Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Boeing's New Jetliner Is Designed for Those in Business of Flying

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Boeing's New Jetliner Is Designed for Those in Business of Flying

Article excerpt

When Boeing's new 777 jetliner flies into service a year or so from now, business travelers may find its designers had them in mind.

While interior set-ups ranging from the number of seats and their spacing to the classes of service will vary by airline, here are some things that stood out during a recent tour of a model of the aircraft's interior at a Boeing plant:

Overhead Bins

They are roomy - big enough to swallow up the carry-on luggage favored by busy travelers.

Owen Sakima, manager of the plane's payload system engineering, says the airlines told Boeing they wanted "bins high and out of the way when not in use yet able to be pulled down easily for storage."

The airlines that worked with Boeing in designing the plane "placed an emphasis on carry-on space," said Barbara Murphy, who handles press information for the project.

The bins also are designed so they can be pulled down and outward easily, improving access. Because they are high and out of the way when stowed, passengers who sit in bulkhead seats, those right in front of doors or against cabin dividers, will have overhead bins above them.

In some current aircraft configurations, where overhead bins are lower, the compartments do not extend into the bulkhead area because they would block sight-lines to the front cabin wall, where movies and information videos are projected.

Room At The Top

A 6-foot-4 passenger in the middle seats of the wide-body plan can walk walk under the bins when they're in the stowed position, Sakima said.

In addition, stretching one's legs while the food and beverage carts are in the aisles will be easier. The carts are 12 inches wide, but the aisles are 19.5 inches wide.

Getting around a cart by stepping into an unoccupied aisle seat is made easier by the bin height. Overall, the cabin ceiling in the aisles is more than 7 feet high.

Gadgets

"One airline is putting in a phone booth," Sakima said. "They said it was a tough choice. Do they put phones throughout the cabin and selected areas? They thought they would put in a booth so other passengers are not bothered."

A growing range of seat-back electronic gimmickry - phones, games, laptop plug-ins and even interactive games such as bridge and chess that can be played with other passengers - is available from various vendors should the airlines choose to install such devices. …

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