AN innovative airline seat designed by a Redditch firm is attracting global interest which could see it become a multi-million pound company.
Washford-based Pitch Aircraft Seating Systems has designed a non-reclinable seat for single isle passenger jets – and company co-founder Gary Doy said it has already brought in hundreds of inquiries.
“If you are on a short haul flight and you’re British you never recline your sweat because you don’t want to annoy the person behind you, which means you end up sitting bolt upright,” he said.
“If seats are reclined, it tends to have a domino effect right along the aircraft, which leads to annoyed passengers and hassled staff.
“Our seat is reclined slightly but fixed, providing extra leg room and more space for passengers.”
The seat also lighter, meaning a fuel saving for airlines too.
Pitch have in the past supplied airlines like Monarch with seats, the product assembled by a small team at their Redditch factory.
However given the demand for their new product – the PF3000 – which Gary says has cost them millions to get it approved as airworthy, production will have to be scaled up, providing a jobs boost for the local economy.
“The market is huge and we have bids coming in from all over the world,” he said.
“At the moment we are selling them as a retrofit but eventually we will have them fitted in new aircraft but that all takes time, but Pitch could quite easily become a £40-£50million business in four of five years time.”
Gary started out as a designer with Jaguar and helped set up Pitch 10 years ago.
It’s an offshoot of Design Q which was set up by Gary and business partner Howard Guy in 1997.
“We chose Redditch because at the time Jensen were designing a car here,” said Gary.
Since then they’ve designed seats for luxury yachts and then won contracts with Boeing and with Richard Branson.
“We’re a global business and many people probably don’t know this is going on in Redditch, but there are lots off good reasons to manufacture here.
“Although our seat may be an economy one, technically it’s a challenging product, but the UK can do that sort of thing.”