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Regional Aircraft breakThrough InteriOr Solution

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RATIOS (Regional Aircraft breakThrough InteriOr Solution)

Reporting period: 2019-03-01 to 2021-02-28

Nowadays passengers are more and more demanding for what concerns their comfort and wellbeing during all phases of the flight experience. Unfortunately, current travel experiences of passengers are often uncomfortable and very stressing and travelers are frequently complaining for the overall conditions to which they are exposed to, starting from the moment they board the plane, till disembark and baggage claim. Such a situation could be radically improved through the development of innovative design concept solutions, technologies and approaches to be applied in the design of cabin interiors. RATIOS project, through innovative design solutions for cabin interior, will address the following main passengers’ pain points: boarding bottlenecks; disembark problems that can be very stressful especially for passengers booked on connecting flights; on board flight experiences (examples of problematic situations are: currently, especially in narrow-body economy class, the reduced space between seats implies an unpleasant limited legroom; poor cleanliness and hygiene).RATIOS project aims at addressing the multifaceted problematic situation by exploring, conceiving and developing up to TRL 3/4 highly innovative design concept solutions whilst ensuring the identification and evaluation of the related enabling technologies. The project will focus on cabin interiors for regional Aircrafts, through Human-Centered Design Approach, addressing the following sub-objectives: explore and evaluate innovative layout solutions for cabin layout, starting from a basic aircraft configuration; improve and optimize main cabin items to improve passengers’ comfort and on-board travelling experience; optimize boarding and disembark procedures by rethinking and optimizing cabin layout and baggage storage; explore and evaluate the use of new technologies for on board connectivity, virtual, augmented and immersive reality, noise and vibration management to conceive and design new cabin interiors able to deliver seamless connected mobility whilst ensuring personal privacy. The achievements of RATIOS objectives leveraging on both physical and virtual touch points, and exploiting fast developing technologies in the digital world, will lead to an optimized cabin environment able to improve all the above- mentioned passengers ‘critical situations, offering them more pleasant travel experiences combined with higher levels of efficiency and hygiene. This will not only generate immediate and physical impacts on the travelers, but will also contribute to offer innovative solutions, which are perfectly in line with air companies’ expectations
The project was structured in 6 Work Packages, out of which two transversal WPs were devised to take care of project management (WP1) and to implement the project communication, dissemination and exploitation activities (WP6). WP2 Boundary conditions and reference scenario: the analysis considered all user needs and desires, considering also social, behavioral and trend situations, as well as all relevant state of the art technologies as could be foreseen in a 2035 environment. The research was useful to set the boundary conditions for the innovative cabin development. Moreover, by defining each major future trend, it was able to obtain specific design guidelines to proceed with the cabin concept design phase. WP3 Cabin concept design: it was formulated conceptual design solutions for breakthrough cabin architecture in compliance with the HCDA requirements and aircraft cabin general constraints. The evaluation among different possible alternatives used as a parameter the compatibility with the reference scenario and how each concept was able to create/concretize the desired user experience. WP3 activities concluded with a Preliminary Design Review through which the design concept solutions proving to be most promising and worth to be further developed were identified. WP4 Cabin concept development and definition: starting from the selected and most promising cabin layout settled during the PDR, the WP activities were devoted to develop and define the overall cabin concept through design loops aimed at refining solutions under development in view of ensuring their capability and to be integrated in the cabin interior environments, whilst devising the correspondent manufacturing processes. The Work Package concluded with a further Critical Design Review serving the purpose to select the technologies/ design solutions worthy to be further developed and brought to the following test and validation phase. WP5 Test and validation: the validation of the final design concept was carried out by performing immersive virtual reality testing for passenger perception and evaluation. The testing session entailed the involvement of a selected group of end-users in representation of different categories of passengers to ensure that project results meet and concretize the desired user expectations. At the same time digital analysis which involved avatars’ interactions and some small-scale laboratory tests were performed to evaluate and verify the application of possible technologies, materials and surface treatments able to support the identified design concepts. These validation activities played a crucial role within the development of the project, especially in terms of demonstrating the consistency, functionality and completeness of the final design concept with respect to the defined pain points and user needs. RATIOS partners will be disseminating and promoting the project results by providing targeted information to multiple mentioned audiences in a strategic, diversified and effective manner and by using different communication channel, as settled in the Communication and Dissemination Plan, such a: RATIOS website; consortium corporate website and social media pages; conferences and events; Clean Sky 2 web pages; Publications/Magazine.
RATIOS innovative design of aircraft cabins generated substantial impacts by improving not only passengers’ comfort and ergonomics, but considerably contributing to safety on board and to a better resources efficiency and environmental protection, through weight reduction (through smart components design and light/new materials selection) and consequent fuel savings. Starting from the initial assumptions, the achieved objectives are: developed of innovative technologies and solutions to improve the physical cabin environment in terms of comfort on board w/r to a civil regional aircraft platforms; transformed breakthrough design concept solutions to a TRL of 3; development of aircraft interiors cabin solutions with conceptual breakthrough design enhancement in terms of cabin passenger comfort/needs starting from a basic aircraft; configuration and LOPA provided by the Leader; drastically reduced turn-around time in (dis-)embark of the passengers, time cleaning and galley/lavatory re-filling; optimization and volume maximization of the baggage loading/unloading before/after the flight for the passengers thanks to the under the seat storage; improved air travel services quality specifically in the use of personal electronic devices; increased comfort standards without increasing the weight of the interior’s parts; increased comfort standards without increasing the operating cost
Virtual Reality View
Virtual Reality View
RATIOS Concept Overhead bin
RATIOS Concept Seat
RATIOS Concept Virtual Window
RATIOS Concept Aisle