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Thu, Feb 10, 2011

New Airbus Stowage Compartment Design Is 'On The Right Track'

Tracked Bin Design Leverages Physics, Reduces Weight, Increases Passenger Space

As a further step in its "track record" of innovation, Airbus claims to have developed a revolutionary new stowage compartment design that saves weight and provides more room for passengers, while also easing the installation of aircraft cabin systems. With this unique "tracked bin" design, stowage compartments slide on a system of runners and track that is shaped much like a snake trail, allowing it to leverage pure physics - particularly the interplay of kinetic and potential energy - for a new-generation stowage solution.

As soon as the tracked bin's latch is released, the stowage compartment slides forward. However, due its ingenious kinematics, the bin stops automatically rather than tumbling down. In addition, it requires much less effort to close when compared to other movable bins.

To ensure optimal performance through physics, the Airbus development team calculated and experimented; moved intersections, centers of gravity and pivot points on paper; and even had computations and designs confirmed by experts from the Technical University of Munich.

The advantages of these new bins are not restricted to their practical handling, however. The compartments also are lighter, prioritise much less space and provide cabin crews a better view of passengers than predecessor systems. In addition, the sliding bins' box-like housing has large openings that permit easy access to supply channels. If necessary, the actual tracked bins can be installed just before an aircraft is delivered, and also can be taken out just as quickly to enable easier maintenance at later dates.

Airbus says this wide range of operational benefits makes the tracked bin, which currently is in its pre-design phase, an ideal candidate for all of its aircraft families.



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