Boeing 737-500 on TU Delft campus for research on boarding

News - 04 November 2016

An aircraft fuselage containing 122 passenger seats but no tail, cockpit or wings was delivered to the TU Delft campus on Friday, 4 November, and placed behind the Industrial Design Engineering faculty. The Boeing 737-500 will be used for research and teaching purposes. Professor Peter Vink wants to study how passengers can take their seats faster.


The fuselage arrived at the TU Delft campus on the back of a truck and was offloaded by a crane. The plan is to convert it into a test laboratory for doctoral candidates and students to conduct research. Peter Vink is sure that boarding can go faster, and he wants to study more efficient storage of hand luggage by the passengers. Great time savings can be made, with shorter queues in the aisles. Peter Vink says, “We are going to conduct boarding tests: from adjusting seat numbers to varying the order in which people get on the plane.”

EU research project

This research involving the fuselage is part of the EU Passme project being led by TU Delft: it is a collaboration of 12 partners, including KLM and Schiphol Airport. Post-doc Suzanne Hiemstra explains, “A workplace will be created inside the plane for the researchers. This will allow us to monitor in real time whether the tests are actually saving time. Students conducting research will also be used as study subjects.” A screen will be hung there as well so IDE students can follow lectures inside the plane.

More information

Science Communication Advisor, Wendy Dallinga, +31 (0) 15 278 7538 of