Kilkeel Company's Innovative Idea Takes Off

Oct 14, 2004

A revolutionary approach to increasing passenger comfort and safety on airplanes has been developed by Kilkeel company, J Thompson Solutions (JT


The idea for an innovative seat design and cabin configuration has been developed by the company in response to increasing concern amongst the flying public about the threat of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The new seat incorporates specialist foam adapted from the medical sector, which promotes circulation, and a pedal system on the base of each seat to allow passengers to exercise whilst sitting. The overall seat structure allows greater freedom and space in economy class owing to a tilting movement of the seat shell within a fixed space which eliminates the need to recline the seat into the passenger directly behind.

The company has also developed a unique cabin configuration that maximises the leg and elbowroom available to passengers without compromising the number of seats on an aircraft, which means both traveller and airline benefit.

These innovations have been brought to life with support from Invest Northern Ireland towards prototyping and marketing and have captured the interest of the world's major airlines since their launch at the Aircraft Interiors show.

James Thompson, managing director of JTS, has been involved in the design and development of some of the most revolutionary products in the airline industry, including Virgin Atlantic's upper class sleeper seat, before setting up his own design company a few years ago.

He comments: “We’ve had a very positive reception from the sector to the new concept, and are now in negotiations with major players in the industry. Invest NI’s support for the development of the prototype and its launch was absolutely key to our being able to bring our ideas to the marketplace.”

These recent developments will mean strengthening the management team through key appointments and will create a number technical design positions to deal with demand from the aircraft sector.

Anne Beggs, Invest NI client executive, says: “JTS has developed a highly innovative concept that delivers a solution to the aerospace industry and has the potential to make this small design company a global player.

“Knowledge based companies such as this are vital to the success of the Northern Ireland economy. Invest NI has worked closely with JTS in developing and marketing the concept and will continue to work with the business to commercialise its innovations in the international marketplace.“

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