In a earlier journal post (Weber Captain & First Officer Pilot Seats), I discussed the recent addition to the simulator of two Weber pilot seats. What I didn’t discuss was how these seats actually operate. Weber seats, although constructed from aircraft rated aluminium are not light in weight; each seat weighs in at approximately 40 kilograms. Most of the weight is associated with the robustly constructed underside the seat that is rarely seen let alone talked about.
The seat has four movements; vertical rise, forward and aft movement, recline of back rest and under leg rise & fall. Each movement is controlled by a solid lever on the left hand side of the seat. Each lever operates a push style button connected to the end of a cable. As the lever is moved the button is pressed or released with a corresponding press and release from another button at the opposite end of the cable. This controls the subtle movement of the rear seat recline (like in an automobile) and the under leg rise and fall of the portion of the seat that can be raised under the calves to allow more or less reach to the rudder pedals). When the desired position is reached and the lever released a heavy duty ratchet / cog is engaged locking the position in place.
LEFT: The inner workings of the Weber seat: Heavy duty chassis, the smaller of two springs, two of three cables and the cylindrical hydraulic/pneumatic cylinder.
The two most aggressive aspects of seat movements, is the forward and aft movement and vertical rise of the seat. Both these movements are used in the Weber design to allow these seats to be used without J-rails. The aggressive movement is one reason why Weber has designed 16 attachment bolt points in eight claw feet (duck feet) for each seat.
The compression needed to allow these movements is controlled by a very heavily constructed a “sprung” spring that is contained within a cylinder. This in turn is connected to a hydraulic/pneumatic piston that allows for greater ease in movement.
The seats I’m using are spring and hydraulic controlled. Weber manufactures a number of different variants: hydraulic, electric, spring or a combination thereof – there are several variations in use throughout aircraft fleets.