Completion & Refurb Update: November 2005

 - October 18, 2006, 1:35 PM

LED Replacements for Fluorescent Tubes Coming Soon

Emteq Lighting & Cabin Systems recently announced a patent-pending LED replacement for the traditional fluorescent light tube. In the past several years, LED (light-emitting diode) technology–from reading lamps to overhead wash lighting– has become the standard in business jet cabins, primarily because it offers a number of advantages over fluorescent lighting: lower maintenance, exceptionally longer life, less heat production and lower electrical current draw.

Now the New Berlin, Wis.-based lighting specialist is offering an LED tube that can be installed in place of the standard fluorescent tube, using the same bi-pin connection design and compatible with virtually any cabin electrical system–28-volt DC or 115-volt AC. It offers owners of aircraft with fluorescent lighting an alternative to waiting until the next major cabin upgrade to install LED wash-lighting. According to product sales manager Ed Callahan, the replacement LED tubes are already available, and all that’s required for installation in most aircraft is an FAA field approval. As for the cost, the LED tubes are likely to come with a price tag of about 30 percent more than a comparable fluorescent tube.

Embraer Picks BMW Group Designworks for New Bizjets

Embraer has selected BMW Group DesignworksUSA to design the interiors of its recently launched very light and light jets. With the owner/operator in mind,
Embraer projects a seamlessly integrated flight deck and passenger cabin. BMW Group, said Embraer, “delivered a design solution that creates a feeling of serenity–through a simple and elegant first impression.” Onboard amenities will include a private lavatory, a refreshment center, an executive table and entertainment and air/ground communication systems.

The eight-seat very light jet, priced at $2.75 million, is expected to enter service in mid-2008. The light jet will accommodate nine people, is priced at $6.65 million and should enter service in mid-2009.

Jet Aviation Adds to Basel Capacity

Jet Aviation, already a major player at Bale-Mulhouse Airport in Basel, Switzerland, last month signed a lease agreement with Swiss International Air Lines to take over the Crossair hangar. The additional 53,820 sq ft of space brings Jet Aviation’s total hangar space at Basel to 215,000 sq ft. “Currently, we have more than 30 aircraft on any given day for maintenance, completions and exterior painting,” said Rainer Albecker, senior v-p and general manager at Jet Aviation, who also noted that the company expects “the number of aircraft t our facility to increase over the next few years.” As a completion center, the location employs more than 1,000 interiors specialists and has in-house design and engineering departments, as well as on-site cabinetry, upholstery, composites and paint shops. The center is capable of outfitting aircraft as large as the new Airbus A380.

Lufthansa Technik Signs First Russian VIP Cabin Contract

Lufthansa Technik has signed its first contract for a VIP interior completion of a Boeing Business Jet for a customer in Russia or the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The aircraft will be operated by Vizavi Aviation on behalf of a Russian bank. Delivery is expected in the middle of next year.

The interior is of a unique design adapted from the yachting industry and created by UK-based Andrew Winch. It will include a dedicated dining and conference area, a lavatory with shower, an executive lounge and a private stateroom.

“Russia will be a growing market for VIP jets, with high potential,” predicted Walter Heerdt, senior v-p of marketing and sales for the Hamburg, Germany-based interior shop.

Lufthansa Technik has already done the interiors for 12 BBJs and five BBJ2s, as well as for two Airbus A319 corporate jets and three A319LR (long range) versions for shuttle operators.

Legacy Has a New High-speed Connection

The new high-speed data (HSD) capability system for Embraer’s Legacy has received certification from Brazilian, European and U.S. aviation authorities. The first aircraft with the HSD system was delivered in late July to a U.S. customer. The wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) technology and high-speed data connection is based on the Inmarsat Swift 64 service. Speed in the package is currently 128 kbps and can be upgraded to 864 kbps when Inmarsat launches its SwiftBroadband service late next year. The upgrade will expand the capability and support the massive file transfers necessary for a videoconference.

Midcoast OffersBrighter Warranty on Paint

The new paint hangar at Midcoast Aviation at St. Louis Downtown Airport opened last December, and the company has extended its exterior paint warranty to three years or 1,000 flight hours, whichever comes first. The warranty was previously 500 hours.

The $5 million, 50,000-sq-ft hangar is among the largest in the industry and capable of accommodating the Global Express and large-cabin Gulfstreams.