EBACE Show Report - part 2

As Asian Aviation reported last issue, May’s European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) was an indicator that the blighted business aviation sector is more optimistic than it has been in two years

1st Jul 2010

Design Q displays new interiors concepts for the ABJ

One of the quirkiest offerings unveiled at the EBACE 2010 show was BAE Systems Regional Aircraft and British design consultancy Design Q’s concept for the world’s first ‘camper jet’.

There are two versions of the exclusive aircraft. The Avro Business Jet Explorer One and Explorer Four are the first of five interiors that BAE has commissioned Design Q to develop for the ABJ. The other three designs will be released over the next few months.

The focal point is a unique viewing platform that extends from the aircraft when on the ground. The jet’s side cargo door swings open hydraulically, revealing a concealed platform that extends out from the fuselage to become a balcony. This so-called Air Deck transforms the rear of the aircraft into what BAE describes as “the ultimate living space, providing an elevated outdoor viewing deck combined with a luxurious indoor space.”

The aircraft interior includes a bright, spacious lounge, with curved sofas surrounding a low central ottoman, housing concealed television screens. The bulkhead is home to a fully equipped office workstation and there is a large display cabinet adding to the on-board opulence.

Design Q has added a white marble stone floor, providing a grand entrance in the vestibule, which is echoed in the central table situated behind the lounge in its own alcove. There is also a large lavatory accessible from the walkway to the rear lounge and Air Deck. Both aircraft share the same layout for the Air Deck, which features an open plan galley next to the platform incorporating the latest kitchen appliances and gadgets.

By contrast, the Explorer Four tackles the luxury charter travel market and aims to compete with the luxury yacht sector. The aircraft can accommodate four couples or singles in their own private VIP cabins. The four cabins each feature a sofa-chair that can be converted to a full-size bed, an entertainment system with 17-inch, high-definition monitor, full-height wardrobe and direct access to a dressing room with toilet and shower in the mid section of the aircraft.

Cello, BAE display converted ABJ

BAE Systems Regional Aircraft and the UK’s Cello Aviation jointly exhibited the latest converted Avro Business Jet (ABJ) at the show.

It was the first public outing for the Cello ABJ, which flew directly to Geneva after completion at Inflite Engineering Services Southend facility just before the show. Cello acquired the aircraft late last year and will offer it to the UK and European VIP executive charter market.

Cello’s Chief Executive Officer Nim Baines designed the interior with 46 first-class seats, which can be reconfigured as a 44-seat layout with a Club 4 arrangement upfront. The four-abreast, parchment-coloured leather seats have 43-inch pitch. A moveable cabin divider, together with the hot galleys makes for a bespoke customer focused product.

Baines said: ''This aircraft has an interior configuration unique within Europe and is targeted towards the high-end group movements market, particularly the sporting team and entertainment industry. Additionally, we expect the product launch sector to find this level of in-flight service quality particularly attractive. Initial enquires received so far have significantly exceeded our expectations.''

Inflite also kitted out an ABJ for the Presidential Flight of Abu Dhabi. A third ABJ acquired by the company will incorporate an interior developed by the Linley design group. Over the past two years, there have been 13 BAe 146/Avro RJs converted into ABJs, which represent about half the total of current in-service aircraft in the corporate role.

Greenpoint displays 747-8 VIP modifications

Greenpoint Technologies brought its concepts for a ground-to-main deck lift for the 747-8 VIP aircraft, dubbed the “Aerolift” to the EBACE show.

The company demonstrated a full-size mock-up of the lift at its booth. The elevator is designed to transport passengers from the ground to the aircraft’s main deck, providing an elegant and secure method to board the aircraft.

Greenpoint also offers the 747-8 ‘Aeroloft’, which may be installed at the same time as the Aerolift, prior to an aircraft’s arrival at a completion centre. The Aeroloft consists of sleeping berths and lounge modules located above the main deck in the aft section of the aircraft, between doors four and five. It includes custom designed interior furnishings with a staircase.

Sloan Benson, Greenpoint’s executive vice-president, says: “This programme has turned out to be a very popular option amongst the 747-8 VIP customers.”

Silentium announces Challenger noise-reduction kit

Montreal-based Silentium Air announced at the show that it has developed the new 300 series customized noise-reduction kit specifically for Bombardier’s Challenger 300 business jet.

The kit can typically reduce overall cabin noise levels by at least three decibels, which represents an average cabin noise reduction of 30 percent in terms of human perception.

The Silentium kit consists of pre-fitted, aerospace-grade fibreglass and foam modules that are easy to install. It replaces factory-installed soundproofing, “without representing a significant weight increase,” the company says.

Work has started on the first customer Silentium Air 300 kit at Bombardier’s business aircraft service centre in Tucson, Arizona. Silentium president Nicholas Houseman said the company now plans to build similar kits for Bombardier’s Global aircraft series as well as the Challenger 600/601/604 aircraft.

LH Technik announces NICE offerings

Lufthansa Technik unveiled new offerings for its NICE integrated cabin equipment system during the EBACE show.

These included ‘nicemate’, a small, lightweight, powerful multi-tasking unit with a WLAN device, cellular GSM/3G connection and network server. It can host multiple, simultaneously running applications on the nice network. The first three applications to be introduced for the nicemate unit will be available for installation in the coming months.

Nicemate continually monitors and logs files from the system and establishes a secured 3G broadband connection once the aircraft lands to automatically transmit flight logs to Customer Service Innovation (CSI). If there are any malfunctions on the network, CSI will be automatically flagged and maintenance arranged. Depending on the level of service, a SMS message is sent to the aircraft stating the problem and giving maintenance direction.

Owners can always see the latest diagnostics results of the nice system on a custom-tailored web portal. Nicemate will host a server application that will send configuration data to a native iPhone / iTouch application.

There is an additional global niceview moving map product that will provide satellite 2D worldwide views. Niceview-lite will also host the ‘nicestuff’ widget network. Nicestuff widgets are managed on a customer portal (and can be changed before each flight) with many information sources from which to choose such as weather, stocks, political and sport news – and more nicestuff is on the way.

LHT’s Innovation unit is also developing a purpose built Blu-ray player made for the aerospace market. The player will fit into the same form-fit mounting tray with connector as Lufthansa Technik’s current DVD player.

The company’s Innovation business unit has also entered into an agreement with DRB Aviation Consultants from Texas to offer turnkey nice CMS/IFE installations in North America.

Rockwell Collins Avionics Certified for CJ4

Rockwell Collins announced at EBACE that its avionics systems, including the Pro Line 21 flight deck, MultiScan Hazard Detection System and Venue Cabin Management System (CMS), had been certificated for the Cessna Citation CJ4 under a type certificate achieved by launch customer Cessna.

The CJ4 certification marks the first installation of Rockwell Collins RTA-4100 MultiScan Hazard Detection system on a business jet. Venue comes standard on the CJ4. It includes a home-theatre quality media centre device, with a high-definition digital audio/visual distributor built into the forward equipment cabinet.

Meanwhile Honeywell received EASA certification for its satellite communications system on the Dassault Falcon 7X. Its MCS-7120 satellite communications system is an integrated communication system for both cabin and cockpit communications that provides fast, reliable, global connectivity via the Inmarsat SwiftBroadband or classic satellite network.

Mercedes drives new Eurocopter interior

Eurocopter is bringing “Mercedes-Benz style” to the popular EC145 twin-engine helicopter for high-end business and VIP operators.

Eurocopter brought a model of the design it has created for its EC145 twin-engine turbine helicopter along with German automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz to the EBACE show. The high-end interior attracted a great deal of attention even at the packed event.

The EC145 ‘Mercedes-Benz Style’ was conceived in a design project led by the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Como, Italy.

Olivier Lambert, Eurocopter’s senior vice-president for sales and customer relations, says: “Eurocopter has consolidated its position as the leading helicopter supplier for corporate and VIP operators. The EC145 ‘Mercedes-Benz Style’ is our third major creative initiative of this type in seven years, ensuring that Eurocopter will continue as the helicopter manufacturer of choice for corporate and VIP customers.”

The EC145’s spacious cabin allowed Mercedes-Benz designers to take a modular approach for the new high-end interior, which is inspired by the automaker’s new R-Class range. Seat upholstery in the EC145 ‘Mercedes-Benz Style’ will be available in deluxe materials and a range of colours, and a choice of elegant woods is offered to provide luxury underfoot and stylish panelled ceilings.

All seats are mounted on rails and can be quickly and easily reconfigured for different seating configurations, or removed to make room for luggage. Three multi-function boxes with features such as a cool box, cup holder, table, monitor and DVD player have been incorporated, along with extra storage space provided by drawers. A partition wall with windows separates the cabin from the cockpit, and ambient cabin lighting utilized on Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class vehicles is integrated the design of the passenger cabin. There is also a high-capacity luggage compartment with numerous attachment points on the floor and walls for baggage, golf clubs and other outsized articles.

New-production EC145 ‘Mercedes-Benz Style’ helicopters will be available from the fourth quarter of 2011.

Jet Aviation, Porsche team up on interiors

Jet Aviation Basel and Porsche Design Studio in Austria’s Zell am See are collaborating on VVIP aircraft cabin interiors designs. Porsche Design Studio joins a number of leading interior design companies to work creatively with Jet Aviation Basel's own in-house design department.

Charles Celli, senior vice-president completions and general manager of Jet Aviation Basel says: “With this collaboration, the experience and highest quality standards of Jet Aviation are combined with leading-edge designs from the renowned Porsche Design Studio."

According to Roland Heiler, managing director of the Porsche Design Studio at Zell am See: “When designing for Porsche Design, we place particular focus on technically inspired, timeless products. It is that very philosophy which will be the basis for our aviation designs: not opulent but timeless, purist and clear with the aim to distinguish from traditional airplane interiors.”

Jet Aviation’s in-house design department is choosy about who it works with, since its own expertise is so well-developed.

"Porsche Design brings to the market an exciting approach to aviation interiors. However, in order to develop innovative, viable products, you must also have a thorough knowledge of the interior in which you are working,” says Manager Elisabeth Harvey. “Our design team not only has a broad in-depth knowledge and experience of aircraft cabin interiors, but they are also able to provide technical guidance, particularly regarding engineering and certification elements. It is this guidance, especially in the early design phase, which is invaluable for our clients to realize their wishes from concept through to aircraft redelivery."

Dassault delivers first Falcon 7X to China

Separately, Dassault Aviation announced that it had delivered its first Falcon 7X aircraft to China, just two months after the long-range business jet earned its Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) certification.

The privately owned 7X will be based in Shenzhen. The French airframe manufacturer is set to deliver two more aircraft of the type to Chinese customers before the middle of the year.

Dassault is also developing its business elsewhere. The manufacturer’s Brazilian service centre has been given US FAA Part 145 certification, meaning that the Sorocaba-based facility can perform maintenance on US-registered Falcon business jets.

In brief

MAC AIRCRAFT Sales sold its third Bombardier CRJ200 GLS aircraft, to Emerald Jet, a Saudi charter company. The aircraft will be the first VIP CRJ200 to be based in Beirut. The CRJ 200 GLS is MAC’s own branded version of Flying Colours’ CRJ ExecLiner, featuring a 16-passenger VIP interior and extended-range fuel tanks. MAC Chief Executive Jim Iacono says: “We have two more GLS sales in the pipeline over the next couple of months. One model will likely go to the Middle East and the other to a US client.”

ARINC DIRECT, a flight-planning and datalink communications firm, has also made inroads into Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Over the past year, the company has added 100 aircraft to its customer base in Europe and the Middle East and hired four additional staff in Delhi and Singapore. It now supports 350 business aircraft throughout the region.

HAINAN AIRLINES Group (HNA Group) announced at the EBACE show that it had recently signed an agreement with the local government in Beijing to inject capital into Deer Air, renaming it Capital Airlines. Deer Air, formally known as Deer Jet, has been offering both charter and scheduled jet services using a fleet of 19 Airbus A319s.

Asian Aviation at a glance