Boeing buffs up 737 cabin
Boeing has taken the wraps off a new treatment for the Boeing 737 cabin that echoes a similar programme launched by Airbus for the A320 family in 2007.
Dubbed the 737 Boeing Sky Interior, the new interior features blue-sky-like LED lighting in the overhead, 787-style sculpted sidewalls and windows, and large pivoting overhead bins designed to reinforce an impression of openness. It will be introduced towards the end of next year by seven carriers: FlyDubai, Continental Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Malaysia Airlines, the London-headquartered TUI group, Brazil’s GOL and Lion Air of Indonesia.
On the practical side, the overhead bins are intended to offer ample space for carry-on luggage. The reading-light switches have been repositioned so passengers can find them more easily and avoid accidentally pressing the attendant call button. Speakers are integrated into each row’s passenger service unit to improve public address quality, and a combination of air vents integrated into the sidewalls and improved damping materials is designed to cut cabin noise.
Among the vendors benefiting from the initiative is B/E Aerospace, which has been selected to supply the cabin lighting, with first deliveries due to begin next year. The lightweight LED system offers full-spectrum colour capability and what B/E describes as an unprecedented level of controllability.
Airbus’ equivalent to Sky Interior was introduced two years ago. Airbus says the interior offers 15 per cent more usable overhead stowage volume and up to an inch more room at shoulder level. The new overhead bins can accommodate five Travel Pro Type 22 bags compared with four previously. Alternatively, in a typical stowage mix, five 20in travel bags can be stored along with laptops, briefcases and coats. Improved sound insulation and other refinements have reduced interior noise by 1dB.
A new continuous grip rail with enlarged seat-row indicators is designed to help passengers to identify their seats without having to bend down. Coloured LED lighting along the rail is available as an option, giving airlines extra scope for cabin customisation.
A new passenger service unit (PSU) based on the A380 design offers easier-to-use controls in a modern, flatter housing that is easier to clean. It includes LED reading lights with lower power consumption and longer life than those currently used.