OCTOBER 2018 | VOL. 25, NO. 9 | www.pax-intl.com
MRO, Interiors & IFEC
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Making the rounds P
AX Tech is concluding its year with coverage and distribution at important events where visitors can see the future of commercial aviation taking shape in a variety of ways. Last month, our full staff spent four days in Boston for the Airline Passenger Experience Association and Aircraft Interiors Americas Expos viewing the latest innovations – products that are filling cabins and providing increasingly demanding passengers with the comforts and entertainment they use daily in their homes and businesses. What we have witnessed is indicative of a market estimated well into the billions of dollars for inflight entertainment and connectivity. The requirements for additional refurbishment and modifications to meet these passenger demands will fall on the shoulders of many of the companies that are filling the halls of the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre from October 16 to 18, and organizers at Aviation Week Network expect a full contingency of industry players and important airline representatives. Before summer came to an end, the organizers at MRO Europe reported
that the show floor had been sold out, and attendance is expected to surpass 8,000 people. More than 600 people from airlines around the world will attend, many of them at a vice president or manager level, with the ability to sign off on important purchases. Around the world, events like these are becoming necessary stops for people in important positions at the world’s airlines. Case in point: at the APEX/ Aircraft Interiors event in Boston (at one time representing a niche portion of an airline’s overall activities) CEOs from American Airlines, Aer Lingus, LATAM Brasil and Air Canada were part of an education-based morning filled with discussions about the future of the passenger experience. From the trade show floor, to the daily discussions, to the new EASA Part 21 Pavilion, this year’s MRO Europe is shaping up to be as strong as the 2017 London event. A who’s who of important companies and the world’s leading airlines will give anyone attending the knowledge they need to chart the future of this important segment of the commercial aviation industry.
years; $400 for three years. Art and photographs will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or editor. September 2018, Vol. 25, No. 9. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © PAX International magazine
ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax International
Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief PAX International
www.pax-intl.com | PAX TECH | 3
Features 10 HUMAN-CENTRIC LIGHTING
From its Innovation and Engineering Centre in Wales, the team at STG Aerospace explains why lighting, an oft-forgotten element of the onboard experience, needs to take higher precedence in cabin design
12 INVENTORY INNOVATION
20 ON THE COVER:
Diehl Aviation is highlighting its cabin offerings via demonstrations at MRO Europe. Find out more on page 14.
Growing along with key segments of commercial and general aviation has given Leki Aviation the ability to expand operations to new areas while adapting to changes in the European Union
14 AN IMAGE MODIFICATION
Aircraft systems and cabin solutions supplier Diehl Aviation is tackling the retrofit industry head-on with several developments it hopes will set it apart from the pack
16 HITTING THE LOWER DECK
With their new lower-deck modules, Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace have discovered a novel way to enhance the passenger sleeping experience
18 ELECTRONICS ON THE EDGE
On display at this year’s APEX event in Boston were the ways companies are out ahead of airline demands. One of those companies, UK-based IFPL, is developing new products and recycling its older ideas for a new airline reality
20 TIME FOR TAKEOFF
4 | PAX TECH | OCTOBER 2018
PAX Tech spoke with Aviation Week for a look at what this year’s MRO Europe event holds in store for its high-profile speakers, exhibitors and attendees
22 ONBOARD UPGRADES
Two airlines have opted for Panasonic Avionics’ IFEC solutions for their new fleets and retrofit aircraft
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Air Belgium collaborates with ABC International on branding program New carrier Air Belgium has selected ABC International for its latest cabin branding program in a deal that covers three different branding elements for the airline’s A340 fleet. The companies have been working together since the winter of 2017 following a meeting at AIX, with relevant EASA approvals coming through in April 2018. ABC International’s cabin branding elements have been flying with the airline since it debuted June 3. Alberto D’Ambrosio, ABC International’s Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement: “The final result was amazing and we are very satisfied [with the] Air Belgium technical department collaboration. When the program was launched, Air Belgium was just at the beginning of its new life; everyone was excited [to contribute] to the establishment of a new airline. Our engineering team worked in strict cooperation with Airbus as well to meet Air Belgium’s requirements.”
The airline’s branding elements that are designed, engineered, certified and manufactured by ABC International include 20-inch airline logos, 15-inch airline logos,
Air Belgium’s new Business Class look for its A340s
and 41-inch airline logos and scripts (two units per aircraft). The units are made of aluminum with a high-gloss red varnish that matches Air Belgium’s corporate color. “ABC International has supported us accurately from the very beginning,” noted Christian Tolomé, Air Belgium’s Technical Manager and the person responsible for the cabin-branding project with ABC. “First of all, we had to define the right color which matched our new cabin interior design, and they found the best solution to accommodate our requests. The technical and program management support were prompt and they took care of all demands, keeping [the] high level the quality of their services. ABC’s team had to work under pressure to respect the deadline in order to present for Air Belgium’s A340 firstflight event. We were excited about our first takeoff, and thanks to the responsibility of each stakeholder involved in this program, it was a great success. We are satisfied [with] ABC International’s collaborative support.”
Economy Class on Air Belgium with the new branding element from ABC International
AkzoNobel “Intura” showcased at Aircraft Interiors Expo Boston AkzoNobel – a global paints and coatings company – is helping airlines differentiate their brands with its new premium interior coating system, “Intura.” The company showcased its coating solutions at its booth at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Boston this September. Intura is AkzoNobel’s new brand of flexible interior aircraft coating solutions. The one-component, waterborne interior cabin topcoat is designed for easy use, has very low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) content and outperforms all major OEM performance requirements.
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“Every aircraft is unique, and Intura provides a one-stop shop for all coating needs. The appearance of an airplane’s cabin is a big part of the passenger experience,” said John Griffin, Global Segment Director for AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings and Film. Griffin adds: “Our durable, easy-to-apply and versatile Intura brand offers a fantastic finish with best-in-class stain resistance – from mustard to ketchup, lipstick, coffee and permanent markers. We provide a premium quality product, so airlines can provide a memorable passenger experience.”
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FL Technics nets two customers in September After several ad-hoc maintenance projects, FL Technics has signed a long-term joint contract with Lufthansa Group companies (network and point-to-point airlines) for MRO services for 28 320s and a long-term contract with Luxair S.A., Société Luxembourgeoise de Navigation Aérienne, the regional flag carrier airline of Luxembourg. The first aircraft for Lufthansa Group was scheduled for maintenance at the beginning of October 2018 in Vilnius, Lithuania, and will be followed by the rest during the 2018 and 2019 season in FL Technic’s Lithuanian hangars. “The Lufthansa Group airlines have a huge A320 Base Maintenance demand with some 300 aircraft in service and pooled within the LH Group Technical Fleet Management,” said Thomas Rueckert, Vice President Base Maintenance Services at Lufthansa Technik. “Alongside our internal Lufthansa Technik capabilities, we employ a two-tier strategy by having an additional strong and reliable supplier – like FL Technics – at our side. We always tender demand beyond our own capacity to leverage the very dynamic MRO market. We are happy to have found high-quality services and a very attractive commercial offer from FL Technics.” FL Technics will tackle maintenance duties on A320 aircraft in the Lufthansa Group in Lithuania
“It’s a steady upward march for us,” said Zilvinas Lapinskas, CEO at FL Technics, while pointing out a key decision that led to trust among the two parties. “Daily work in process improvement has transformed our MRO business into a lean organization with a focus on effective TAT.” The long-term cooperation began after nine aircraft projects were successfully maintained in 2018. The MRO services will be provided for Luxair’s 737 NG fleet. The first aircraft will be handled in the beginning of November in Kaunas, Lithuania, and will be followed shortly by two more. “The recent developments in the management structure of Luxair Technics, together with the company’s decision to grow its Boeing 737NG fleet, gave us the opportunity to evaluate our future technical requirements in terms of base maintenance services. Having collaborated with numerous MROs over the past years, we experienced FL Technics during the last C-Check season and remained positively impressed with their level of professionalism, know-how on type and customer focus. We are confident that their level of efficiency will translate into future operational gains through improved base maintenance turn-around times and an enhanced dispatch reliability and, consequently, we look forward to an excellent partnership with FL Technics,” noted Nitulescu Cristian Alexandru, Head of Engineering and Planning at LuxairGroup. “Our understanding of quality and effectiveness in A/C maintenance have risen us to yet another notch of service providing. We are extremely happy it was noted by Luxair,” said Juozas Lapeika, Deputy CEO for Production Management at FL Technics. Long-term cooperation started after the successful project of the first three Luxair aircraft maintained in 2017.
DDC introduces 280W converter Data Device Corporation has introduced a new 280W converter that can supply 28V power for IFEC electronics and USB charging ports for up to 24 aircraft seats. The company explained in a press release that it is a “compact, high-output and cost-effective solution that delivers the industry’s best power efficiency performance.” The design of the 1-14683-R converter saves space, providing more comfort for passengers as the unit is conveniently mounted within the cabin wall or ceiling. Other benefits of the design, according to DDC, include: power efficiency that optimizes power utilization and generates less heat than competing units; power efficiency of more than 92% (power factor > 0.95) at 115VAC 400Hz and max load; over-current and short circuit protection; thermal shutdown; and a complete seat MRO package available,
including sidewall mounting, seat loom and USB sockets.
8 | PAX TECH | OCTOBER 2018
“Offering best-in-class power efficiency and reliability, and available as a complete seat MRO package, the compact 280W IFEC and PED power solution affords aircraft integrators a cost-effective means to shorten installation time, while freeing up valuable cabin space for passenger comfort and safety,” said Graham Jefferies, Managing Director for DDC Electronics Limited. The DDC 280W converter can supply power for charging ports on up to 24 aircraft seats
READERSHIP AWARDS 2019
HELP US HONOR THE BEST IN THE BIZ From onboard caterers to amenity programs, and from connectivity to the latest in aircraft cabins, the PAX International Readership Awards will once again recognize those in the industry that stand out from the crowd. The award winners will be announced on April 3rd, 2019 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg. Deadline to vote is March 1, 2019. Award winners will be featured in a special spread in PAX International, as well as in our e-Newsletter.
Donâ€™t miss your chance. Make your voice heard.
LIGHTING STG Aerospace introduced a dynamic and configurable, full-color version of liTeMood® in 2018
lighting From its Innovation and Engineering Centre in Wales, the team at STG Aerospace explains why lighting, an oft-forgotten element of the onboard experience, needs to take higher precedence in cabin design
he term “human-centric lighting” has been coined by researchers to define lighting systems that are deliberately designed to help people feel and perform better. Due in large part to the stringency of the industry’s regulatory requirements, the aviation industry has been relatively slow to adopt some of the latest findings. But STG Aerospace has used its in-house regulatory accreditations and collaborations with leading universities in the UK and Europe to change that. What can we learn from STG’s research? To answer that, we need to go back a very long way.
Until relatively recently, however, the sole focus of artificial lighting was high-intensity illumination. Originally used to extend the productive hours of the day, no real thought was given to the non-visual effects of lighting on humans. Within aviation, the problem has been exacerbated by the sheer complexity of aircraft cabin lighting, due to the number of individual components involved. Even during daylight flights, natural light has to work with or against the cabin’s ceiling lights, its sidewall lights, its emergency signage and reading lights, its galley lights, its photoluminescent floor path lighting, and more. It’s a complex cocktail of illumination.
In the beginning
A safe solution
Humans have evolved in harmony with the Earth’s natural lighting cycle. Even if we only appreciate it when it gets disrupted, we all have a “body clock” – otherwise known as our circadian rhythm – which we have inherited from our ancient ancestors and tells us, among other things, when to sleep and when to wake up. In other words, light not only enables us to see, it is vitally important for our biological performance, our health and wellbeing. It affects what we do and how we feel. Our brains use the information that light provides to energize us, to relax us, and even to determine our moods which, as we all know, can significantly impact our productivity and the way we interact with other people. It can improve concentration, increase safety and efficiency in workplaces, and even change the perception of our environment. 10 | PAX TECH | OCTOBER 2018
Combining a growing understanding of photobiological responses with the latest lighting technologies has opened up a wealth of possibilities that STG Aerospace has been pursuing relentlessly. While our ancestors had nothing but dangerous, largely uncontrollable candles, we now have entirely safe, programmable LEDs. Launched in 2011, liTeMood® is a plug-and-play programmable blue/white LED mood lighting system, designed specifically to retrofit commercial aircraft cabins. The LED ambient lighting solution delivers enhanced cabin transformations to more than 20 operators worldwide. We have made liTeMood® as a quick and easy-to-install, cost-effective upgrade for any airline seeking to improve passenger experience and increase yields across its fleet. EASA and FAA-approved for 737 and 757 series
liTeMood® is a plug-and-play programmable LED mood lighting system
of aircraft, liTeMood® delivers a number of other STG Aerospace provides a human-centric, total-aircraft benefits for operators, including an MTBF Rate cabin lighting solution in excess of 100,000 hours, a weight reduction of up to 36.5kg on a 757, and a power consumption of 50% less than traditional fluorescent systems. Building on the success of liTeMood®, STG Aerospace is the facilitator: it enables the realization of the vision introduced a dynamic and configurable, full-color version that the company has for its airline customers and of liTeMood® in 2018 that is currently available for retrofit their passengers, but it isn’t the actual vision itself. on single- and twin-aisle Airbus aircraft. This unique system What is that vision? The realization of a truly humanoffers fully customizable animated scenes that can change centric, total-aircraft cabin lighting solution – a solution that post-installation in just minutes via a patented infrared will embrace the company’s photoluminescent emergency wand. As well as providing a choice of more than 16 million floor path marking systems and informational signage, as colours, the system offers the ability to incorporate bespoke well as its ambient LED lighting systems and its ancillary scenes, from northern lights to sunrise and sunsets, to liTeMood® products; products that include the patented, settings specifically designed to celebrate national holidays. award-winning, square beam Reading Light. This unit This affordable plug-and-play system works with both provides an even and precise light distribution designed to classic and enhanced CIDS, can be installed in under six improve visibility across the seating area without spilling hours on an A320 and requires no changes to aircraft wiring over onto neighboring passengers, creating a more restful, or control systems. As with its Boeing liTeMood® system, private space and greater sense of personal control. this Airbus version has been approved by EASA and the FAA and delivers similar operational benefits – an MTBF in Looking to the future excess of 55,000 operating hours, weight saving of up to 20kg There is still progress to be made. Although it is now widely reduction on an A320 and 45kg on an A330, and a reduction appreciated how the human circadian rhythm is regulated, the in power usage of 55% compared to incumbent systems. full effects of lighting on our mood, wellbeing and physiology are still not yet completely understood. This is the driver for Separating the product from the vision STG Aerospace to continue contributing to the research pool It is important to point out that one of the biggest by investigating stress and relaxation at all stages of the flight breakthroughs for STG Aerospace is not just from the and assessing how these physiological responses relate to light. technology itself but from a reassessment of the way STG Aerospace pledges to remain a research-driven the industry thought about light – not about tubes, organization as it is only this kind of research that bulbs or LEDs, but of quality, quantity, intensity and will enable the company to continue enhancing the saturation. The real product that the company is offering flying experience for every class of passenger, with is the quality and the quantity of light itself. Technology benefits that will span across the industry. www.pax-intl.com | PAX TECH | 11
Peter Kjeldsen, Chief Operating Officer of Leki Aviation
Growing along with key segments of commercial and general aviation has given Leki Aviation the ability to expand operations to new areas while adapting to changes in the European Union
by RICK LUNDSTROM
Seating in Leki’s inventory undergoing repair and preparation for resale
ith the company’s finger on the pulse of the growing general aviation and ground services industries and an eye on the changing political and economic landscape in Europe, Copenhagen-based Leki Aviation is ending 2018 with several new developments in the works and more that could be announced by the time the year comes to a close. At the end of August, Leki expanded its successful Consolidated Material Management Solutions (CoMMS) service to include companies operating ground support equipment and general and business aviation. While Brexit breeds uncertainty throughout the continent, Leki’s new focus on these two important aviation segments has been something that has been in
12 | PAX TECH | OCTOBER 2018
the works or part of the company’s operations for several years. To that end, before the year comes to a close, Leki will open the doors on a new 45,000-square-meter facility in the United Kingdom’s West Sussex area. Located 20 minutes from its current location, the new plant will strengthen Leki’s commitment to the UK, an important move that will allow company officials to watch for effects on business in the region as the nation moves toward separation from the European Union. One of Leki’s many specialties is the supply and distribution of aircraft parts, interiors, components and rotables. Through its unique CoMMS concept, Leki Aviation provides customers with access to spares for the support of their Airbus, Boeing and regional fleet, throughout the entire life cycle of each aircraft. The CoMMS program provides fleet support through order inventory and supply chain management. CoMMS customers save cost by reducing inventories, administration and the cost of shipping. When an airline refurbishes its aircraft, Leki takes old products such as seating and other components to refurbish and sell to other airlines. With the addition of general aviation and ground support under the CoMMS program, Leki now has the capability of component supply and distribution for eight segments of the aviation industry. First steps into the new customer base will be smaller, but as the service grows, Peter Kjeldsen, Chief
Operating Officer of Leki Aviation, sees the two new segments as important parts of the Leki business profile. “With the great success of our core services, which has been growing tremendously, we feel the time is right for vertically integration of additional services at a higher intensity to continue strengthen our 360Fleet concept,” he tells PAX Tech. The company is taking the first steps in fleet management for ground support after working with manufacturers and ground handlers on their needs and requirements. By the time the MRO industry meets in Amsterdam this October, Leki Aviation will be nearing completion on its new UK facility. The plant will have a new inventory system and increased capabilities. Kjeldsen said Leki has a tentative November 1 date for the opening of the plant. He said it would give Leki a strong foothold in the UK as the country prepares to leave the European Union. With strong operations in the UK and company headquarters in Denmark, Leki’s infrastructure will sustain it through any uncertainties or bureaucratic demands that will result once Brexit is completed. Though much is still unknown about the effects of the breakup, Kjeldsen noted there are currently no plans for imposing taxes on products moving in and out of the European Union, but additional paperwork for companies that work in aviation supply will likely be the result of the separation.
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modification Aircraft systems and cabin solutions supplier Diehl Aviation is tackling the retrofit industry head-on with several developments it hopes will set it apart from the pack by RACHEL DEBLING
Diehl Aviation provides its customers with a one-stop shop for stateof-the-art cabins while also providing a variety of retrofit solutions
14 | PAX TECH | OCTOBER 2018
ecently rebranded Diehl Aviation has a long history of supplying interiors products and services to clients such as Airbus, Embraer and Bombardier. But as they made apparent at the AIX Expo in Boston this September, the company is eager and willing to show the industry the full span of its retrofit portfolio. Florian Maier, Diehl Aviation’s Head of Marketing and Business Development, agrees that retrofitting and its assorted services are a strong driving force across the international MRO industry. “For us, this represents a very clear area for growth,” he told PAX Tech in a September email. “After all, we know our customers and are able to offer them customized solutions for their problems. While it’s fair to say that the retrofit business is relatively new to us, we are still able to offer very interesting solutions and products, such as the High-Density Solution that was developed in collaboration with Lufthansa Technik [to provide extra cabin space for the A320 family], our 31” lavatory, or Easy Door which makes access to the lavatory a great deal easier for our passengers.” Airlines, he continued, have also expressed interest in their retrofit lighting solutions. It’s this surge in retrofit interest that has pushed Diehl to align itself more readily with the MRO industry through sector-focused trade shows. Maier noted they are the perfect environments in which the company can present the full capacities of its team directly to potential and current customers. Alongside this newly invigorated spotlight on MRO, Diehl has reinforced its worldwide sales network, with subdivisions
“We have built a dedicated demonstrator for MRO Europe, a symbolic representation of our capabilities in the area of cabin outfitting through lighting.” – DIRK-ACHIM SCHEVARDO, DEVELOPER OF DIEHL’S EXPERT CABIN LIGHTING SYSTEMS
Harald Mehring, Chief Customer Officer at Diehl Aviation
in the Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Asia Pacific for a more targeted international presence. And their sales personnel are working hard to get the word out about the company’s offerings; namely Diehl’s Head of Sales, Engin Bas, with more than 20 years experience in aviation, and Harald Mehring, who was named the company’s first Chief Customer Officer in 2015. Mehring, as Maier explains, “has proficiency in all aspects of customer business: product innovation, sales, customer support and retrofit. This means we are able to customize quotes and services for our customers more effectively and more individually.” Looking ahead to MRO Europe this October, Diehl has a few new and exciting features to share with expo attendees. As Dirk-Achim Schevardo, Developer of Diehl’s Expert Cabin Lighting Systems, shares: “We have built a dedicated demonstrator for MRO Europe, a symbolic representation of our capabilities in the area of cabin outfitting through lighting. We intend to use this to demonstrate to our customers that we can provide lighting solutions for pretty much any kind of commercial aircraft, from basic cabin lighting with mood lighting through accent lighting.” These solutions are offered by Diehl Aviation in line-fit, in retrofit, and as plug-and-play. “This also includes access to our technology, expertise and advice when it comes to adapting the lighting scenarios to the wishes of the airline,” Schevardo notes. For 2019 and beyond, Maier says Diehl will study its current portfolio to see how and where it can adapt to customers’ needs. “For example, consider our experience in electronics and cabins,” he explains. “With this expertise, we are able to evaluate every single detail and investigate any opportunities for improvements that would contribute toward increasing the success of our customers.” Maximizing cabin space with the High-Density Solution, providing room for up to 12 extra seats, or through Diehl’s Virtual Windows, which allow seats to be placed in areas where there are no traditional windows, are two ways he foresees the company’s clients benefitting from its expertise. To learn about these innovations and Diehl’s current line of products and services, visit MRO Europe in Amsterdam, booth 6066, from October 17 to 18. Diehl Aviation’s focus is on holistic cabin concepts including lining, monuments, lighting, electronics and more
Engin Bas, Diehl Aviation’s Head of Sales Europe, Middle East and Africa
www.pax-intl.com | PAX TECH | 15
lower deck With their new lower-deck modules, Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace have discovered a novel way to enhance the passenger sleeping experience by MARY JANE PITTILLA
A mock-up of the lower-deck modules with passenger sleeping berths being developed and marketed by Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace
uring the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2018 in April, Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace heralded their new partnership to develop and market lower-deck modules with passenger sleeping berths. The modules, which would fit inside the aircraft’s cargo compartments, offer new opportunities for additional services to passengers, improving their experience while enabling airlines to differentiate and add value to their commercial operations. The new passenger modules will be easily interchangeable with regular cargo containers during a typical turnaround, if required. Moreover, the aircraft’s cargo floor and cargo loading system would not be affected at all, as the passenger module will sit directly on it. “This approach to commercial air travel is a step change towards passenger comfort,” said Geoff Pinner, Head of Airbus Cabin and Cargo Program, at the time of the announcement. “We have already received very positive feedback from several airlines on our first mock-ups. We are pleased to partner with Zodiac Aerospace on this project which will introduce
16 | PAX TECH | OCTOBER 2018
a new passenger experience and add value for airlines.” Zodiac Aerospace’s Cabin branch also enthused: “We are delighted to work with Airbus on this new and innovative project, which reaffirms our expertise in lower-deck solutions. An improved passenger experience is today a key element of differentiation for airlines.” Airlines will initially be able to choose from a catalog of certified solutions on the A330 for retrofit and line-fit markets by 2020. Offerability of sleeper compartments on the A350 XWB is also being studied. The innovation builds on both Airbus’ and Zodiac Aerospace’s experience in producing and integrating lower-deck crew-rest facilities.
Optimized sleeping solutions
Zodiac Aerospace told PAX International that the feedback from airlines had been very positive since the concept was unveiled at AIX in Hamburg. “Our customers demonstrate a strong interest in the project, confirming the opportunities identified by our teams. We are now following up with all the customers who visited us at AIX or in the Airbus
The A330, shown here in the new neo model taking part in the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow
An improved passenger experience is today a key element of differentiation for airlines.”
other than business seats, with a solution focused on one specific function: sleeping,” said Zodiac Aerospace. However, airlines can adapt the concept to suit whichever type of passengers they would like to target, based on their service and brand model. “We can, for example, imagine an offer not based on class but type of travelers, such as families,” noted Zodiac.
Expertise in lower-deck solutions Toulouse mock-up center together with Airbus, having more detailed discussions on how our concept can best support their services,” said a company spokesperson. Zodiac Aerospace is sure the development will improve the passenger experience. The concept is about offering optimized sleeping solutions by having flat beds (bunks) in a dedicated and calm area in the lower deck, offering privacy without compromising the overall cabin business model of the airlines, as the seat count is not heavily impacted. It is therefore directly addressing one of the main expectations of passengers when flying long-haul: comfortable sleep. A sleeping bunk is the first focus of the development, but depending on how airlines want to use this extra cabin space other functions can be created, all supporting a better passenger experience, such as a playground area for children. The concept is primarily aimed at Premium or Economy passengers willing to pay for an option – a bunk in the lower deck – in addition to their main cabin seat, the same way you would select extra leg room or a premium meal. “We see a clear potential to offer sleeping solutions
The modules are the size of an LD36 container, and the weight is highly dependent on the configuration chosen by the customer. The modules are transported the same way as classic cargo containers and installed the same way: the regular aircraft cargo loading systems are used, and the only extra step is to connect the modules to aircraft systems such as air flow. For Zodiac Aerospace’s current flying crew-rest, which uses the same LD36 container-based solution, the installation/removal time is shorter than one hour and it would be the same for the passenger modules. Zodiac Aerospace already has expertise in lower-deck solutions. In addition to its freight solutions portfolio for cargo containers, Zodiac Aerospace has 25 years of experience in lower-deck mobile crew rests (LDMCR). Over the past 20 years, it has delivered 350 crew rests, including 280 LDMCR to more than 30 operators, both linefit and retrofit. The LDMCR is a LD36 container-based solution for the A330 platform, providing class 1-compliant areas for cabin crew to rest during long-haul flights. Easily installed and removed using the aircraft cargo loading systems, its mobility allows flexibility in an airline’s use of the cargo bay. www.pax-intl.com | PAX TECH | 17
ON THE EDGE On display at this year’s APEX event in Boston were the ways companies are out ahead of airline demands. One of those companies, UK-based IFPL, is developing new products and recycling its older ideas for a new airline reality
Conor Hamilton, Business Development Executive at IFPL, explains the Charge to Charge solution at APEX in Boston
by RICK LUNDSTROM
s much as the increase in sheer passenger numbers will spell challenges for airlines in the future, the ways their customers travel will also require support as personal devices that were not even thought of only a few years ago are multiplying the inflight power demand. This shift is requiring companies such as UK-based IFPL to think of themselves as not only a supplier to airlines but as a developer of peripheral products for consumer electronics. A number of such products developed by the company were found at its stand at this year’s Airline
Entertainment and in-seat power merge in an IFE solution for the future
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Passenger Experience Association event held last month in Boston. Building products that fit discreetly into the space around the passenger and support the growing use of personal electronic devices keeps companies like IFPL riding the trends and striving to stay ahead of demand. This year the company was showing solutions that turn the seatback into a wireless charging station and that will prepare airlines for the inevitable evolution of the power port to support the additional capability of a USB-C outlet. The company is also anticipating changes in the delivery of IFE audio, with the introduction of an integrated audio and Bluetooth jack. One of the more intriguing products that was on display is also one of IFPL’s older ideas: “Charge to Charge,” an offer for a low-cost carrier market that is constantly in search of ancillary revenue opportunities. This product would deliver USB power to users for a fee that can be paid in either in money or frequent flyer miles and can potentially earn the airline revenue through promotions and advertising. “We looked at it a long time ago but we did not think that the market was ready for it,” said Conor Hamilton, IFPL’s Business
Development Executive. The product is made with an eye on consumers who experience what is called “battery anxiety” – the fear that they will be left on the move with a dead PED battery. With Charge to Charge airlines earn ancillary revenue by selling charging features either to the passenger or by selling advertising and promotions that play when the passenger plugs in their device. The process is done through the airline’s app and IFPL’s USB outlet. Another product demonstrated at IFPL’s booth is also related to the passenger demand for charging capability aboard an aircraft. As personal electronics continue to evolve with wireless charging capabilities, IFPL was showing airlines a seatback solution that doubles as both a personal electronic device holder and an inductive unit that delivers wireless charging of their personal devices through the seat while the passenger watches video entertainment. Brackets in the seatback adjust to devices of any size, keeping them at eye level, while a wireless charger installed directly behind it does its job during the course of the flight. IFPL began its journey into developing peripheral products for the aircraft cabin more than 20 years ago from its headquarters on the Isle of Wight. Since then, the company has shipped more than 2.5 million products for seamless integration with existing airline cabins.
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takeoff PAX Tech spoke with Aviation Week for a look at what this year’s MRO Europe event holds in store for its high-profile speakers, exhibitors and attendees
According to Aviation Week, this year’s special presentations include an Airline Keynote presentation by Valter Fernandes, the CEO of TAP Express, on “Matching the Speed of Industry Evolution to the Pace of Customer Needs”; the highly anticipated “MRO Europe Market Forecast and Key Trends” provided by Richard Brown, Principal at ICF International, and David Stewart, Partner at Oliver Wyman/ CAVOK; the 3 Way Competition moderated by Aviation Week’s Lee Ann Shay featuring Airbus, Boeing and Embraer; and the Helicopter Fleet and MRO Forecast presented by Aviation Week’s Brian Kough and Daniel Williams. 20 | PAX TECH | OCTOBER 2018
“With the rising interest in UAM technologies, we’re excited to hear all about eVTOL aircraft and ‘Seizing the Opportunity of the New Age of Vertical Mobility’ from Frank Stephenson, the Head of Product Design at Lilium GmbH,” the organization told PAX Tech. In addition, Dr. Christian Suttner of Starburst Consulting will brief the industry on how best to leverage the global startup landscape and share case studies on successful collaborations with startups that created value at MROs. On the airline side, Aer Lingus, Air France, Air Arabia, Transavia, KLM, Vallair, GECAS and AerCap are just some of the companies that will be leading or participating in panel discussions. “Overall, we’re honored to host 65-plus speakers and more than 30 interactive conference sessions, panel discussions and case studies that will offer attendees access to cutting-edge information and focused discussions regarding nearly all aspects of commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul,” Aviation Week tells PAX.
New and improved
“This year is positioned to be the largest MRO Europe ever with 400-plus exhibitors and several new features on the exhibition floor,” Aviation Week noted, listing the Part 21 Pavilion, Balcony Lounges, New Exhibitors Showcase and Regional Pavilions as areas for delegates to add to their to-do lists. Attendees will also have the opportunity to sit in on complimentary sessions and new product briefings in the Go Live Theater and will be able to tour Fokker’s new component repair and overhaul facility at Schiphol Airport. A Heli Zone and conference sessions devoted to the helicopter MRO and engine market will also be on tap. There are plenty of new names on the exhibitor list as well. “We are excited to welcome American Aerospace Controls, Busby Metals, Celestica, faavio e.K. and TrueAero among the 16 new exhibitors to the MRO Europe family via the New Exhibitors Showcase at booth 6080,” says Aviation Week. And when it comes to returning companies, the organizers have a long list of familiar faces they are happy to be reunited with once again. “We’re always proud to host CFM, Chromalloy, HEICO, Pratt & Whitney, Satair, StandardAero, UTC Aerospace Systems, AAR, AerFin, AerSale, Airbus, ATR, Bombardier, Boeing, Embraer, GA Telesis, and GKN Aerospace, to name a few.”
The 2018 show floor will be host to more than 8,000 attendees, from airlines, OEMs and leasing companies, to aviation authorities and regulators, to MRO service providers from around the world Busy expo floor
MRO Europe 2018 officially sold out of exhibitor space as of July, and PAX Tech is told that booths are moving fast for the 2019 edition; interested companies can visit the Aviation Week booth at MRO Europe to inquire about and secure space for next year’s event. The 2018 show floor will be host to more than 8,000 attendees, from airlines, OEMs and leasing companies, to aviation authorities and regulators, to MRO service providers from around the world. As the organizers explained: “One can expect to encounter all the major players and startups that supply the aircraft MRO industry in roles that run the gamut from maintenance and engineering to purchasing, logistics and business development. MRO Europe offers unparalleled networking opportunities over the three days of the event and is the place to forge new partnerships and cement existing relationships.”
There will be no shortage of networking opportunities at this year’s Amsterdam-based event. “The exhibition floor is abuzz with social activities, from demos to mini-receptions,” the organizers explain. “Exhibitors come from all over the world and many of them bring a taste of home to share with attendees in their booths. The constant activity on the show floor keeps everyone engaged and makes for a really lively experience!” Intimate opportunities for tête-à-têtes are available at the conference sessions so that delegates can speak in person with knowledgeable speakers and panelists. “There really is no better way to network than to be present and engaged in the conference sessions or walking the exhibition floor,” the organizers say, adding that attendees are encouraged to share their onsite experiences in real time on social media by tagging @AvWeekEvents and including the hashtags #MROE and #AVMRO.
Making the most of it all
Aviation Week has introduced plenty of tools to help new and returning attendees max out their time at the show, recommending that anyone who is visiting “use the online floor plan to map out where current and prospective vendors, service providers, partners and customers booths are located and use the attendee list to see who’s coming from target companies.” As previously mentioned, social media is an effective way to set up meetings and connect with attendees, with LinkedIn and Twitter of course topping the list of must-use tools at the event. And though the expo floor is a great place to meet and greet, keep in mind that delegates at the conference sessions have direct access to some of the biggest names in attendance this year. As Aviation Week notes: “We offer discounts on individual session passes and on premium admission to any attendees who want to ensure their company is adequately represented in the pivotal discussions that shape their part of the industry.”
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Onboard upgrades Both EgyptAir and Uzbekistan Airways have selected a suite of services and products offered by Panasonic
Two airlines have opted for Panasonic Avionics’ IFEC solutions for their new fleets and retrofit aircraft by RICK LUNDSTROM
t September’s APEX Expo in Boston, Panasonic Avionics Corporation and EgyptAir announced agreements to provide inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions to EgyptAir for its new fleet of 15 A320neo aircraft, while Uzbekistan Airways has signed on with Panasonic for five aircraft. Panasonic’s X-Series IFEC platform will be line-fit installed on the new EgyptAir narrow-body aircraft, with the first aircraft due to enter service in 2020. Business Class passengers will have 13-inch HD personal screens with video handsets and high-power charging facilities at every seat. In Economy Class, there will be 10-inch HD screens incorporating a USB power point, with charging at each seat group. Passengers will be able to stay connected through Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service, with fast Internet-tovideo streaming powered by its new satellite modem, offering bandwidth up to 20 times greater than previously available. EgyptAir’s passengers will be able to enjoy a host of other amenities including inflight shopping options
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Passengers will be able to stay connected through Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service, with fast Internet-tovideo streaming powered by its new satellite modem and 3D flight path moving maps. The airline has also selected OneMedia, Panasonic’s advertising platform, which will enable it to target onboard advertising campaigns by categories including seat class, flight destination, origin city, content categories and languages. Uzbekistan Airways also announced new commitments to entertainment and connectivity solutions for three 787-8 and two A320neo aircraft. Panasonic’s X-Series IFEC system, along
with a suite of connectivity services, will be line-fit installed on the new aircraft, with the first due to enter service in January 2019. In addition, Panasonic’s connectivity services will be retrofitted to three Boeing 787-8s already in operation with the airline. Passengers traveling on Uzbekistan Airways’ new 787-8 and A320neo will have HD screens and USB charging facilities at every seat, audio and video entertainment on demand, and capacitive multi-touch screens working in conjunction with a range of applications including inflight retail features. The new aircraft will also be fitted with Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service, with a host of nextgeneration connectivity benefits from fast Internet-to-video streaming, also powered by its new satellite modem. Passengers flying the 787 aircraft will also be able to use their mobile phones in flight and view a wide choice of live TV channels including Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra, which offer live coverage of the world’s most popular sporting events; CNN International; Euronews; CNBC; NHK; Sky News Arabia; and BBC World News.
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