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Frontiers November 2013 Issue

of the world, take part in PERC studies, providing a diverse data set for a truly global product. The PERC team engages participants from the flying public to test ideas generated by the team’s wide-ranging research into the passenger experience, Emery explained. “The data collected at PERC is valuable, because it allows us to scientifically validate ideas,” Emery said. “It allows consumers to influence our product design.” Survey questions administered and scored through electronic hand-held devices help Emery’s team quantify those elusive details: How’s the lighting? Are windows the right size and well-located? Are the stow bins easy to use? Sometimes the most useful participant feedback is negative, alerting the team to ideas that would not be popular with the flying public if they made their way into a future cabin interior. “PERC provides a vehicle for us to change the way we think about standard features like a window or reading light, and re-design them and incorporate them in an airplane cabin in a way that enhances a passenger’s flying experience,” Emery said. The innovative cabin design of the 787 Dreamliner is a reflection of that research. The Dreamliner features stow bins that curve upward, providing a sense of openness for the passengers seated underneath. Larger windows and new LED lighting that simulates the sky are intended to create a more open and relaxed feel throughout the cabin, improving the passenger experience, Emery explained. The Dreamliner interior has been so well received by the flying public that many of its features are now bundled into a package known as the Boeing Sky Interior. It’s an available option on the Next-Generation 737—more than 500 NGs outfitted with the special interior have been delivered to date—and it will be the standard cabin interior on the 737 MAX. With the success of the 787 Dreamliner behind it, the PERC team is now focused on the challenge ahead: using the upcoming 777X as an opportunity to take commercial airplane interiors to the next level. At the PERC, it’s not enough just to build off of past success. “Any time you are going to have a true breakthrough, you can’t just take what you have and try to make it better,” Emery said. “You pretty much have to start from a clean sheet of paper.” n elizabeth.e.bieri@boeing.com PHOTO: (Top middle) PERC administrator Austin Trevino explains to visitors what to expect during a focus group. GRAPHICS: SHUTTERSTOCK BOEING FRONTIERS / NOVEMBER 2013 23


Frontiers November 2013 Issue
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