Option Helps 787 Passengers Stay Clean As A Whistle
Few things can make transatlantic travel more unpleasant than a
dirty lavatory with a wet floor and bad odor. Remember that Continental flight last
Two Japanese airlines will finally be getting the lavatory
luxuries they've long requested that will, hopefully, eliminate
some of that. Boeing and TOTO Ltd. of Japan, in a first in air
travel, have developed a bidet-style toilet to be outfitted on new
Boeing 787 Dreamliners for Japan Airlines and All Nippon
JAL will install them in lavatories only in premium seating
areas while ANA said it will install them in both premium and
economy class sections.
Boeing said the carriers have been asking for bidet-style
toilets for years, but they haven't been able to come up with a
model that could withstand the rigors of long-haul flights.
The plane maker worked closely with TOTO, a large bathroom and
plumbing manufacturer, and finally developed a sufficiently robust
model. The device, called the Washlet, is now listed as an option
in the 787 catalog.
ANA is scheduled to take delivery of the first 787 ever in May
2008 and has 50 on order so far. JAL has ordered 35 Dreamliners and
is due to start taking delivery later on in the year.
The Washlet is said to be user-friendly and comes with a control
panel for easy operation, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Users can direct the spray from different directions. This may seem
destined to add to wet floors and general lavatory filth, but
Boeing says the bidet part will only work when someone is actually
sitting on it plus it has a self-cleaning function.
very accurate," said Hiroyuki Ito, ANA's executive vice president
of maintenance and operations.
This isn't the first time JAL and ANA have demanded luxuries in
the bathroom. JAL implored Boeing to rid their toilets of the loud
noise they made when the seat lid was slammed down during the
planning stages for the 777.
Reportedly, this little problem became known as the "big bang"
and was eventually solved when Boeing engineers installed an air
shock that lowers the seat in silence.
"It's become one of the hallmarks of the 777," said a Boeing
Japanese government statistics say two out of three households
in Japan have bidet-toilets. They are becoming increasingly common
in public toilets as well. In new hotel and office building
construction, they are installed as standard appliances.
But so far the biggest challenge to Boeing and the carriers is
explaining their use effectively enough so even the most unfamiliar
passenger won't be scared to sit down.