For nearly two decades Chris Brady led Acro Seating. As a co-founder and former CEO Brady navigated the many challenges of bringing new seating projects to life. Now he aims to do so again with the launch of Unum Aircraft Seating and a pair of lie-flat bed options for the business class cabin.
Our vision is to become the credible alternative for both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, offering on-time delivery and providing customer-centric designs. We will achieve this by delivering on the needs of every airline stakeholder, from passengers and customer experience teams to procurement and engineering, aircraft lessors and cabin design agencies.– Unum Aircraft Seating founder Chris Brady
Unum launches with two lie flat business class seating options, the Unum One and Unum OneHD. The company’s goal is to offer a wider, longer bed, as well as more spacious side furniture within any given cabin footprint. The seats also feature customization options for airlines to match their branding and cabin designs.
Speaking to the potential of the Unum One solutions, Brady also addresses the economic challenges airlines face today, “We recognize that airlines need to succeed in business class to rebuild their finances post-Covid-19. Whether an airline’s strategy is for high-density business class or a super-premium spacious environment, Unum’s seating solutions offer a consistent and superior passenger experience across both single and twin aisle aircraft.”
Convincing an airline to invest in a new suite of seats, particularly when cashflow is limited, might seem an insurmountable challenge. But Unum believes it holds some advantages in that space.
Unum’s focus on a modular design reduces maintenance costs, for example. Additive manufacturing techniques help to reduce weight on board as well. The company’s supply chain approach “mitigates risks and prioritizes local suppliers,” further helping to control costs. The company also can handle composite structural manufacturing work in-house rather than relying on outside partners.
Single or twin-aisle business class beds
Perhaps most notable is the company’s focus on delivering a quality flat-bed business class seat on both single-aisle and twin-aisle aircraft. Unum claims it can offer a 20″ wide, 80″ long bed with a DoT-approved privacy door and a full height footwell for installation on an A321 or 737 fleet.
On a twin-aisle aircraft the bed width grows to 21″, or shrinks to 19″ in the OneHD design, adding an extra row to the cabin.
Perhaps a customer in the wings
Looking at the seating layout raises question as to whether Unum One is the mystery product in a recent DoT application for a new business class seat offering on the 737 MAX. The increased offset angle requires special consideration, but could also be how the company achieves the longer, wider bed in the same cabin footprint.
And with the recent hint from United Airlines that its A321XLR will feature a new design for the Polaris business class seat, plus the high likelihood that the same seat will fly on some MAX 10 frames operating domestic transcon flights, this is definitely one to watch.
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