Advanced aircraft passenger seat : a qualitative and quantitative study of comfort
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Charles Boppe and James K. Kuchar.
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This thesis describes work performed during a project in the Master of Engineering degree program in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The project was to design, build and evaluate improved aircraft passenger seats. The main focus was comfort. Two surveys were used to assess passenger needs for a more comfortable seat: in-flight activities and physical effects were the primary factors under considerations. The combination of these needs, airline needs and seat manufacturing constraints was integrated into a design tool, Quality Function Deployment, to end up with two new concepts of aircraft economy seats. The first concept used a webbed back instead of a conventional cushion back, the second concept had a back which reclined as the seat slid forward. Prototypes were built and then tested in two different ways. Subjects were asked to simulate a flight during three hours in each of three seats: the prototypes and one conventional aircraft seat. Questionnaires were distributed at periodic intervals during each test to evaluate the level of comfort in specific areas of the subjects' bodies. In addition, maps of the pressure distribution on the bottom and back of the seats were taken in an attempt to quantify comfort. Dynamic pressure maps of volunteers were then recorded over ninety minutes. It was concluded that both concepts were comparable or better than the baseline seat. No statistical correlation between pressure distribution and comfort was derived. But distribution patterns were found to describe comfort in a qualitative way.
Thesis (M.Eng.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1999.Includes bibliographical references (p. 77).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.