Lantal is celebrating the successful circumnavigation of Solar Impulse 2 (Si2), which made its last-leg landing in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on July 26, 2016. Lantal developed a pneumatic seat cushion tailored to the needs of the project. Its Pneumatic Comfort System (PCS) features air-filled cushions that can be adjusted to offer different degrees of firmness.
The product is designed to prevent the occurrence of pressure points and provide seating comfort even during flight legs that last two to five days. The air-filled cushion is designed to be dimensionally stable, giving the pilots firm posture support, which Lantal says is guaranteed by “ingenious circuitry and software”, even at below-freezing temperatures and a lack of cabin pressurization.
The longest leg – from Japan to Hawaii – lasted five days and nights. “I could lie down on the seat and the seat is really very ergonomic and comfortable,” said pilot André Borschberg. “You don’t sweat, the contact with the seat and the body is good.”
“It’s so comfortable, I could just keep flying for days,” said pilot Bertrand Piccard, following the flight from Hawaii to San Francisco.
Lantal used the same materials and parts for Si2 that are used in PCS applications designed for regular commercial aircraft. Accordingly, the Si2 served as the ultimate test lab for Lantal, giving the company many opportunities to analyze the product under extreme conditions and to assess improvements to the regular product. The PCS is integrated in more than 10,000 first and business class seats in the commercial aviation sector.
Not a single component has been exchanged since the PCS was installed in the Si2 in February 2015. The Si2 was airborne for 558 hours and flew an aggregate distance of 43,041km.
August 10, 2016