Continued from July  2011 CTI Newsletter

CTI Modifies Delta Airlines First Class Seats for Cigar Box Studios

Cigar Box Studios came to CTI in June 2011 to get some assistance adapting a new Delta Airlines first class airline passenger seat to allow control of the seat’s reclining functions by a Medialon show controller for use in a large glass walled display.  This project was on a fast track so CTI only had a week to design and implement the seat modifications and control interface.

CTI spoke to Mike Girman, Cigar Box Studios Executive-in-Charge, about the project.

CTI:  Who participated in this project ?

Mike Girman:  The main participants were myself,  Rob MacGarvie – Cigar Box Studios Project Manager, and Barry Grossman - Scharff Weisberg, Inc.

CTI:  What were the general parameters and design needs for the project (what did you need to do)

MG:  Cigar Box Studios, Inc. was contracted to provide and install a large scale, double-sided display that would feature a video wall showing an animated AutoCad fly-through of the new Delta terminal design that will replace the old Pan Am terminal on one side of the display while the other side would feature Delta’s new First Class seat for their JFK to Heathrow route.  The display was to be installed on a concourse in the Delta terminal at JFK International Airport.

Delta considered the new seat to be the focal point of the display.  The seat is designed to fully recline into a flat sleeping position.  The concept called for the seat to cycle from upright to fully reclined every couple of minutes.   The process was to be fully automated and controlled by a Medialon Showmaster Pro embedded show controller (provided by Scharff Weisberg).  We needed a custom interface with associated cables, connectors, etc. built to connect the seat to the Medialon. 

CTI:  Were there specific design, budget, time, or physical constraints that you had to work within?

MG:  This was the fastest of fast track projects.  We had basically two weeks to complete the detailed design, receive the materials, fabricate, test and install.  Additionally, Delta is our client’s largest client.  It had to be perfect.

CTI:  Why did you decide on CTI?

MG:  Deciding to contract with CTI was easy … confidence and trust.  I’ve known Gary and Larry my entire career. 

CTI:  Did you do any preliminary testing?

MG:  We did an acceptance test of the seat running under Medialon control at CTI.  We videotaped the testing and forwarded a copy to our client.  Immediately after the test, we had the seat and hardware shipped up to the Cigar Box Studio’s facility in Newburgh for trial fitup and a final test in the display prior to installation at JFK.

CTI:  How did you set up the equipment?  Was there anything special, unique, or difficult about the installation?

MG:  Installation at JFK was extremely complicated because of TSA rules and regulations that must be complied with in the minutest detail.  We were working in a sterile area inside of security.

CTI:  What was your overall experience in working with City Theatrical on your production?

MG:  The best.  We bought a custom turnkey product that worked flawlessly.

CTI:  Do you have any other comments or anything you think should be in the article?

MG:  One additional thing that was important to us was the fact that CTI could communicate directly and independently with the SWI team.  This direct coordination and cooperation assured me that things would go smoothly when the time came for acceptance testing. 

                 CTI mod of passenger controls                                   Chris Keitel , Barry Grossman, and Alex Bright

Custom electronic enclosure by CTI

Finished installation at New York's JFK Airport

The Delta Business ELITE seat as delivered to CTI

Seat modification detail with CTI microsurgery