several companies that make seats and airlines pick them from these manufacturers. However, we are working with the seat manufacturers to help them develop new designs for the 7E7 that will help enhance our interior designs.
Semana: Are real the details that Boeing has unveiled about the 7E7 interiors, or are still a plan?
M.H.: These features and details are in fact real.
The size and features of the 7E7 interior are very real. The seats as shown are concept only and purposefully simplified to help people focus on our design elements instead of the seats. So, the larger windows, the convenient baggage stowage, the attractive entryway, the innovative lighting concepts the unique architectural arches -- they are all part of what we expect to install in the 7E7. These designs will continue to be refined throughout our design process so they may evolve slightly, but these are our basic concepts.
Semana: What are the effects of the windows size?
M.H.: Incorporating a larger window (19 inches tall and 11 inches wide) enables all passengers to view the horizon regardless of their seat location. Even a passenger sitting in the center seat of the middle section will be able to see outside, which makes them feel more connected to the experience of flying.
Semana: What are you speaking about, when you refer to "a calming, simulated sky". How will you get that appearance?
M.H.: The use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) enables the flight crew to create a "sky" effect. The color and brightness can be changed throughout the flight. The 7E7 is designed in a way that will make flying fun again.