Collins Aerospace to unveil wheelchair solution at AIX

Posted on 22 May, 2024 by Advance 

RTX's Collins Aerospace business will unveil its cabin solution for onboard wheelchair accommodation at the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany next week (28th-30th May).
Above: The solution allows travellers to board and remain in their wheelchairs during flight.
Courtesy RTX

RTX's Collins Aerospace business will unveil its cabin solution for onboard wheelchair accommodation next week at the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany (28th-30th May).

The Collins product is compatible with most WC19 and ISO 7176-19 transport-certified powered wheelchair devices, allowing passengers with reduced mobility (PRM) an inflight experience more equivalent to that of able-bodied passengers.

The Collins Aerospace wheelchair seating solution provides a more comfortable and dignified flying experience without impacting existing aircraft cabin densities.

Implementation involves installation of a restraint system at the front of a narrow body aircraft to accommodate a wheelchair user. Restraining the wheelchair in place is simple and can easily be carried out by on-board crews without requiring assistance from maintenance staff.

"Enabling motorised wheelchair users to remain in their chair is imperative to providing a more equitable and dignified air travel experience to the millions of people who rely on personal mobility devices in their everyday lives," said Cynthia Muklevicz, vice president of customer and business development for Collins Aerospace. "Innovating solutions that enhance the inflight and cabin experience is fundamental to the mission of Collins. We're confident this certifiable solution will help eliminate barriers, opening greater possibilities to a wider population to more conveniently experience the excitement and necessity of air travel."

Boarding and deplaning are also simplified, not only reducing the risk of personal injury and discomfort associated with transporting individuals in and out of their wheelchairs, but also greatly reducing instances of mishandled wheelchairs during the check-in, handling and stowage processes. In recent tests at the National Institute of Aviation Research (NIAR) the boarding process with the Collins solution was shown to be akin to the average ground transportation experience – harmonising the air travel experience with the typical accommodations found in other modes of transportation.

Installation of the Collins solution involves an integrated restraint system and seat belt attachments securing both wheelchair and passenger. The restraint system is stowed when not in use. The Collins solution utilises unused space and does not require seat removal or modification, maintaining a consistent experience for all passengers and allowing airlines to operate with existing densities.

Demonstrations of Collins' integrated seating solution will be held during the Aircraft Interiors Exhibition (AIX) 28th-30th May.