Designed for long haul flights, the Caterpillar is a seat that is instantly convertible between premium economy class and business class flatbed suite.
Caterpillar gives airlines the flexibility to adjust cabin configuration based on real time demand for each flight, allowing them to make the most efficient use of precious cabin space while maximizing passenger appeal.
This innovative concept has won the prestigious Crystal Cabin Award in the category "Premium Class & VIP".
Caterpillar is composed of units of double seats, with the aisle seat offset backwards. It is premium economy class when all seats are used.
When used as business class, the inboard seat is simply flipped over to form a flat surface. The seating unit then becomes a private suite for one passenger, with a seat and a side couch.
When passengers sleep, they simply flip the aisle seat over as well, this, together with the side couch, forms a large sleeping surface long enough for passengers to lay flat diagonally across.
Like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, the Caterpillar seat transforms into a whole different animal when converted to business class.
Every passenger gets a private suite with direct aisle access, unlimited elbow room, and twice the amount of space.
The addition of soft furnishings on the side couch gives a homey, living room-like ambience to the suite, while the feature lighting in the storage rack, which was initially blocked by the seatback, builds a club-like atmosphere for the cabin.
The staggered arrangement of Caterpillar's premium economy seats gives passengers the maximum amount of width since passenger's elbows are offset from one another.
At 8-abreast on a 777 sized cabin, the seat width is up to 21 inches between armrest, which is as wide as many business class seats in the market.
Other features include large cocktail trays, seat pockets on the side, as well as adjustable ottoman.
A large cocktail tray, rack for personal items, as well as generous under-seat storage gives passengers unparalleled convenience. In addition, the side couch is a good place for them to spread their belongings around casually as they work.
The extra PTV for the inboard seat can be used as a secondary screen to display flight information while the passenger watches other programmes.
The full glory of the seat is revealed when the aisle is also folded over to form one of the largest bed surfaces in the industry. At 44” pitch the bed is 77” long tip-to-tip, and up to a maximum 44” wide at hip areas, giving passenger ample space to toss and turn.
In addition, a storage compartment in the middle armrest becomes naturally locked under the bed when the seats transforms to the bed mode, essentially creating a secure locker where passengers can safely store their valuables as they sleep.
Whether privacy or intimacy, Caterpillar gives passengers what they desire. While the business class seats are normally isolated from one another, when passengers want to socialize they may invite guests over on the side couch for a meal together. Alternatively, couples may convert the side couches back into seats so that they can sit close to each other even during takeoff and landing.
In premium economy, airlines may choose to activate couches for little children to let them sleep more comfortably, and thus bring tranquility to the people around.
At 44" pitch on the Beoing 777 or 47" pitch on the A330/340 cabin, Caterpillar's seat density compares very well with industry standards.
Caterpillar is a game changer that has potential benefits to a wide range of issues in airline operations that includes fleet assignment, revenue management and aircraft reconfiguration. Airlines are no longer bounded by a fixed cabin configuration, allowing both profitability and customer satisfaction to be maximized at the same time.