28 October 2012

Where the pilots and flight attendants sleep and eat? Where are the rest areas in the A350 XWB?

In a mix of different factors like aerodinamic, revenue, cargo & seat capacity, security, airlines needs, fire safety standards, airworthiness regulations, ground service aspects, emergency abatement, crashworthiness, emergency evac, comfort, health, crew performance.... the location of the crew rest area was modified when the A350 was re-configured to A350 XWB.

Original configuration, below the cockpit.

Airbus decided to move the A350 crew rest -for the pilots- from below the cockpit, in the area of the avionics bay, to above the main cabin just aft of the cockpit. This is the location favored by Boeing on its 777 and 787. Putting the crew rest below the cabin takes up valuable cargo space, Boeing argues.

Presentation of Airbus Cabin/Cargo Innovation Centre made in SCSI in Los Angeles on Feb/2005

Current configuration, above main cabin.

For the first time in Airbus aircraft –and after benchmarked Boeing´s configuration-, the A350 XWB’s crew rest compartments are in the aircraft crown.

There are two separate Crew Rest Compartments: a Flight Crew Rest Compartment (FCRC) intended to be occupied by flight crew members only, and a Cabin Crew Rest Compartment (CCRC) intended to be occupied by cabin crew members. Both types of Crew Rest Compartments (CRC) are installed in the overhead area with access from the main deck.

The rest area for flight crews is located immediately aft of the cockpit. Its staircase access is separated from the passenger cabin by a secure door, which creates a quiet and protected zone including a dedicated floor-level lavatory for pilots. The overhead rest area has two bunk beds, along with a seated work station. For cabin crew, a rest facility in the A350 XWB’s rear fuselage accommodates up to eight bunks. It includes a full-height standing area, providing a comfortable zone that allows crews to prepare and dress more easily.

While optional, the large majority of customers have selected these crown-located crew rest areas. But it is a retrofitable feature.

The reason: money. “Main floor for paying customers. The "trunk" for paying cargo.”

The A350 XWB crew rests, located overhead in the crown area, have no impact on revenues space – whether cargo or passenger – and contribute to the efficiency of the A350 XWB cabin. The A350 XWB provides functional rest areas for cockpit and cabin crews without reducing revenue passenger seating. The XWB’s extra wide fuselage allows for optimized rest area options on long-range flights for cockpit and cabin crews, offering facilities that are truly private – and which do not reduce the number of revenue-generating passenger seats available to airline operators.

Entrances to these rest areas are located outside the passenger cabin, so they do not use up seat space. “This is the first time a crew rest area on an aircraft will have no revenue-generating impact,” A350 XWB Marketing Director Bausor said.
 cabin crew and pilot rest areas

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