This Clever Seat Could Be The Economy Class Of The Future

When Adient Aerospace took over LIFT by EnCore, it didn’t just rebadge the economy class seat. Adient undertook an extensive re-engineering of the seat to make it the very best economy product on the market. The end result was Adient Ovation, a seat that is set to be a crowd-pleaser not just for passengers but for airlines as well.

Adient Ovation
Extensive reworking of the original seat has created a new standard in economy. Photo: Adient Aerospace

The artist formerly known as LIFT

Adient Aerospace was born out of a joint venture between Boeing and automotive seat maker Adient. The notion of bringing the expertise of car seating into the aircraft cabin was genius, elevating the products that have come out of this collaboration with new materials, mechanics and clever design.

In November 2019, specialist economy class seating company LIFT by EnCore was bought out by the group. With that, the LIFT by EnCore product became part of Adient Aerospace. LIFT had been collaborating with Boeing to produce a game-changing seat for both its wide and narrowbody aircraft, specifically the 787 and the 737.

LIFT’s seat was designed to be optimized for the Boeing Sky Interior, spatially, aesthetically and structurally. It was to be a tourist class seat that ticked all the boxes and enabled rapid certification for airlines. Most importantly, it was to be ergonomically pleasing for passengers, and exceptionally low maintenance for customers.

LIFT by EnCore
LIFT had been working on a lightweight, low-maintenance seat to complement Boeing’s Sky Interior. Photo: LIFT by EnCore

The company took its inspiration from modern home furniture, creating the widest 737 seat on the market with an ergonomic seatback to promote healthy posture. A curved seat cushion ensured no uncomfortable pressure points, and the placement of the literature pocket ensured maximum legroom for passengers.

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Becoming Adient Ovation

When Adient took over the LIFT product, it didn’t just rebadge it for its own business. Taking onboard the learnings from LIFT, it studied the seat and began a process of re-engineering it to make it even better. Speaking to RunwayGirlNetwork, Adient Aerospace director of sales & marketing Stephanie Faulk explained,

“Our team worked extensively to re-engineer and re-design the Ovation seat based on in-service feedback and lessons learned from our initial launch. We created a simple, clean, and modern designed seat that provides passengers with an ergonomically optimized comfortable seat. Comfort is a key factor in Adient automotive, one that we continue to carry into our aerospace products through comfort labs and our comfort process.”

Adient Ovation
Adient took the seat and made it a whole lot better. Photo: Adient Aerospace

The company built-in customization options for airlines, including personal device holders that accommodate both smartphones and larger tablets. There are also options to install inflight entertainment screens, to add coat or headphone hooks, and to rapidly customize the little cove in the seatback shell, with a snap-in facility to add branding in an instant.

Adient Ovation
Snap-in branding allows airlines to customize cabins in an instant. Photo: Adient Aerospace

Easy maintenance has been at the heart of Ovation, with the actuator easily accessible via a flip-up seat pan. The tray table can be removed and replaced with no tools necessary, allowing airlines to rapidly fix issues on the fly.

Adient Ovation
The clean, ergonomic seat has low maintenance built-in. Photo: Adient Aerospace

The end result is a smart, comfortable seat that will appeal to both passengers and airline operators. It’s now available in both a narrowbody (737) model and a variation for widebody aircraft (the 787).

The narrowbody version can be tailored to between 28” and 38” of pitch, with 17.9” from armrest to armrest. It can also feature a recline of up to 4.5″, as per the airline’s requirements. On the widebody side, the pitch can be 29” to 34” with a width of 17.7” and a recline of up to 6″.

Adient Ovation
The widebody version has a ‘floating’ IFE screen. Photo: Adient Aerospace

The recline on the widebody version is smart too. The company developed a form of ‘pivot’ recline, which cradles the body and is less infringing on the space of the person behind. A backlit floating IFE screen completes the look, with space still for personal devices allowing a multi-screen experience.

There’s not enough said about innovations in the economy cabin, but from both a passenger and airline perspective, Ovation is a truly incredible product. What do you think?