Air Dolomiti, the Italian Airline of Lufthansa Group, has selected Geven's Essenza seat model for Dolomiti’s retrofit program on 15 Embraer aircraft.

Air Dolomiti renews fleet interior

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Air Dolomiti, the Italian Airline of Lufthansa Group, has selected Geven's Essenza seat model for Dolomiti’s retrofit program on 15 Embraer aircraft.

Air Dolomiti, the Italian Airline of Lufthansa Group, has selected Geven’s Essenza seat model for Dolomiti’s retrofit program on 15 Embraer aircraft.

The economy class seat will feature exclusive and dedicated trim and finish in accordance with the design scheme of Air Dolomiti.

Each seat features blue and turquoise eco leather dress covers, high literature pocket, a recline up to 3 inches and ergonomic seat cushion.

The Essenza RJ will be delivered in 15 ship-sets on Embraer 195 aircrafts, with installation starting December 2021 until March 2022. The first aircraft retrofitted is expected to return to service in January 2022.

“The new Essenza RJ, in addition to being more comfortable, are the result of innovative projects, have a design which will allow us to increase the number of seats of our aircraft while keeping unchanged passenger comfort and will give our cabin a more pleasant and relaxing atmosphere thanks to the colours, materials and above all the high quality which is an essential feature for Air Dolomiti. In addition, the lower weight of Essenza RJ will allow to reduce fuel consumption with a benefit on costs and environmental impact. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teams who have carried out this project with determination and excellent integration with Geven’s team despite the difficult times,” said Marzio Caneva, Vice President Technical Operations of Air Dolomiti.

The primary structure design maximises shin and knee clearance and optimises weight (10.4 kg for a fully dressed seat) and generous arm-to-arm width greater than 18.0 inches. It also incorporates two remarkable innovations in its main structure on the backrest and the bottom cushion.

The backrest is made of a single piece carbon fibre with both structural and aesthetical functions. Thanks to this special design, no additional fairing or plastic shrouds are necessary and only the foam and the cover are added, resulting in a lower number of parts to be managed and reduced weight to be carried. The same philosophy has inspired the bottom cushion that is installed directly on the seat beams via velcro and performs both structural and comfort functions allowing easy inspection and maintenance activities.

Finnair has recycled 99.2% of an A319 on home soil.

Finnair recycles 99.2% of old Airbus A319 aircraft

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Finnair has recycled 99.2% of an A319 on home soil.

Finnair and recycling partner Kuusakoski have dismantled and recycled 99.2% from an old Airbus A319. The original aim was to reuse, recycle and recover about 90-95% of the aircraft.

The 40-tonne 21-year-old aircraft becomes the very first it has recycled on home ground in Helsinki, and the first ever commercial passenger aircraft to be recycled in Finland itself.

Over 15 tons of aluminium was recycled and will now be used, for example, in automatic models of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, with the automotive industry being one of the biggest users of recycled aluminium.

Timo Rossi, Finnair Maintenance Project Manager, said: “The part-out took place in three phases: First, Finnair removed almost 2000 parts which will support our active fleet or to be sold.

“Secondly, the aircraft was taken outside where Kuusakoski cut off the wings as well as a piece of the tail. In the third and final phase, the aircraft was transported to Kuusakoski premises for the final dismantling.

“As well as using many parts in our active fleet, we are storing the parts in our own stock, so that we have more flexibility to support the rest of our fleet going forward.”

Dismantling the retired A319, which had flown a massive 54,710 hours across 32,966 flights, was a major achievement for the airline.

38.5% of the aircraft will be reused by Finnair, making the project profitable for the airline for the aircraft parts alone.

In addition, 7.4% of the aircraft was recovered as energy, Kuusakoski manufactures solid recovered fuel (SRF) of energy-containing waste that is unsuitable for recycling.

The Nordic carrier plans to review the success of its recent recycling venture on home soil – before making plans to recycle further aircraft in Finland in the future.

Air France has become the launch customer for Safran Cabins' ECOS shelf bins.

Safran ECOS shelf bins debuts on Air France

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Air France has become the launch customer for Safran Cabins' ECOS shelf bins.

The first Air France A320 retrofitted with Safran Cabin ECOS shelf bins has returned to service.

Installed by Air France Industries in July 2021, the ECOS (Efficient Cabin Open Space) shelf bins offer up to 60% more storage capacity.

The new luggage compartments are equipped with easy to reach doors that do not encroach into the cabin aisle and provide a lower shelf height for ease of loading and visibility.

According to Safran, ECOS shelf bins provide an easier and smoother boarding experience, greatly reducing the time spent searching for luggage space or the need to put certain bags in the cargo hold. Aircraft turnaround times are also reduced its claimed.

The modification also included the installation of Movable Class Dividers supplied by Safran Cabin.

In total, Air France will equip 24 Air France Airbus A320s.

Australasia's largest MRO provider - Heston MRO

Heston MRO extends into Europe

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Australasia's largest MRO provider - Heston MRO

Heston MRO, one of the largest independent MRO organisations in Australasia, has expanded into Europe with the establishment of subsidiary, Heston MRO Europe.

Based in Lithuania, Heston MRO Europe, plans to operate local European warehouses and have AOG support and logistics teams located next to its European customers and suppliers.

‘Heston MRO realises that the pace of aviation recovery varies significantly between different regions’, commented Asta Zirlyte, CEO of Heston MRO. ‘It has always been in our plans to expand geographically beyond our home region in Australasia, following the actual needs of airline customers and asset owners. Faster post-Covid recovery in the Northern Hemisphere repositioned our strategic goals and accelerated that decision. We have established our presence in Europe to capture the local MRO opportunities driven by the recovering travel.’

‘Based in the European Union- Lithuania, Heston MRO Europe will aim to service operators and asset owners in EMEA and CIS markets’, said Kestutis Volungevicius, CEO of Heston MRO Europe. ‘Having started with Components and Asset Management solutions, we aim for organic customer driven expansion into other adjacent MRO offerings like engineering services, engines solutions, and other technical support services’.

Heston MRO Europe has tailored its Components and Asset Management solutions for narrow body aircraft, covering B737 and A320 families through spare parts support, AOG coverage, asset part-outs and trading. The company is seeding its European stock with own part-out projects and partnerships with asset owners.

Collins Venue CMS

Flying Colours Corp. installs blended Venue and Alto switches

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Collins Venue CMS

Flying Colours Corp., has completed a 240-month heavy inspection for a Bombardier Global aircraft, that has included the installation of a Collins Venue Cabin Management System, blended with Alto Aviation switches. The controls are specifically designed to fit into previous switch panel location holes resulting in a solution that maximises client budget and reduces installation time significantly.

To support the existing Ka-band connectivity upgraded routers were repositioned to support cabin and flight deck connectivity. To optimise rest, relaxation, and productivity the AIMSKYLAB sound proofing system was integrated, considerably reducing noise in the cabin. Externally the aircraft fuselage was stripped and repainted to deliver an as new look to the airframe.

“Our experience installing the blended Venue and Alto Switch offering and our capacity to fulfill maintenance, interior, paint and avionics tasks makes Flying Colours Corp. an attractive choice for aircraft owners. Undertaking all the work at a single venue reduces down time and maximises budget which is also very appealing. For this customer the result was an improved ownership experience with improved connectivity, reduced noise levels and a new-look fuselage,” explains Eric Gillespie, Executive VP, Flying Colours Corp. “We have a consistent pipeline of Global heavy checks coming through the facility and our experience just keeps strengthening. This makes us a great option for owners looking for a provider that can meet all their maintenance, interiors, repairs and overhaul needs.”

The 240-month inspection involves completely stripping the aircraft down to the frame, enabling an in depth look at the aircraft fuselage to check for signs of everything from stress fractures to corrosion, as well as other issues that may have affected the structural integrity of the aircraft. The cabin was also laid bare, with panels, carpets, insulating surfaces floorboards, monuments, fairings, and side ledges removed for assessments and overhauls.

Image: Collins Venue CMS.

Satair and FACC have signed their first multi-year agreement covering the global exclusive distribution of Airspace XL bins (overhead stowage compartments), the entrance area, ceiling panels and all related spares for the entire A320 aircraft family.

Satair and FACC sign first global exclusive distribution agreement

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Satair and FACC have signed their first multi-year agreement covering the global exclusive distribution of Airspace XL bins (overhead stowage compartments), the entrance area, ceiling panels and all related spares for the entire A320 aircraft family.

Satair and FACC have signed their first multi-year agreement covering the global exclusive distribution of Airspace XL bins (overhead stowage compartments), the entrance area, ceiling panels and all related spares for the entire A320 aircraft family.

As part of the new agreement, Satair will perform Supplier Support Conditions on FACC’s behalf related to covering the spares related activities.

Matt Jessee, Head of OEM Business Development, Satair, said: “We are pleased to bring the many benefits of low weight and high reliability through FACC’s products to our airline customers worldwide to help give their passengers the luxury of roomier overhead bins and ambient ceiling panels.”

Besides furnishing ceiling panels that illuminate the cabin with ambient LED light, the overhead stowage compartments covered by the agreement provide 40% more space. Specifically, the Airspace XL bins, the largest overhead stowage compartments in the short and medium-haul class, can hold up to 60% more luggage – eight pieces of hand luggage instead of the previous five, measuring 61 x 40.6 x 25.4 cm.

Andreas Furthmayr, Vice President Cabin Interiors Program, FACC, added: “By using innovative fibre composite materials and new manufacturing technologies, we are able to create products for the aircraft cabin that contribute to consistent weight optimisation. We are excited to work with Satair on bringing our innovative solutions to airlines across the world.”

Yossi Melamed, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Israel Aerospace Industries Aviation Group left), Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group (right).

Etihad Engineering and IAI partner on P2F conversions

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Yossi Melamed, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Israel Aerospace Industries Aviation Group left), Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group (right).

Etihad Engineering has signed a strategic partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), to provide Passenger to Freighter (P2F) conversions on Boeing 777-300ERs.

In 2019, IAI and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) announced the launch of the Boeing 777-300ERSF, a programme which established a P2F conversion dubbed ‘The Big Twin’ denoting its status as the largest ever twin-engine freighter.

In the initial stage of the partnership, Etihad Engineering will facilitate towards two conversion lines accommodating multiple aircraft conversions per year.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “The Boeing 777-300ERSF is not only extremely attractive to customers but a technological breakthrough, given that it’s the first in its size category to offer extensive cargo solutions. Not only do we see the demand, but we view it as a greener, more profitable, highly innovative solution for our airline customers, and an excellent way to drive value for our business.”

Yossi Melamed, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Israel Aerospace Industries Aviation Group, said, “IAI’s Aviation Group, the world’s leading cargo conversion provider, has begun the structural modification of Boeing 777-300ERSF in cooperation with GECAS to provide a leading professional solution to the air cargo industry. Over many years, Etihad Engineering has received the highest professional regard from IAI’s Aviation Group. The Abraham Accords have enabled us to meet the company’s managers first-hand, to see their ability and dedication, in addition to witnessing the company’s great capabilities in the field of jet maintenance. The agreement we signed adds a significant tier to the relations between Israel and the Gulf States. I have no doubt following this agreement, additional agreements with companies in the region will arrive, and they will economically benefit the sides involved. I eagerly await the moment when B77-300ERSF jets converted jointly by IAI and Etihad Engineering will take to the skies and serves clients all over the world.”

Image: Yossi Melamed, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Israel Aerospace Industries Aviation Group left), Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group (right). 
BBAM Limited Partnership (BBAM) and Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), a joint venture of ST Engineering and Airbus, have announced an order volume for Airbus A320/A321 Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) including options.

BBAM commits to Airbus A320/A321P2F conversion programme

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BBAM Limited Partnership (BBAM) and Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), a joint venture of ST Engineering and Airbus, have announced an order volume for Airbus A320/A321 Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) including options.

BBAM Limited Partnership (BBAM) and Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), a joint venture of ST Engineering and Airbus, have announced an order volume for Airbus A320/A321 Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) including options.

The new orders by BBAM bring the total number of its A320/A321P2F to no less than 20, with the conversions to be carried out by EFW through 2025. The agreement comes with the option to add new conversion slots every year starting in 2026.

“With this latest order, BBAM is now the largest aircraft lessor for the A320/A321P2F programme, and one of the top P2F customers of EFW,” said Andreas Sperl, Chief Executive Officer of EFW. “The order volume by BBAM translates into a full conversion line with a minimum of five slots per year, with many of the conversions to be carried out at the airframe facility of our parent company, ST Engineering, in the US. When combined with top-notch conversion standards, our A321P2F solution offers unique benefits for air freight activities, including best-in-class economics, reduced noise, lower carbon footprint, real-time health monitoring and the highest level in reliability.”

“Our commitment to the P2F programme demonstrates our confidence in the ability of EFW and ST Engineering to deliver long-term value enhancement for the A320s and A321s in our fleet,” said Steve Zissis, President and Chief Executive Officer of BBAM. “We have committed to the A320/A321P2F programme well into the future – beyond 2026 – because we see it as a greener and highly innovative solution for our airline customers, and an excellent way to drive value for our investors.”

In January this year, BBAM announced the delivery of the world’s first Airbus A321P2F on lease to Titan Airways.

The Airbus A320/A321P2F is the first in its size category to offer containerised loading in both the main deck (up to 14 full container positions) and lower deck (up to 10 container positions). EFW’s A320/A321P2F solution, which comes with optimised weight distribution to enable random loading even on empty flights, as well as a payload-range capability of more than 28 metric tons, accords high flexibility for operators, in particular express carriers.

Business class on Aeroflot's retrofitted cabin on its Boeing 777 aircraft.

Aeroflot unwraps first retrofitted Boeing 777

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Business class on Aeroflot's retrofitted cabin on its Boeing 777 aircraft.

Aeroflot has unveiled its first long-range Boeing 777 aircraft with a retrofitted cabin. By end of 2021, Aeroflot will refurbish the cabin interior on two more aircraft.

The aircraft can accommodate 427 passengers: 28 Collins Aerospace Super Diamond NG seats equipped with sliding doors in business class, 24 seats in ‘Comfort’ class and 375 seats in economy class.

All seats come in high-quality jacquard upholstery. The seat pitch in economy class averages 80 cm, in ‘Comfort’ class – 96 cm. Business class passengers can enjoy individual suites, offering sliding doors, an extra armrest, 18.5-inch HD monitor and 2-metre full-flat bed.

Passengers travelling in all classes of service can access latest generation Panasonic Ex3 multimedia in-flight entertainment system. Paid for high-speed internet access (up to 30 Мb/sec) is available on board.

The airline will operate the retrofitted Boeing 777 on all popular international and domestic routes, including Dubai, New York, Los-Angeles, Mahe, Delhi, Yerevan, Bishkek, Baku, Tashkent, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

The cabin reconfiguration programme is being undertaken by Boeing who is performing engineering work and supplying component kits. Boeing was awarded the contract to modify passenger cabins on 18 of the Russian flagship carrier’s 777-300ERs, during the 2019 Moscow Air Show.

A partnership will work on a new Research and Development project - “FDM and SLS industrial 3D printing technology applicability in serial manufacturing of aircraft interior parts."

New collaboration works to further 3D printing for aircraft interior parts

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A partnership will work on a new Research and Development project - “FDM and SLS industrial 3D printing technology applicability in serial manufacturing of aircraft interior parts."

Etihad Engineering, EOS, a leading supplier for responsible manufacturing solutions based on industrial 3D printing technology, and Baltic3D.eu, one of the largest industrial 3D printing centres in Northern Europe, have agreed to collaborate on a  Research and Development project – “FDM and SLS industrial 3D printing technology applicability in serial manufacturing of aircraft interior parts”.

Baltic3D has selected Laser Sintering (LS) technology of EOS among other powder bed solutions as a key competence partner considering the achievements EOS has demonstrated with qualification of their technology and materials for aerospace applications. Meanwhile Etihad Engineering, as an industry leader implementing additive manufacturing (AM) technologies in aerospace applications, will be supporting the joint R&D efforts by conducting flammability testing at its onsite Flammability Laboratory, and providing its engineering analysis and reports, as feedback on the designs and prototypes produced within the project.

Within the R&D project Baltic3D will print over 2,000 material coupons in LS technology, using the EOS P 396 machine. These material samples will be tested at the Etihad Engineering Flammability Laboratory in Abu Dhabi, in accordance with aviation standards, including FST, heat release tests. It will be followed by creating several prototypes for aircraft interior part designs using LS technology.

Janis Jātnieks, co-founder and Board member of Baltic3D stated: “From part design to the end part manufacturing and certification, the aviation supply chain is heavily hit by COVID-19. With this R&D project we aim to significantly reduce time and money for design organisations and OEMs have to invest to add additive manufacturing as additional manufacturing route to existing production or even to completely switch to complex parts production using AM. Our plan is to establish a comprehensive test and manufacturing data set that would help aerospace engineers to develop part designs for AM with high level of confidence.”

Markus Glasser, Senior Vice President EMEA at EOS added: “EOS constantly is striving to be the most trusted partner with proven and reliable technology, continuously complying with the requirements of the aerospace industry. Over the last few years, we have managed to fully qualify our technology – meaning qualified materials, processes and systems for the aerospace world. Aerospace demands reliable data, which is the primary aim of this project, and thereby we firmly believe that this project will substantially accelerate the adoption of AM in aerospace.

He continued: “Baltic3D intends to increase the access of 3D printing know-how and test results to make adoption of industrial 3D printing faster and easier for any aviation company. We share the same mindset as both of our companies are committed to highest quality solutions for our customers, as well as constant technology innovation and cost reduction for complex parts.”