The Airbus A380 is the largest commercial airline in the sky today. It is massive. When you think about this plane you don’t think about “light.” However there is something light about the seats on Qantas Airbus A380’s…they have carbon fiber.
What’s carbon fiber you ask? (if you don’t ask, skip this paragraph) In easy terms it is woven fiber material that is stronger and lighter than metals used in other airline seats. For a more complex answer, read this. While the carbon fiber on the seats is what got my attention about the Qantas’ seats, there are plenty of other cool things going on.
About a year ago, Mary Kirby, via her Runway Girl Blog, talked about the 2009 Australian International Design Award of the Year for their seats. Not only because of the high-tech materials used, but also the way the seats recline. Like a high-end movie theater, the bottom part of the seat moves forward when one reclines, taking away less room from the person behind you.
Qantas told me, “The carbon fibre backshell on the Qantas A380 Economy seats is exclusive to Qantas and provides a unique natural element and visually stunning appearance. The material was selected for sleek design appeal and aircraft weight benefits.”
These carbon seats might be exclusive now, but I am sure we will be seeing seats like these on future flights. As carbon fiber gets cheaper and airlines are looking to cut costs and green house emissions I imagine more carbon fiber will be used. And as Kirby shows, you might be seeing this seat on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner as well.
Thanks Dan for pointing this out!Image: Jalopnik