Upper Class Suite by Pengelly Design
and Virgin Atlantic


Upper Class Suite by Simon Pengelly for Virgin Atlantic

London studio Pengelly Design has created an airline seat that converts into a 2.2-metre-long bed for Virgin Atlantic.

Upper Class Suite by Simon Pengelly for Virgin Atlantic

Created in collaboration with the Virgin Atlantic design team, the seats were arranged four-abreast in a diagonal configuration that means all passengers have an aisle seat.

Upper Class Suite by Simon Pengelly for Virgin Atlantic

Carbon-fibre screens surround the chairs to integrate storage, reading lights and touch-screen monitors.

Upper Class Suite by Simon Pengelly for Virgin Atlantic

Simon Pengelly claims that it is is the longest flat business-class bed ever made.

Upper Class Suite by Simon Pengelly for Virgin Atlantic

The cabin design will be rolled out across all new Airbus A330 and Boeing 787-900 aircrafts.

Upper Class Suite by Simon Pengelly for Virgin Atlantic

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Upper Class Suite by Simon Pengelly for Virgin Atlantic

Here's some more information from Pengelly:

New Upper Class Suite, Virgin Atlantic

We are proud to introduce Virgin Atlantic’s new Upper Class Suite designed by Pengelly Design in partnership with Virgin Atlantic Design. Together we’ve immersed ourselves in every aspect of the Suites’ development over the last four and half years and we’re thrilled with the result which is already on selected flights and will be installed on all of Virgin Atlantic's new Airbus A330 aircraft throughout 2012 and on the new Boeing 787-900’s.

The team was tasked with designing a new passenger environment - a blank canvas with which to invigorate the flying experience with more luxury, comfort and a sense of discovery. The aim was to create a sophisticated and uplifting product developed to include some revolutionary features.

The development of the unique 4 abreast herringbone configuration has allowed us to fully optimize cabin space, giving more room to each passenger whilst actually increasing the amount of seats within the cabin, providing every passenger with their own aisle access, ensuring an uninterrupted journey.

The new Upper Class Suite has been designed with a ‘furniture aesthetic’, our speciality, moving it away from the traditional aircraft feel towards a more domestic and familiar experience, providing a secure, wonderfully private and calming space.

We’ve spent months shaping and reshaping the form of every surface and curve of the carbon fibre chair-surround to encapsulate all the functional features a traveller needs whilst ensuring each surround is as thin as possible to maximise personal space.

Every effort went into the provision of intuitive and easily accessible passenger elements in seat and bed mode in addition to providing as much individual storage as possible.

The chair itself features an innovative comfort system for aircraft seating that provides an unparalleled level of repose for long haul flight. This system also provides an equally high degree of comfort to the bed which at 87 inches is now the longest fully flat business class bed ever developed.

The Suite contains nothing superfluous, quietly understated it’s an environment in which to explore and discover your own space, the materials used are designed to enrich your journey and give you the sense of being looked after. Every feature cleverly designed, positioned and blended into the surround such as the flexible reading light, fold out cocktail tray and fully adjustable touchscreen monitor for ease of viewing in every chair and bed position.

  • two things strike me on this
    1) it seems you need to twist your body to watch the screen – not very comfortable on a long haul flight
    2) I hope "lie flat bed" has plenty of padding. I've always found the Virgin upper class beds to be uncomfortable -not enough padding a bit like sleeping on a plank.

    Do like it all being aisle seating though….

    • rjc

      try ryan air

    • Agreed on the screen. It should swivel, or be detached from the base like a big iPad.

    • connected

      The screen swivels.

  • It looks uncomfortably narrow, almost like an open casket. Its always difficult to use a computer screen with such a bright window over one's shoulder. It appears as though the passenger has to contort to look out the window or close the shade (unless there is an automatic control at one's wrist), and the screen looks like it comes at one's cheekbone. And then you're flying backwards. The cabin also looks overstuffed with seats– maybe that is just the angle of the photo. But I wonder if this is really about privacy and comfort, and avoiding a seat mate, or about stuffing in more premium-revenue spots.

  • Can this be introduced to lower class…only with two people per bed sleeping head to toe and stacked two high, like bunk beds. Does anyone have Michael O'Leary's phone number?

  • qhsj

    seems really nice to me, but I do wonder if you could trace the increasing luxury of first class cabins an the increasing density of economy class to growing wealth disparity in the developed world, hmmmmmmm.

  • Chris

    If you can spare the extra cash, go for BA first. They're truly the most beautiful seats I've ever had the privilege of walking past to get to my economy seat before.

  • james orf

    another reason to never fly chavair again –

  • MarthaMoosDesign

    Not good for "weighty" americans…. (I can say that, I'm americanBUT not weighty).
    Looks like a man designed it. All the fancy, albeit, very understated gadgets, but appears horribly uncomfortable and uninviting. The window is at your back? Also, agree with you, Mary, about the screen 100%…. All in all, seems like you're flying in a toaster – literally.

  • Bill

    Isn't this a re-design really? It looks to me like style over content really. It feels like a 1970's stationwagon to me. Shapes and materials. Agressive rather than relaxing.