Aero Technics Blog

Focus on Aero Technics Design

Posted on 14/05/12, filed under Fresh News | No Comments

Based near Heathrow Airport, Aero Technics Design offer specialist design and certification services for interior modifications to commercial, VIP and corporate aircraft, as well as electrical and avionic system upgrades. High profile customers include Virgin Atlantic, First Choice and BMI.

Whenever such changes to aircraft are undertaken, the design and testing has to be closely monitored and certified. In Europe, this is the responsibility of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Aero Technics Design, as an EASA Part 21 approved company, can approve minor changes to aircraft and liaise with EASA to obtain approvals for more major changes. They regularly work with other airworthiness authorities to gain approvals for modifications to aircraft registered outside Europe.

Tight deadlines and short turnaround times are the norm in this business – airlines cannot afford their aircraft to be on the ground for longer than necessary – as are the high levels of quality required to pass EASA’s stringent approval processes.

A typical project could involve designing and planning a cabin reconfiguration, replacing seats, galleys, cabin dividers, wardrobes and stowage compartments.

In addition to meeting the airline operators’ requirements, cabin reconfigurations require designers to ensure compliance with regulations such as the space required between seats and the room allotted for passengers to get to the entry and exit points. By creating 3D models of the aircraft’s interiors using the latest computer aided design tools, Aero Technics Design can ensure compliance by visualising and demonstrating new designs in virtual environments.

If you’d like to know more about Aero Technics Design, contact us via the web site here.

On what to pack

Posted on 27/04/12, filed under Industry News | No Comments

Change of clothes… check

Papers for meeting… check

Passport… check, actually double check

Smartphone… yes, oh definitely.

What has changed the user-experience of business flying in the last few years? The effects of 9/11 for sure. New routes, new aircraft, the economy tanking – yep, all those.

Smartphones and tablets? How have the Iphone et al changed air travel? (Use of tablets in-flight are up 15% (1), with more than one in four travellers now calling theirs’ a carry-on essential.)

Well, at first they let us access our email as far as the jetways,  check our flight’s status while in the taxi to the airport (half of all fliers check their flights online) and keep ourselves entertained onboard reading books, watching movies or playing games. Then they became our check-in tool (30% of air passengers now check-in this way).

All this even before we could use them to get web access on-board. (27% would choose one airline over another if the flight offered Wi-Fi)

So now, with our Iphones and a decent pair of headphones, we can be excused one of our least favourite things about air travel – socializing (76% of passengers have no interest in chatting in the air).

What’s next? Well, paying for things via smartphones is already a reality in many countries so that takes care of the duty free, and electronic ID cards can’t be far away, so maybe we can even leave the passport at home.

You did remember your Iphone, didn’t you?

(1) all statistics from a Tripadvisor Poll of US-based travellers

The Dangers of Too Little Competition

Posted on 16/04/12, filed under Fresh News | No Comments

The civil air-transportation market is global, almost by definition. Even the airframes themselves, although dominated by two major players, originate from many different countries. Just about every nation in the world has a major airport with an entire industrial infrastructure to support it, along with a supply chain to support indigenous manufacturers of spares or components.

Traditionally, airlines could ensure some level of individuality while supporting these local industries by making their own choice of interior components and furnishing them to the airframers.

But the winds of change can be felt on the air…

This system, so called buyer-furnished equipment, was not ideal for the airframer who had little if any control over the supply chain, and stories are legion of major aircraft deliveries being delayed at huge cost to the airframers, and inconvenience to the airlines, by supply problems with seats, galleys and a host of other components.

So, both Boeing and Airbus are seeking to switch the process to seller-furnished or seller-managed. In other words, they’re taking control of their supply chain.

For the 787, for example, buyers are restricted to choosing their cabin components from an (albeit extensive) catalogue comprising items which have been pre-approved and vetted by Boeing. Similarly, customers for the Airbus A350 are restricted to single sources for galleys and lavatories and IFE will only be available from seller-contracted suppliers.

The gains for the airframers are obvious: control of the supply-chain, simplification of design to allow fewer configurations, even driven-down costs.

To the airlines, less delivery risk is a clear win, but to the global market for interiors the future is far less certain, especially for those who have yet to receive the expensive and time-consuming blessing from either of the big two.

So will this change stifle innovation and competition? Will it raise barriers for new entrants to the market and will it even affect the global nature of the interiors market?

Time will tell.