Bulkheads and Bulkhead Seating

When traveling on an aircraft, you may have noticed a large seat behind certain aircraft sections with excess legroom. These are called bulkhead seats, and they are located at places on the aircraft where a physical partition exists to separate fuselage sections. In addition to providing additional passenger comfort, these sections of the aircraft play an important role in aircraft structure and stability. In this blog, we will discuss bulkheads and bulkhead seats, giving you everything you need to know about this fuselage element.

Bulkheads are vertical walls in the aircraft fuselage that function in separating the cabin into different sections while also providing structure and creating a pressure-sealing vessel. In the passenger area, they are easily identifiable dividers that may contain restrooms or other amenities. Additionally, there are other bulkheads that are non-visible to passengers but have critical roles in aircraft safety. In the back of the fuselage, there is a pressure bulkhead that is explicitly designed to support cabin pressurization. Meanwhile, towards the front of the aircraft, the firewall protects components from the heat of the engine.

In the cabin, bulkheads are more than just an aesthetic function. These structures are placed explicitly at places in the fuselage that are exposed to increased weight, such as the section where the wing connects to the aircraft. As weight requirements vary amongst different planes, so do the design and number of bulkheads. For example, a military cargo aircraft rated to transport several tons of equipment will generally be equipped with numerous heavy bulkheads to help support the weight.

The aft pressure bulkhead is the prominent component found in the rear of the cabin. This specialized bulkhead functions to create a durable seal to maintain adequate cabin pressurization throughout the flight. Aft pressure bulkheads are variable in their design, with some producers favoring a curved design to save on metal costs and weight and others preferring a flat model. While flat bulkheads provide more space in the cargo or passenger area, they generally cost more due to the increased material demand.

Passengers placed at bulkhead seats are treated to some benefits while also giving up other amenities. Namely, bulkhead seats offer much more legroom compared to other locations of the cabin, including the emergency exit row. Additionally, these seats are typically located towards the front of the first class and economy sections, making customers first for deplaning and service. Another advantage is the increase in privacy, seeing that there are no passengers in front of the bulkhead seating row.

There are some frustrating aspects of bulkhead seating that passengers should be aware of. Since seat accessories make use of the row in front of them, such amenities are either unavailable or extremely limited to the bulkhead row. For example, bulkhead seats typically have a much smaller tray table and an uncomfortably far in-flight entertainment system. Additionally, there may not be enough room to stow carry-on luggage on the floor since many airlines prohibit luggage from being placed freely on the floor without being stored under a seat.

At Purchasing Sphere, we can provide you with all the bulkhead components you need at a great price with rapid lead times. Our team members work around the clock to answer questions and provide quotes to customers, which are always returned within 15 minutes or less. Browse our numerous part catalogs or use our powerful search engine to find the exact part you need, and begin the purchasing process at any time using our Instant RFQ service. If you are facing an AOG situation, you will be happy to learn about our same-day shipping options on select in-stock products. Submit an RFQ today and see why many customers continually depend upon Purchasing Sphere as their strategic sourcing partner.


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