While more well known in the commercial and business aviation industry for allowing passengers the comfort in flight of a fresh cup of coffee or espresso, Iacobucci HF Electronics S.p.A, has teamed with BMW Group DesignworksUSA to expand its comfort offerings into a brand-new market with the launch of what the two companies describe as "an innovative VIP seat."
Iacobucci says that it did not come up with the idea to add seating to its electrical galley inserts—including coffeemakers, water heaters, and trash compactors—in a vacuum, but instead in a "design and product development process [that] was strongly customer-oriented."
Both the engineering team and production team were hand-selected from industry. Innovative materials testing and assembly processes were included into the development plan as well as advanced supplier and production quality controls. The company also invested in a dedicated production unit.
For its part, DesignworksUSA approached seat design with a focus on the theme of perceived lightness.
Using contour control and attention to negative space as a technique, the design team was able to convey openness and transparency. DesignworksUSA took Iacobucci’s innovative seat mechanism and created "an attractive shape featuring fresh, reduced, and unique attributes."
To emphasize lightness, transparency, and openness, the designers removed material from the armrest. The end design result is "a graceful seat ready to enhance any aircraft interior," though the new product line will initially be targeted primarily for business jets.
Featuring a single backrest structure with the seat height 45 to 46 in and a 7-in deployable and extendable leg rest, the new VIP seat was designed to offer maximum comfort and proper support of the body in various seating positions. A specific “cradle” recline mechanism with a seat pan tilt coordinated with backrest recline and fully retractable armrest with friction drop-down movement convert the seat surface easily into a fully flat bed. The headrest movement includes vertical, horizontal, and tilting features.
The new seat is manually operated, though electronic controls can be installed as an option. Its lightweight structure and smooth movements make it easy to be installed and maintained, reducing operating costs. Its "sleek modern design and use of premium materials" makes the seat particularly suitable for private jet customers, says the company. The seat can be customized to suit individual needs and fit a variety of cabin interior designs for aircraft integration.
To continue the focus on customer satisfaction, Iacobucci increased its number of repair stations worldwide, and formed an agreement with Lufthansa Technik in Tulsa, OK, to service the U.S. market.