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Conceptual design of a full-standing commercial aircraft seat


Mohamad Dasuki, Norhafizah (2020) Conceptual design of a full-standing commercial aircraft seat. Doctoral thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.


High-density passenger cabin concept has been pursued as one of the approaches to reduce the seat cost per flight, which subsequently lower the flight ticket prices. This trend towards a much denser passenger cabin designs has been observed since 1960s and it is recently further driven by the introduction of low-cost airlines. Thus far, the accommodation of additional passengers inside the same-size aircraft cabin space is often made possible by reducing the seat’s pitch and width. However, this method has possibly reached its maximum potential as many passengers have been complaining of discomforts due to the reduced legroom. Hence to further increase the cabin density, new revolutionary designs of aircraft passenger seat have been explored and among others, this leads to the proposed idea of standing passenger cabin. Although this cabin concept idea has been around for a while, there is no standing passenger cabin design that has been approved by aviation authorities for commercial transport aircraft until now. This can be primarily contributed to the lack of approved designs for the standing passenger seat to be applied in standing cabin implementation and ongoing concerns with safety and comfort aspects of currently proposed standing passenger seat designs. Motivated by this identified research gap, the main goal of this study is to conceptually develop a full-standing passenger seat design that can provide adequate level of safety and comfort to the passengers. The first step in designing and developing the full-standing passenger seat concept is to establish the driving design requirements. This is accomplished through the standard data collection methods like conducting public survey and interview of experts in the field. Based on the findings, the proposed full-standing passenger seat design concept is developed using standard engineering design process, which includes major steps like quality function deployment, generation of alternative designs, selection of best design option and anthropometric sizing of the seat. It should be noted that the public opinions and experts’ feedbacks are considered during this conceptual design process through online public survey and interview sessions. After the proposed full-standing passenger design concept is selected and sized according to anthropometry body data of Malaysians, its safety aspect is evaluated through finite element analysis using the ABAQUS software tool. Parametric study of the main structural part of the proposed full-standing passenger seat design is conducted with the objective of optimizing its strength and weight characteristics while satisfying the certification requirements set by aviation authorities. The considered design parameters are diameter and thickness of main structural members of the proposed full-standing passenger seat design, and their material. Once the optimized design has been established, it is analysed through the RULA and REBA ergonomic assessment. RULA analysis is conducted with two ergonomics software tools: JACK and DELMIA. In the meantime, REBA analysis is conducted based on the standard scoring worksheet. These two ergonomic analyses are done to determine the adequacy level of the proposed full-standing seat design in providing comfort to the passengers. The finalized proposed conceptual design of the full-standing passenger seat is consulted again with the experts for their opinions. From the findings of the conducted public survey and expert interviews, a few design requirements for the full-standing passenger seat have been identified. These include stability, strength, comfortability, easy to use, aesthetic, safety, maintainability, ease of installation, manufacturability, weight, cost and profitability. These requirements act as the reference basis in the development process of the proposed conceptual full-standing passenger seat design. The selected seat design concept is then modelled in CATIA with its initial sizing done based on body anthropometry data of Malaysians. A design optimization process is conducted on the proposed conceptual full-standing passenger seat design in order to optimize the strength and weight characteristics of its main structures. The results from the design optimization process have indicated that the optimum diameter and thickness for the main structures of the seat design are 90 mm and 3 mm, respectively, with aluminium as the structural material. At the optimum design setting, the structural weight of the full-standing passenger seat is estimated to be about 9.5 kg and the maximum structural deflection under prescribed certification loading is 28.42 mm. This weight is comparable with that of the current conventional seat while the small maximum deflection implies an adequate structural strength for safety provision to the passengers in compliance with the safety design requirements. Furthermore, this optimized full-standing passenger seat design is also demonstrated to be adequately comfortable to the passengers according to the obtained low health risk results from the RULA and REBA ergonomic analyses. To close the loop for this research study, this final proposed full-standing seat design is consulted again with the experts. In short, the consulted experts have agreed that the proposed full-standing seat design fulfils their personal technical design expectations and is suitable for use in the commercial transport aircraft based on the presented analysis results, provided that it satisfies all other imposed requirements from the related aviation authorities. All in all, the work done in this study has highlighted the feasibility and the viability of the revolutionary standing cabin concept for commercial transport aircraft, which provides the much needed push for more research efforts towards the realization of its implementation. Additionally, the proposed conceptual full-standing seat design has been tailored to provide adequate level of safety and comfort to the passengers while in compliance with essential aviation regulations. It can be applied as reference design in the future development of passenger seat for standing cabin design.

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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject: Airplanes - Design and construction - Human factors
Subject: Airplanes - Seats
Subject: Human engineering - Research
Call Number: FK 2020 68
Chairman Supervisor: Fairuz Izzuddin Romli, PhD
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering
Depositing User: Ms. Nur Faseha Mohd Kadim
Date Deposited: 31 May 2021 05:29
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2021 01:13
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/85680
Statistic Details: View Download Statistic

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