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Series 6R®Aircraft Seat

Acro Aircraft Seating Ltd.

Role: Lead Industrial Designer (ID)

Series 6R is an update of Acro’s popular mid-range Series 6 seat for short-medium haul economy travel in single aisle aircraft.Series 6R builds on it Acro’s USP of a space-saving, curved composite seatback and adds a range of new passenger-focused amenities such as dedicated stowage for passenger items, additional table space, and docks and fast charging for passenger’s own electronic devices such as tablets and phones.

As Lead Industrial Designer I was directly responsible for developing all passenger-focussed upgrades to the standard Series 6 seat including soft-touch composite armrest, tray table, device holder, literature pocket, and centre console table.

CASE STUDY // The passenger-centric development of the
ACRO Series 6R
®Aircraft Seat

The ACRO Series 6R aircraft seat is an example of how user-centereddesign tools can be deployed early on within a product development process to uncover latent user needs and drive evidence-based requirements for ergonomics and usability.

Acro’s approach to the Series 6R design process involved a team of 4 Industrial Designers working 3 months ahead of the Engineering team to develop a robust case for improving the ergonomics and passenger amenities of the standard Series 6 seat. The schedule of ID work included the completion of desktop ergonomic studies, in combination with physical user trials and concept development workshops with a range of internal stakeholders.

The result is an aircraft seat design with a range of features designed to maximize passenger convenience and improve ergonomics for economy class passengers.

A collaborative design evolution

The design process for ACRO’s seats comes from a place of close collaboration between experts from multiple disciplines -from designers and engineers, through to production, sales and support.As Lead Industrial Designer. my role on the Series 6R seat design focussed on managing concept development whilst maximising stakeholder engagement in the entire design process, from scoping early design requirements with executive sponsors (see image top left), to co-ordinating internal design reviews (middle row), to planning and facilitating ergonomic analysis and use-testing of physical mock-ups (bottom row).

Top left: Workshop to ensure executive stakeholders are aligned with early design requirements. Top right: Further concept development.
Middle row: Internal workshops to evaluate options for form development and CMF.
Bottom row: Use testing a series of early physical mock-ups.

Understanding passenger needs

When settling in for a flight, passengers often want to make the space their own and have a place for their personal items. Airlines have accommodated this practice of “micro-nesting” in the design of premium cabin interiors by ensuring that business class and first class seats include cubbies for storing tablets, phones, bottles of water and other small items. But passengers in the economy class cabin have largely been left to their own devices. Through user testing, I identified a number of opportunities to improve this shortcoming of economy seating design.