Boeing 7E7 offers preferred cabin environment

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 December 2004




(2004), "Boeing 7E7 offers preferred cabin environment", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 76 No. 6.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Boeing 7E7 offers preferred cabin environment

Boeing 7E7 offers preferred cabin environment

Keywords: Boeing, Aircraft

A comprehensive study of more than 500 people found that Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner passengers will feel more relaxed and less fatigued, due to cabin- pressurisation improvements on the all-new aeroplane.

Oklahoma State University and Boeing conducted the study, which was based on US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine methodology characterising 68 possible altitude symptoms. The goal was to determine participants' comfort levels at various pressurisation levels.

“Improving the passenger experience with flying is important to us”, said John Feren, Vice- President of Sales and Marketing for the 7E7 program. “We want to make sure that the changes we introduce represent a real improvement, and clearly our studies show that a lower cabin altitude will have a positive effect on passengers”.

Because their structures are primarily metal, today's commercial aeroplanes are certified to a maximum altitude equivalent of 8,000 ft to minimise structural fatigue during normal operation. The 7E7 will be pressurised to a maximum altitude equivalent of 6,000 ft during normal operation, a decision enabled by the stronger, more-durable composite materials from which the aeroplane will be constructed. Composites are not subject to the same fatigue conditions that limit the amount of pressure cycles that can be applied to an aluminium airline.

Study participants reported feeling less achy, more relaxed and more comfortable with the 6,000-ft cabin pressurisation.

The participants experienced a 20 h flight regime in an airplane-cabin simulator. The simulator was pressurised to five different altitude equivalents, and each level was tested nine times. Participants sat in standard economy-class seats, ate typical airline food, watched movies and slept as they would during a real flight.

The participants were carefully selected by gender and age to fairly represent the flying public. They completed surveys before and during the simulation, while also undergoing memory, co-ordination and visual tests.

“Passengers experience flying as an overall event”, Feren said. “On the 7E7, they may not be able to quantify the role that a lower cabin altitude plays in creating a better experience but they will know they feel better during and at the end of the flight”.

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