SleeperTech headrest for aircraft seat

Meet the Comi recyclable slimline and SleeperTech’s new headrest


Prominent aircraft interiors specialists receive a lot of media attention for their cabin innovations. But during a ‘media speed networking’ event at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), two new seat concepts from relative newcomers caught our eye.

Italy-based Comi Aerospace, a division of specialised manufacturing group Comi, has developed a new economy class seat aimed squarely at low-cost narrowbody operators.

Called Vesta, the seat gives the sensation of a 30” pitch even when pitched at 28” whilst also keeping the weight at around 10kg, said company commercial director Fredrik Meloni.

Intrigued, Runway Girl Network ventured to the Comi Aerospace stand at AIX for a formal demonstration. Whilst it still felt quite tight for this 6’4 journalist in the 28” configuration, the legroom was tolerable. The seat was very spacious indeed in the 30” pitch configuration. 

Notably, Meloni said that some 90% of the seat is recyclable!

Comi Aerospace's Vesta slimline seats on stand at AIX 2024

Australian company SleeperTech, meanwhile, showcased two new inventions to improve the economy experience. One is an innovative backrest support technology, which has been successfully retrofitted to existing seat platforms, and provides a recline angle of up to 135°. According to the firm, no other economy class seat can achieve this.

The other concept is a new, lightweight articulating headrest that combines vertical and horizontal tracks to support the passenger’s neck in multiple directions.

SleeperTech CEO Gordon Croudace said he was inspired in part by traditional Chinese pillows that incorporate a firm but supportive structure that fits into the nape of one’s neck, leading to a remarkably unique shape and profile. The author is having a demonstration from executives of Sleepertech at AIX 2024

RGN visited the SleeperTech stand later in the show, and found the articulating headrest to be especially exciting. The headrest provided incredible levels of comfort in any position; it could move with my head even if I turned to look away or talk to a seat mate. SleeperTech is eager to partner with seatmakers who may be interested in picking up its patented innovations. 

A number of other firms participated in the networking event. Among them, Germany’s SkyFive, which was spun from Nokia several years ago, shared an update on its work to bring air-to-ground inflight connectivity to various regions around the world. CEO Thorsten Robrecht noted that SkyFive has inked deals to bring this technology to aircraft in the Middle East and is actively pursuing collaborations with Chinese mobile providers. The firm is also collaborating with Diehl Aviation to offer IFC for eVTOLs and UAMs.

The author is having a conversation with executives of Sleepertech at AIX 2024Turkish company Kordsa, meanwhile, is pioneering the transition from phenolic-based volatile chemicals to flame retardant epoxy-based chemicals in cabin interiors. It recently signed a collaboration pact with prominent aircraft interiors specialist FACC.


French firm SECAM is offering an optimised fastening solution for sandwich panels to reduce the number of steps needed to install fasteners.

David Rigal, managing director of SECAM Fixing Solutions said existing technology entails a complex process of fitting, trimming, insertion and then curing. Specifically, the process requires both the fitting of installation tabs that must then be removed, and a curing period that happens mid-way through the process.

Simplifying the process, SECAM’s new “SECAMnida” solution uses an improved insert for the fastening as well as a crimping tool that removes the need for installation tabs. A 2019 video from the firm demonstrates SECAMnida.

All images credited to Fintan Horan-Stear