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Lightweight Video Arms with Low Deployment Force in A330 Tourist Class

Aircraft: Airbus A330

Application: Tourist Class

Existing solution: The pre-existing solution was a conventional video arm supplied by the seat vendor; passengers were finding it difficult to deploy.

Situation: The customer wanted an arm that did not require excessive force to move, and that could be operated with just one hand. Some video arms require passengers to use two hands, one to push the button to release the arm, and the other to move it into the deployed position.

Design considerations: Arm weight, ergonomics, single-handed operation

What we did to solve it: For this program S&S Numerical Control developed a variable clutch system that is now used on all S&S video arm designs. The new deployment system allows the arm to be moved outward slightly when a button is pressed. The passenger can then move the arm into its final position using just one hand. Oddly, the arm moved so easily that the customer thought it might not stay up once deployed. The customer was reassured when it was demonstrated that the variable-resistance system allows the arm to move easily at first, while becoming increasingly tighter as the arm travels upward, and remaining very reliably in place once fully deployed. The arm is also easy to push back down into stowage.

Video arm solution: S&S Tourist Class Unit with Variable Resistance Clutch