Concorde British Airways Passenger Seating
In 1999 British Airways realised that not only were their fleet of seven Concordes profitable, but that they had over a decade of airworthiness ahead of them. But the interior look of these astonishing aircraft was ageing, unlike the exterior. So BA commissioned the London based agency “Factory design” to improve the passenger experience of flying in the Worlds’ only commercial supersonic passenger aircraft.
2001 - 2003
Working with Terence Conran, Factory design quickly established passenger profiles and behavioural patterns for Concorde’s loyal customers, as well as recognising the importance of ‘once-in-a-life-timers’.
To elevate the experience of flying Concorde, “Factory design” undertook the innovative redesign of a contemporary aircraft interior, which included new galleys, lavatories (renamed bathrooms), and of course new seating, which would elevate the overall ambience of the cabin interior. The brand ambition was established simply as ‘to bring the elegance of the outside of the aircraft inside’
The only part of the redesign to actually be fitted to the aircraft, were the new seating, and this was only fitted into five of the fleet of seven BA Concordes,these aircraft were G-BOAC, G-BOAD, G-BOAE, G-BOAF and G-BOAG.
These seats were constructed in carbon fibre, titanium, aluminium and covered in ink-blue Connolly leather and fabric, with a cradle mechanism, footrest and contoured headrest that were designed to give more comfort and support to the Concorde passengers. The design was inspired by the classic Charles & Ray Eames chairs, and used new technology and materials. The introduction of single monocoque carbon fibre seat backs and bases that meant that the seat reclined around a single pivot point, created a lighter seat that was 20% lighter. BA hoped this would lead to almost £1 million a year in fuel saving efficiencies. The new seats were manufactured by Britax-Contour Aircraft Interior Systems, and these seats cost a staggering £14,000 a pair, with 50 pairs per aircraft, that’s a total cost of £700,000 for each of the five Concordes.