Completions & Refurbishment

 - September 27, 2007, 8:47 AM

Proposed Embraer Business Jets To Feature Stand-Up Cabins
At the NBAA Convention last month, Brazilian manufacturer Embraer introduced concept studies for two new clean-sheet business jets in the form of a midsize (MSJ) aircraft and a “mid-light” (MLJ) model (see story on page 1). A full-size cabin mockup
of the MLJ was on display. Both twinjets will feature a stand-up (six-foot-tall) cabin, forward galley, an enclosed aft lavatory and an aft baggage compartment accessible in flight. The two concept studies show airplanes with circular cabin cross-sections
the same size but the MSJ cabin is almost five feet longer than that of the MLJ. A three-place, side-facing divan is available in the MSJ. A two-place, side-facing divan is an option in the smaller MLJ.

Starling Completes In-flight Test of Broadband Antenna
Starling Advanced Communication, a specialist in low-profile broadband antenna systems for in-flight applications, has completed what it described as “record
performance” for its Mijet Ku-band fuselage-mounted antenna. The antenna system was installed on a Boeing 737 and maintained continuous broadband connection between the aircraft and the Amos communications satellite. Included in the test syllabus were simultaneous video conference calls, numerous VoIP calls using Skype, loading of large files via the Internet and forwarding and receipt of e-mail. According to Starling, Mijet exceeded nominal specifications, with a reception rate of more than 20 Mbps and transmission rate of more than 5 Mbps. The tests were carried out during various flight conditions at different altitudes, including normal and extreme aircraft maneuvering.

DeCrane Gets New CEO, New Name, New Structure
The former DeCrane Aircraft recently welcomed a new CEO, changed the name of the company to DeCrane Aerospace and has begun implementing a restructuring and integration strategy. Roger Wolfe, formerly with Landmark Aviation during a period of major acquisition and restructuring there, took over from Dick Kaplan as CEO at DeCrane, effective September 13. Under the new structuring plan, DeCrane Aerospace is the parent company of two major divisions–DeCrane Aerospace Interior Products and DeCrane Aerospace Systems. The former consists of Audio International, Carl F. Booth, DeCrane Aircraft Seating, PCI Newco and Precision Pattern. The latter consists of PATS Aircraft, a major completion and refurbishment center; and Hollingsead International, a specialist in composite avionics racks and enclosures, fully wired installation kits, electrical interface solutions and retrofit kits for in-flight entertainment, communication and navigation systems. “DeCrane’s total cabin capabilities translate to faster turnaround time and maximum efficiency,” said Wolfe. “It’s truly a single-source solution for aircraft interiors.” Among the company’s first new customers is Embraer, which has signed an exclusive contract for DeCrane to provide and install the Lineage 1000 interiors at DeCrane’s PATS facility in Georgetown, Del.

IWG To Focus on Large Aircraft Systems
International Water-Guard of Burnaby, British Columbia, has unveiled a new aircraft water treatment system focused on the special requirements of executive versions of widebody airliners.

“With growing demand for such aircraft,” said IWG president and CEO David Fox, “the demands on the water system are increasing, with more exotic galley and shower installations and the need for high, consistent water flow and greater capacity.” IWG’s basic circulating potable water system is a constant-flow system that eliminates the risk of in-flight freezing and provides adequate volume through the use of conformal tanks. Beyond this, said Fox, are custom configurations of pumps, valves and other systems.

Elliott Aviation Has Designs on the Future
Elliott Aviation recently opened a new design center in the main lobby of its Moline, Ill. headquarters. The move was part of an expansion to accommodate the rapid growth of the company’s interior completion business. The center was previously housed in space shared by the completion center. Part of the new space is a showroom featuring a selection of stylish options for seating, cabinetry, sidewalls, flooring, countertop, metal plating and other cabin amenities. “Our new design center enables aircraft owners to take a hands-on approach to designing the new interior of their aircraft,” said Elliott aircraft interior designer Meghan Welch.

PATS Plans Expansion
PATS Aircraft has announced the launch of a major expansion program, in terms of facility size and employee base. The Georgetown, Del.-based DeCrane Aerospace Systems company plans four additional hangar bays totaling 56,000 sq ft to complement the existing seven bays. The hangars, along with 37,000 sq ft of back-shop space, are scheduled to be finished in the middle of next year. Also in the planning stage is a 100,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility, to be completed in early 2009. PATS has launched an accelerated recruitment program to hire more than 200 people over the next 18 months. It has also boosted its training programs to make certain the new hires gain the necessary skills, and it is adding to its mid- and upper-level management ranks.

E-A-R Gets Embraer Contract for Phenom Thermal/Acoustics
E-A-R Specialty Composites has won a contract to design, develop and certify the thermal/acoustic packages for Embraer’s new Phenom 100 very light jet and Phenom 300 light jet. The work will mean expansion of E-A-R’s on-site technical and production support team in Brazil to support Embraer’s Legacy 600 program. At its Indianapolis base, E-A-R recently broke ground on a new acoustic test center that is designed to bolster its aircraft interiors test and analysis capabilities in a highly controlled environment. The new center will add 11,200 sq ft to the current 157,000-sq-ft facility and is expected to be operational by the spring. It will feature two hemi-anechoic chambers, two reverberation chambers dedicated to sound absorption, sound power and noise emission testing, as well as rigid temperature and humidity controls, quiet lighting and clean power.

3M Introduces the Sound of Silence
3M Acoustic Solutions is introducing a new Thinsulate compressible acoustic insulation designed for automobiles that could have a number of aviation applications. The “Thinsulate Compressible” series or products are low-density, non-woven acoustic absorbers that are cavity filling, compressible and shape conforming. The insulation has some thermal properties but is primarily an acoustic barrier, “ideal for novel designs in traditional applications [particularly in] irregularly shaped areas that are usually difficult to treat.” The initial market entry consists of four products with two weights and two surface configurations. The TC 3303, for example, offers half the density and a 25-percent better noise reduction coefficient than 3M acoustic products of similar price. For additional information, contact Rhonda Sand at 3M Acoustic Solutions, (866) 887-8438.

Rosen and Stevens Partner for Entertainment System Approvals
Rosen Aviation of Eugene, Ore., in collaboration with Stevens Aviation of Greenville, S.C., has obtained parts manufacturing approval (PMA) on 25 in-flight entertainment system components for the Hawker 800 series. Rosen received the PMA for products and components relating to the 6.5-inch display, 7-inch widescreen display, 8.4-inch display, 15-inch display, RosenView LX moving map system, single-disc DVD player, as well as various connector kits, arm mounts and harnesses.

Flying Colours Presents…
Flying Colours rolled its first “ExecLiner” twinjet out of the paint shop, en route to a major interior makeover to an executive configuration. The paint scheme makes use of Du Pont’s ChromaLusion, which changes color when the viewing angle shifts. The Peterborough, Ontario company has orders for another six ExecLiners, all executive versions of the Canadair CRJ200 regional airliner. In addition to the new interiors, the aircraft are being refitted with extended-range fuel systems.

Emteq Offers a Little Heat in the Seat
Hawker Beechcraft has awarded Emteq an initial contract to install its newly certified seat heaters on the manufacturer’s King Air line. The design provides heat in the lumbar and seat areas that can be controlled individually. The seat heaters are available as an option on new King Airs as well as a retrofit item on aircraft already in service. Emteq plans to develop similar seat-heat packages for the Hawker 400XP/800/800XP, as well as for the Beechjet 400 and 400A.

Forté Spells Affordable In-flight Calling
At the NBAA Convention last month Sky Connect introduced Forté, an “affordable new satellite phone system that delivers full in-flight capability for less than $15,000.” Customers who order by the end of the year will receive 1,000 free minutes of air time. Each Forté system includes Sky Connect’s newest panel-mounted dialer, one slim cordless handset and a certified Iridium transceiver. Optional configurations can include up to five additional cordless handsets, corded handsets for high-noise cabins, automated tracking and an additional Iridium transceiver to provide a second phone line. Unique to the Forté system is two-way text messaging using the company’s MMU-UU cockpit dialer. Sky Connect is designed to meet the needs of first-time phone buyers as well as those replacing an obsolete system.

Down the Aisle…
Emteq of New Berlin, Wis., is bringing two new specialty cable products to market–
a 75-ohm, high-performance coaxial variant exclusively for high-definition television, and an extremely low-weight, one gigabyte CAT 5E 100 BaseT Ethernet cable… Inc.com magazine has recognized Emteq as one of the fastest growing private companies in America, ranking it 12th among the top 100 companies in the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis region. The 11-year-old New Berlin company earned $33 million in 2006 and is forecasting profits of more than $50 million for this year… 3M of St. Paul, Minn., has introduced a step-by-step paint repair process for 16 common defects…Total Aircraft Services of Van Nuys, Calif., and RW Martin of Murrieta, Calif., have merged to create Ikhana Group…Carl F. Booth, a DeCrane company supplier of veneer products, has earned a Platinum Performance Excellence Award from Hawker Beechcraft…Avfab of Clinton, Mo., has introduced a new two-place divan certified for a total occupant weight of 400 pounds, 60 pounds more than two-place divans typically installed in the King Air 100 and King Air 200 series.