Introducing the new “Vector” seat platform

In October, HAECO Cabin Solutions introduced customers to the first in its new “Vector” line of aircraft passenger seats – the Vector-Y for economy cabins. In addition to Vector-Y, the new “Vector” product line-up includes the Vector-Y+ economy model with IFE and more amenities for long-haul operations, and the Vector-PY premium economy seat, for the fast-growing segment which some refer to as “the new business class”.


HAECO Cabin Solutions plans to unveil the complete Vector product line-up in April 2015, at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.


Birth of the new seat platform


HAECO Americas embarked on the development of the new Vector line of seats after carefully listening to customers about what they most desired in new, state-of-the-art passenger seating. The requirements became guiding principles for the HAECO Cabin Solutions project team and included competitive price, light weight, passenger comfort and the lifetime reliability and low maintenance for which HAECO Cabin Solutions is renowned.


The project team set out to develop a seat platform where the different models shared common parts, design benefits and a consistent aesthetic. Doing so delivers seat products that have enough commonality to warrant a competitive purchase price, while offering pre-tested features that allow for individuality and customisation to support specific operational needs. Importantly, HAECO Cabin Solutions recognised this approach would not only allow competitive pricing, but also help control total lifetime maintenance costs through the use of minimal parts and components.


To assist with the project, HAECO Cabin Solutions engaged the services of award-winning Hong Kong industrial design house, Paperclip Designs. James Lee, the owner and principal of the firm, guided the design aesthetic, including the distinctive lines and angles that give the seat its name. James also found ways to introduce new innovations to enhance passengers’ inflight experience, such as an eye-level holder for electronic devices (PEDs) including iPads, and a power outlet positioned on the back of the seat in front, rather than under the passenger’s own seat cushion.


Key features


The Vector-Y boasts a number of innovations that will meet customer demand for light weight, passenger comfort and long-term reliability. Airlines want to provide passengers with as much comfort as possible, while improving economics over the lifetime of the seat. The HAECO Cabin Solutions project team have worked hard to deliver on these requirements through the use of innovative design, new materials and reduced part count.


Lighter weight – New materials have been used throughout the Vector, including composites for the seat back and for an innovative new baggage bar that not only weighs less, but adds a distinctive highlight to the seat’s appearance. Wherever possible, unnecessary parts and mass were eliminated from the design to reduce weight without jeopardizing the seat’s ability to pass rigorous certification and testing thresholds.


Better comfort – While some competitors have simply removed as much mass as possible from their seats, leaving passengers with paper-thin cushions and limited mobility at a tight pitch, the Vector project team worked hard to maximize passenger living space and enhance comfort wherever possible. For example, the height of the deployed food tray table was adjusted so that the legs of the 95th percentile male will not bump the table’s underside – a common complaint from taller passengers sitting in standard industry seats. At the same time, the seat cushion was adjusted so that the feet of the 5th percentile female will rest firmly and flat on the floor with no more dangling toes – a common frustration for smaller passengers. Comfort benefits like these required careful design to avoid any negative impact on the seat’s economics.


Enhanced long-term reliability – Ease of servicing and minimizing maintenance requirements were important guiding principles for the design team, and the new seat features a number of examples of their efforts. For instance, the side bumper – often the receiver of hard knocks, nicks and scratches inflight from baggage and food service trolleys – was designed with a small insert that can be easily and quickly replaced when necessary, at far less cost than having to remove and replace the entire side bumper. In fact, most components and parts on the seat have been designed to be removed and replaced in less than five minutes, reducing cost and saving time. Over the life of the aircraft seat (which can exceed ten years for some operators), these cost savings can add up significantly.