Bucher and Deutsche Aircraft sign galley and partition supply agreement

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Aircraft cabin interior products supplier Bucher Leichtbau has signed an agreement to supply Deutsche Aircraft’s new 40-seat D328eco regional aircraft with galleys and partitions.

Bucher says this is an exciting opportunity for the company to play a key development and manufacturing role in Deutsche Aircraft’s new eco-efficient airplane. With the aircraft, Deutsche Aircraft will accelerate the aviation industry towards new lower emissions with its new engines, which will be certified for synthetic fuel.

According to Bucher, its time-to-market capabilities, supply chain resilience, sustainability across the life-cycle of the product and commercial competitiveness were important key factors in being awarded this contract.

Commenting on the new contract, Beat Burlet, Chief Executive Officer of Bucher, said: “With our range of proven, innovative and sustainable products for the aircraft cabin, we believe that Bucher is a natural fit for Deutsche Aircraft. We are honoured to sign this contract for a longstanding supplier partnership with Deutsche Aircraft and look forward to enhancing the passenger and crew experience with our range of interior products.”

Nico Neumann, COO of Deutsche Aircraft, said: “Since the beginning of discussions Bucher has shown a clear understanding of our requirements. Their decades-long know-how regarding cabin interior monuments and lightweight construction, whilst being open-minded regarding innovation and the high finishing quality on the product makes them the perfect partner for the galley and partitions for the D328eco. The D328eco will change the way we fly and help reduce our carbon footprint.”

STARLUX A350-900 Cabin Class Reveal Setting New Standards for Airlines Cabin

STARLUX unveils its A350-900 cabin

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STARLUX A350-900 Cabin Class Reveal Setting New Standards for Airlines Cabin

STARLUX Airlines, which took delivery of its A350-900 in late October, has now unveiled the aircraft’s interior design.

STARLUX says it is the first airline in Taiwan to offer First Class in addition to Business and Economy Class cabins. The carrier’s A350-900 integrates the most recent innovations in cabin design. As an example, the aircraft has electrical dimmable windows that block 99.99% of visible light and switch twice the speed of the previous generation.

STARLUX once again engaged innovative design firm BMW Designworks to design the A350’s cabin interior. The A350’s theme — “Glisten” — is a variation on the original STARLUX theme “Pure Tea”, and to enhance the theme, STARLUX says it is the first airline to install secant luminous welcome panels on the new A350, putting passengers at ease as they board the aircraft.

First class comfort

According to the airline, the aircraft’s First Class cabin is constructed behind a 60-inch high partition. In front of each seat, a personal wardrobe is provided to store luggage and personal items, with seats converting to fully lie-flat beds, allowing passengers to rest in their own private space.

To provide even more comfort, STARLUX has revealed that it also offers an innovative feature based on NASA’s neutral body posture specifications, where the seats can be placed in a “Zero G” mode to alleviate fatigue from sitting through a long-haul flight, and four-way adjustable armrests provide extra space for passengers to place their arms when the seat is in a fully flat position.

The Business Class cabin is constructed with a 48.5-inch partition and the lamps besides the seats are carefully designed to make the space look cozy. The seats are also wider than normal according to the carrier and provide more legroom. Business Class seats also offer the “Zero G” feature, which helps relieve pressure.

Premium Economy Class and Economy Class have a “Relaxed Elegance” theme to provide a relaxed atmosphere where passengers can recline in their seats and enjoy the premium service provided by STARLUX Airlines.

Premium Economy seating pitch is 40 inches with more legroom, and the seats are also specially designed with a leg rest and footrest bar, allowing passengers to causally stretch their legs without a problem.

In Economy Class, STARLUX has reduced the thickness of each seat and configured each seat into an S-shape that provides extra legroom.

The aircraft’s in-flight entertainment system in First Class seats is equipped with a 32-inch 4K screen, while Business Class can enjoy our 4K resolution with a 24-inch screen. Premium Economy and Economy Class passengers can also enjoy 4K resolution on a 15.6-inch screen or a 13-inch screen respectively.  Bluetooth connectivity is available in all classes.

how airlines can mitigate risk as they reconfigure aircraft

Jamco America: turnkey aircraft interior modification programmes reduce risk

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how airlines can mitigate risk as they reconfigure aircraft

Airlines planning for a post-pandemic era are predicting return of international business travel by late 2023 or 2024. Since it can take one to two years to complete a typical integration programme for delivery of a reconfigured aircraft, the time to start conducting future planning is now.

In this article, Jeremy Hunter, Senior Sales and Marketing Manager, and Don Wren, Jamco America’s Executive Vice President, both from Jamco America, one of the most experienced interior products suppliers and turnkey aircraft interiors integrators in the industry, answer some key questions about how airlines can mitigate risk as they reconfigure aircraft with dividers, bulkheads, and monuments, including closets, video control cabinets, lavatories, and premium seating.

Q: Why is turnkey for aircraft modifications a better option for airlines?

A: A key issue airlines face when modifying their aircraft interiors is risk. Interior installation and reconfigurations are complex programmes, involving design, engineering, testing, certification, manufacturing, and final installation. These are extensive undertakings and airlines often focus on mitigating risks associated with schedule, cost, and quality. That is why the ability to offer a complete set of products and services and/or to integrate third party supplier products is so critical. This method essentially hands the keys of a completed interior to an airline, significantly reducing the many risks involved.

For example, Jamco America has a suite of services at its facility in Everett, WA, including fully staffed engineering, technical publications, manufacturing teams, testing capabilities (electrical, dynamic, thermal, acoustic, life cycle, and material strength), as well as an on-site Federal Aviation Authority Organization Designation Authorization (FAA ODA) certification department. This investment in commercial aerospace capabilities provides a turnkey experience that proactively mitigates risk.

By contrast, alternatives that increase the number of suppliers supporting a given interior modification requires increased coordination among suppliers, thereby inducing additional risk to the program.

Q: What are the main areas in the course of a programme that cause delays?

A: Some of the major issues that interior installation/retrofit modification programmes face include testing failures, other certification compliance findings, manufacturing delays, and quality issues – sometimes late in a program.

For example, one of Jamco America’s recent interior installation programmes resulted in a dynamic testing failure, which is not uncommon with product development. However, with a testing facility right next door to the engineering team, the integration team was able to quickly react to resolve the issue, retest, and avoid impact to the programme schedule.

Another area of potential delay that can be mitigated by use of a turnkey organisation is certification compliance issues found on products or with the installation of products late in a programme. The presence of on-site ODA enables FAA unit members to review the product and installation engineering in real time using multiple internal design reviews that occur during a programme. This can significantly reduce risk when compared to situations in which the certification organisation works with a separate engineering design firm or is dependent upon limited FAA resources, which may have more critical priorities to support.

“Yes, schedule delays are very often the biggest risk for airline customers during an aircraft interior modification programme,” explains Don Wren, Jamco America’s Executive Vice President. “Any delays in the modification schedule can impact fleet maintenance planning and even route planning. Interior modifications are typically performed to prepare a number of aircraft for the introduction of a new route or to introduce a new class of service on existing routes. Both can be time-sensitive for the airline to remain competitive and meet commitments to their own customers and shareholders.”

Q: Are there benefits to using a turnkey organisation even for isolated portions of a programme?

A: Using an organisation with turnkey knowledge and experience is beneficial even for an isolated portion of work. Because the organisation has experience in all aspects of an aircraft interior modification programme, it can provide more efficient and effective coordination compared to companies that do not have that level of experience or understanding.

Q: Are there any negatives to using a turnkey organisation?

A: Resources must be carefully managed to avoid a situation in which the turnkey organisation takes on too much work. For example, Jamco America constantly monitors its resource capacity using a variety of management tools to avoid overextending resources.

Q: What is the value of integrator as part of providing a turnkey solution?

A. Aircraft interior modifications often include more than one supplier. Problems could arise if no organisation involved has turnkey integration capabilities. In that case, it would be the airline’s job to manage the programme and ensure there are no gaps or overlaps in roles and responsibilities among all the multiple suppliers. The airline already has a full time job moving passengers, so there is a high risk that a gap will result – potentially putting the whole programme at risk. A turnkey integrator will oversee all the other supplier activities to ensure a unified schedule and work scope for the programme. In effect, this integrator is the airline’s eyes and ears and will manage all technical milestones and deliverables. The integrator is an indispensable team leader who will assist the airline to overcome all hurdles along the way, and with unequivocal focus on staying on time, on budget, and at the highest quality.

Q: How are complex interior programmes managed?

A. For complex programmes, the key to success is a highly qualified and experienced programme manager. While there will always be challenges, experience and product maturity within a programme will keep risk to a minimum. Understanding each applicable aircraft and the respective pre- and post-mod configurations will ensure the programme can launch smoothly. When there are unknowns, decision gates must be set. There are often major milestone meetings, for example, the initial technical coordination meeting, preliminary design review, and critical design review. If the milestone entrance and exit criteria are managed well, the programme will run smoothly. Proper notice, tracking, and resolution is the only way to mitigate any impacts. For example, each programme manager in Jamco America’s programme management office holds PMP certification and has more than 25 years of commercial aerospace experience.

F/LIST has introduced its new F/LIST Shapeshifter technology concept.

F/LIST reveals Shapeshifter concept at NBAA-BACE 2022

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F/LIST has introduced its new F/LIST Shapeshifter technology concept.

F/LIST has introduced its new F/LIST Shapeshifter technology concept at this year’s NBAA-BACE.

The concepts include seemingly impossible interior prototypes that will redefine the cabins of the future. F/LIST says the innovative technology applications, combined with its newly launched portfolio of sustainable materials are set to enable customers transform the way in which aircraft cabin interior design and space are considered.

The F/LIST Shapeshifter concept challenges traditional notions and the dimensional limits of the cabin environment. Through the implementation of actuators, pneumatic elements and other mechanical systems, the Shapeshifter programme initiates the art of change by bringing cabin components to life.

Optimising space

According to F/LIST, individual cabin items morph to optimise valuable cabin space, deliver multiple functions and intelligently respond to passenger interaction. Smart storage, integrated functionality and seamless transitions exponentially increase design possibilities. Some of the initial F/LIST Shapeshifter concepts include credenzas that transform into a working space, multifunctional lavatory elements and innovative dining areas.

Melanie Prince, Head of Innovation for F/LIST commented: “The F/LIST Shapeshifter concepts set the imagination free and encourage designers to do more with less in the cabin. We anticipate that our customers will welcome the infinite opportunities provided by combining the latest sustainable material product portfolio with our groundbreaking technology.

“We want to inspire creativity, initiate a paradigm shift and liberate the imagination while providing practical, real solutions simultaneously. The well-stocked toolbox we’ve created will support designers, OEMs, and completion centers in making the impossible, possible in the future cabin. The sky is the limit when it comes to F/LIST Shapeshifter.”

Finnair wins APEX/IFSA Best Cabin Innovation award

Finnair wins the Best Cabin Innovation award at APEX/IFSA Awards

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Finnair wins APEX/IFSA Best Cabin Innovation award

Finnair received top recognition at this year’s APEX/IFSA EXPO, with the Finnish carrier being awarded the accolade for Best Cabin Innovation at the APEX/IFSA Awards for its new long-haul cabin design and a ‘Five Star’ airline global ranking.

The Best Cabin Innovation award follows the carrier’s €200 million investment in its new long-haul cabin experience. This includes the launch of Finnair’s brand-new Business Class, new Premium Class cabin and a refreshed Economy Class.

David Kondo, Finnair Head of Customer Experience and Product Design, said: “We are thrilled Finnair’s new long-haul cabins have been further recognised with this win from APEX. The feedback from our customers and the market for our new long-haul product has been overwhelmingly positive and we’d like to thank our supplier partners and dedicated staff who worked over the many years of development to make this experience a reality.”

Launched in February of this year, the cabins offer a brand-new Business Class featuring an eye-catching non-reclining seat with spacious fixed living space, as well as a plush new Premium Economy cabin and refreshed Economy Class.

Customers for all cabin classes board through a stylish new entry area and a refreshment bar, creating a striking first impression with its sleek Nordic design, as well as new service opportunities for Cabin Crew.

The new long-haul interiors are being rolled out across the fleet, and are currently being operated on select flights between London and Helsinki and on services from Finland to New York, Singapore, Tokyo, Phuket and Bangkok.

Last month, Finnair was also voted the Best Airline in Northern Europe at the Skytrax World Airline Awards for the 12th consecutive time and the carrier also won gold in this year’s best ‘Cabin Concept’ category at the Onboard Hospitality Awards, while the International Yacht and Aviation Awards named Finnair as having the best Cabin (First & Business Class).

Finnair’s brand-new in-flight entertainment system was also awarded an international Red Dot Award 2022 in the Brand and Communication Design category, highlighting the commitment to improve the customer experience.

Aerospace Technologies Group launches electronic dual function window shades

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Aerospace Technologies Group announces innovative aerBlade™ Window Shades

Aerospace Technologies Group (ATG) has launched innovative and enhanced new dual function aerBlade electronic window shades.

The electronically operated window shade system allows passenger control with a touch of a button. The passenger can choose a view that is clear, sun blocking or full blackout and crew can automatically lower and raise all window shades on the aircraft from the flight attendant panel – eliminating travelling through the cabin during take-off and landing.

The shade can match the cabin environment with graphic patterns, faux fabric textures or other surface treatments and the inboard passenger side has a protective clear lens, making it easy to clean and keep germ-free. The dual shade aerBlade version includes a second shade which is uniquely tinted, allowing the passenger to block the bright sunlight and still provide viewing outside the aircraft.

The combination of opaque and translucent shades has overcome all the deficiencies of electronic dimmable windows, such as lack of a true blackout, mirror-like reflective glare in the cabin when EDWs are turned darkest, and the inability to maintain either dark or clear when powerless. The aerBlade with the opaque shade lowered is full blackout, without reflective glare and a customisable cosmetic appearance.

Equipped with ATG’s NextGen electronic controls, aerBlade provides IoT functionality and connectivity to onboard maintenance and cabin management systems, enabling the transfer of performance metrics, remote diagnostics and programming updates without removing the shade from the aircraft.

The company plans to offer future models of aerBlade for a wide range of commercial aircraft including the Airbus A350, A321LR and A321XLR. Today, ATG electric window shades can be found on small, mid, and large cabin business jets, as well as Boeing 777-300ER, A380, and A350 aircraft in the premium class seating areas of the more discerning carriers.

aerBlade deliveries to commercial airlines will commence in Q3 2023 and it will be on in-service aircraft by Q3 2024.

F/LIST unveils first-of-a-kind sustainable materials for the cabin

F/LIST unveils new sustainable cabin materials

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F/LIST unveils first-of-a-kind sustainable materials for the cabin

Handcrafted interiors expert F.LIST has unveiled the first portfolio of bio-based sustainable materials for the business aviation sector.

The suite of innovative materials, which is designed to transform the vision of a sustainable cabin into reality, extends sustainability options for aircraft owners and operators beyond sustainable aviation fuel and carbon offsetting programmes.

The materials are not only sustainable but have been specified to deliver tangible advantages in terms of weight, durability and function while simultaneously adding elegance and beauty without compromising quality or cost.

The company says the innovative materials represent new design options that have never been available for the cabin environment. “We want to make a difference, and by creating pragmatic, innovative solutions that support the sustainability narrative, we can foster change. These materials are a good example of how we are implementing a circular economy in-house. We are developing and producing striking new cabin options by reusing remnants of some of the most exclusive raw materials in the world. The products can transform customer ideas while creating eco-friendly products that meet and exceed expectations, last longer and can be recycled at the end of life,” says Melanie Prince, Head of Innovation at F/LIST.

F/LIST AENIGMA was the first product to originate from F/LIST’s multi-disciplinary innovation team. The decorative material fuses traditional jewelry techniques and aerospace technology with cutting-edge chemistry to combine elements as varied as F/LIST stone by-products and ground mother of pearl.

“The incredible blend has evolved into a technical, glamorous material that would be as at home on the catwalk as on the runway. With this material, we are only scratching the surface; the market potential for customers is endless,” explains Prince. Metallic manta ray skin, glistening geometric patterns, and textured glowing surfaces form the basis of the limitless range of possibilities which can be customized with colour, texture and thickness for use on any surface in the cabin.

F/LIST WHISPER Leather is a new type of flexible textile produced from plant-based raw materials. Thin and lightweight, it delivers a fine but durable texture and appealing tactile surfaces yet leaves a low environmental production footprint. Available in customised colours it can be manufactured in a wide selection of surface finishes for sidewalls, bulkheads or any area where a textile material is required.

The chameleon-like F/LIST LINFINIUM is a linseed-based compound with applications ranging from immovable countertops to flexible flooring and is available in various textures. The compound can also incorporate various materials or other elements in any desired palette.

American Airlines new Flagship Suite® premium seating

American Airlines to introduce new premium seating

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American Airlines new Flagship Suite® premium seating

American Airlines has unveiled the reimagined interior design on board its long-haul fleet.

The design includes new Flagship Suite® premium seating, with the airline saying premium seating on its long-haul fleet will grow more than 45% by 2026. American Airlines’ Boeing 787-9 aircraft will have 51 Flagship Suite seats and 32 Premium Economy seats on board, while the carrier’s A321XLR aircraft will feature 20 Flagship Suite seats and 12 Premium Economy seats. The deliveries of the carrier’s new Airbus A321XLR and Boeing 787-9 aircraft are beginning in 2024.

The new suite seats will offer customers a private premium experience with a privacy door, a chaise lounge seating option and more personal storage space. “We are enhancing the customer experience across their entire journey with American,” American’s Vice President of Customer Experience Julie Rath said. “The arrival of new long-haul aircraft and the customised seat design of the Flagship Suite® seats will offer customers a truly private premium experience on our long-haul fleet.”

Retrofitting the Boeing 777-300ER fleet

American says it will also be retrofitting its 20 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to include the new seats from late 2024. The aircraft will feature 70 Flagship Suite seats and 44 Premium Economy seats. The carrier will also retrofit its Airbus A321T fleet to align those aircraft with the rest of its A321 fleet.

American Airlines was the first carrier in the United States to debut long-haul Premium Economy seats back in 2016.


Unum Aircraft Seating to expand engineering team

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Business class seating manufacturer Unum Aircraft Seating is growing its team. The company is seeking individuals that have finished university and are passionate about engineering to support the ongoing development and certification of its launch product, Unum One.

The company says various positions are available for engineers who thrive working in an agile and dynamic environment.

Chris Brady, Executive Chairman and CEO, Unum commented: “Since February 2020, we have been honing our capabilities, people and first business class seat. Now that we’ve successfully launched Unum One, we are eagerly beginning the next stage in our journey and require additional support in the form of graduate engineers.

“We’re passionate about giving our engineers the right tools and space to flourish at Unum. We ensure that they manage each project from start to finish, including the design, testing and building of their component – we call this Renaissance Engineering. This method provides the team with unmatched experience and allows them to develop a variety of skills. Engineers have access to mentors, work with some of the very best people in the industry and have regular communication with leading suppliers in business class seating.”

Lachlan Brennan, Design Engineer, Unum noted: “I was initially drawn to Unum’s culture and the chance to own your projects from beginning to end. Seeing your design go from concept to final manufacture is extremely rewarding. At Unum, you’re also surrounded by a great team who are passionate about their work, as well as having open communication, which is refreshing. The team is so supportive and always happy to help me to develop my skills set or listen to my ideas.”

Prospective graduates require a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering or equivalent. Candidates should also have strong capabilities in aerospace CAD design, material choice and hands-on product assembly.

You can learn more about the current graduate job openings at Unum here.

Emirates Engineers Testing The Panel Removals On The Largest Known Fleet Retrofit Project

Emirates undertakes largest known fleet retrofit project

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Emirates Engineers Testing The Panel Removals On The Largest Known Fleet Retrofit Project

Emirates will be upgrading the entire interior cabins of its 120 Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft. The multi-billion dollar project officially commences in November and is managed by Emirates’ engineering team.

The airline says nearly 4,000 brand new Premium Economy seats will be installed, 728 First Class suites refurbished and over 5,000 Business Class seats upgraded to a new style and design. As part of the upgrade work, carpets and stairs will also be upgraded and cabin interior panels refreshed with new tones and design motifs, including the iconic ghaf trees which are native to the UAE.

The target is to completely retrofit four Emirates aircraft from start to finish every month and once the carrier’s 67 earmarked A380s are refreshed and back in service, 53 of Emirates’ 777 aircraft will undergo their facelift.

A world first

According to Emirates, it is the first carrier to handle a retrofit of this magnitude in-house, and there’s no blueprint for such an undertaking. The airline’s engineering teams have been planning and testing extensively to establish and streamline processes and identify and address any possible snags.

Emirates says trials have already begun on the airline’s A380. As part of this, engineers took each cabin apart piece by piece and logged every step. Every action was tested, timed and mapped out from removing seats and panelling to bolts and screws.

Engineers discovered several unexpected solutions during the trials; for example, existing food catering trucks could be easily repurposed to move parts destined for refurbishment from the aircraft to the workshop for their refresh, as these vehicles had doors of the right width and offer sufficient space.

Emirates’ new Premium Economy cabin class is currently available to Emirates customers travelling on A380 routes to London, Paris and Sydney. More customers will be able to experience the airline’s new Premium Economy cabins starting from year end, as the retrofit programme picks up momentum.