Lantal believes seats that can heat up or cool down will become standard in premium classes within five years. The company’s solution will soon launch in the business-class suites of an unnamed airline, which may be revealed at Aircraft Interiors Expo.
Lantal’s heating-and-cooling system for aircraft seats, developed in partnership with Gentherm, will allow passengers to set their personal temperature in flight. The system, which is shortlisted for this year’s Crystal Cabin Award, is similar to those used in the automotive industry, offering cooling and moisture extraction, as well as heat.
A specially designed heat mat transforms electrical energy into heat using resistive wires stitched to a fireblocker, with a heat conductor placed directly underneath the seat cover. A ventilation system pulls air through the seat cushion, to create a cooling effect. Lantal has developed special fabrics that enable better airflow.
“If I am able to have thermal features in my car, then why not on the airplane?” – Cesar Uparela Acosta, Lantal
The solution can be adapted to a variety of business- and first-class seat structures, whether they use standard foam cushions, pneumatic cushions or a combination of the two. The components that power and control the heating and cooling system are small, and were developed with quick and easy installation and maintenance in mind. They were also designed to be energy efficient, with low power consumption.
Lantal believes this feature will appeal to passengers who are used to temperature settings in their cars. “If I am able to have thermal features in my car, then why not on the airplane?” asked Cesar Uparela Acosta, director, Sales & After Sales PCS, Lantal Textiles AG. “This development is very much in line with our vision at Lantal to achieve the highest wellbeing of passengers.”
Lantal’s collaboration with Gentherm ensured that the system was deliverable for an aircraft cabin environment. “Gentherm had in mind to enter the aviation market, and at some point they realized that they did not have the certification capabilities that Lantal has [in the aviation sector],” Acosta said. “We signed an agreement to certify this solution for the airplane, according to all required FAA requirements.”
Luzius Rickenbacher, executive vice-president, Markets at Lantal, confirmed that the product already has a customer. “The product will be flying soon, as a five-star airline signed a contract. We are already integrating the technology for the first time into their business-class suite. As climate control is an important topic for controlling your personal environment and space, we believe this feature will become standard in premium classes within the next five years.”
Acosta said that the seat, updated with the Lantal heating-and-cooling system, has already undergone full certification. “We have already sent out the first ship set from the facilities and it is already installed,” he says. The reveal of the launch customer, and of the manufacturer of the seat fitted with the new heating and cooling system, will be announced later this year, according to Acosta, possibly at Aircraft Interiors Expo. “It may be that the announcement is postponed until the launch of the aircraft for the customer,” he added.
Lantal is also discussing the system with other seat manufacturers for new projects.