Cockpit and Cabin for Eclipse Aerospace
Email this case study to a friend
Designing for a new category of air travel
Very light jets (VLJs), with such innovative capabilities as short runway take-offs and a 370-knot cruising speed, are expected to significantly change the way people travel. Eclipse Aviation (now known as Eclipse Aerospace) led this movement, whose jets defy the old rules of hub-and-spoke air travel. To solidify its position at the forefront of lightweight aviation innovation, Eclipse approached IDEO to design an interior space for the Eclipse 500 jet.
IDEO’s team of human factors specialists, industrial designers, and mechanical engineers began looking at ways to maximize the space and provide intuitive interactions for pilots and passengers. Working alongside pilots, aircraft owners, and potential Eclipse 500 buyers, they began to understand that while functions and requirements differ between cockpit and cabin, both zones can embrace a common design theme.
The resulting solution minimizes visual clutter and superfluous details, creating an interior that is at once user-friendly and elegant, simple but purposeful. The Eclipse 500’s cockpit features a harmonized instrument panel to reduce complexity, military-style sidestick control, and LED lighting.
Using full-scale prototypes and real flight times, IDEO utilized a number of methods to design the configuration of the cabin. Designers leveraged the interior geometry, a variety of materials, and clever lighting to create spaciousness within the compact space. Amenities such as a custom-designed in-flight entertainment, refreshment center, and roll-away lavatory all enhance the jet’s commuter-friendly visage.
Eclipse Aerospace has recently announced that it will commence production of an improved model of the Eclipse 500, to be called the Eclipse 550, with deliveries expected in 2013. This new aircraft will incorporate a majority of the design features produced by IDEO for the Eclipse 500.
Project date: 2006
Facts & Figures
Read the article here.