Prague-based company Zuri has unveiled a new interior concept that it says reflects the company’s commitment to sustainability by aiming to lower the negative environmental impact of air transport by reducing weight, cutting plastic content, and lessening waste material.

    The new design concept comes in Executive and VIP versions, both of which will be part of a new model line with the internal designation, ZURI 2.0. The Executive version offers space for four passengers and a pilot; the VIP version has space for three passengers and a pilot. Each version provides “travel comfort well above the level of ordinary business class”, according to the company. The front seat is swivel in both the Executive and VIP versions, allowing direct communication between passengers.

    Thanks to the large windows, including the glass ceiling panels in the front of the aircraft, passengers can relax in anatomically shaped and adjustable seats, enjoy the view outside, or use the onboard infotainment system, offering full internet access, entertainment, and detailed information about the current flight.

    The materials used for interior walls and ceiling panels, flooring materials, and materials for seats were selected with regard to aesthetic and functional goals and their environmental impact.

    The wall and ceiling panels are expected to be made of a composite based on flax fibres, upon successful certification of such composites. Flax-based material or similar plant-based materials can create a robust support structure, which is subsequently covered only by a thin surface layer of the visual material. As a result, such technology can triple the flexural bending stiffness, decrease material use and weight while improving vibration damping.

    The use of composite materials based on flax fibres offers up to 70 per cent savings in plastics and approximately 50 per cent  savings in parts weight, which increases the operational efficiency of the Zuri hybrid technology.

    The upholstery fabrics used on the Executive seats have been selected not only for comfort and aesthetics, but also for their environmental impact. The 3D-knit material, well-known in the fashion and active footwear industries utilises 100 per cent recycled PET bottles.

    Zuri’s VIP interior variant takes advantage of synthetic leather instead of one that uses animal hide. The synthetic leather for upholstery in the VIP version is made of vegetable fibres combined with PU, obtained mainly from recycled material.

    Since 2017, Zuri has been developing a hybrid VTOL aircraft capable of efficiently transporting passengers and cargo at distances exceeding 600 km. Such range makes the hybrid VTOL significantly different from that manufactured by many other companies, which use electricity exclusively to power their aircraft thus considerably limiting the range.

    The company has announced its commitment to helping reduce the environmental impact of aviation by using hybrid propulsion (a combination of lithium cells and a biofuel-enabled turbine generator) and also by using manufacturing processes and materials that have a minimal impact on the environment.

    • The kind of fabrics used for aircraft interiors has changed immeasurably since the covid pandemic began: read more here.