Completions Centers Await Executive 787 Deliveries
Independent cabin completion centers approved by Boeing to outfit the business aviation version of the Dreamliner are gearing up for delivery of their first aircraft, expected before year-end. Gore Design Completions of San Antonio and Jet Aviation Basel in Switzerland have been preparing to meet the unique challenge of building and installing highly customized interiors in the all-composite fuselage of the 787 for a year or more, sending teams of engineers to receive training at Boeing’s Seattle facilities. In addition, Boeing has sent teams to the various approved centers to provide training on maintenance and support.
“The all-composite structures of the Boeing 787 present a unique set of requirements for interior completions,” said Neil Boyle, Jet Aviation’s completion center v-p and general manager.
In addition to Gore Design and Jet Aviation, Boeing has approved six completion centers specializing in outfitting the largest aircraft (corporate, personal and head-of-state) to work on the 787: Altitude Aerospace Interiors, Auckland, New Zealand; Amac Aerospace, Basel, Switzerland; Associated Air Center, Dallas; Greenpoint Technologies, Kirkland, Wash.; L-3 Platform Integration, Waco, Texas; and Lufthansa Technik, Hamburg, Germany.
Future of Head-of-State Aircraft
Gore Design announced at the NBAA Convention in late October it has won contracts to do two 787 interiors, both in head-of-state configuration. “The Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350 represent the future of head-of-state aircraft,” said Mohammed Alzeer, the company’s general partner.
Both Gore Design and Jet Aviation are FAA- and EASA-authorized to provide cabin completions for Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Gore Design, in fact, has hangar facilities capable of accommodating up to three twin-aisle airplanes as large as the Airbus ACJ330 and the Boeing 747-8, along with one single-aisle aircraft the size of an Airbus ACJ319 or Boeing Business Jet.
Gore was purchased this past spring by MAZ Aviation, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
L-3 Platform Integration said it is “active in the market” and earlier this year announced it has received FAA organization designation authorization (ODA) for modification of the composite-fuselage airplane. The ODA allows a center to issue certificates of airworthiness and supplemental type certificates on behalf of the FAA.
Boeing Business Jets now claims firm orders for 13 executive variants of the 787: five for private use, one for corporate, five for head-of-state and two for charter. The first of the new 747-8s began arriving at completion centers last year and the firm orders stand at nine (eight head-of-state and one private).
Meanwhile, with certification of the Airbus A350 planned for next summer, completion centers can expect to see still more contracts as the OEM begins delivering the ACJ350 version.
An Airbus spokesman told AIN that with the added comfort of a cabin wider than that of the 787 and nonstop world range, “The potential for private jet versions of the A350 remains bright.”
In the meantime, Airbus continues to promote the ACJ330-200, several of which have already been delivered to completion centers. Centers approved by Airbus for ACJ completions include Associated Air Center; Airbus Corporate Jet Center (ACJC), Toulouse, France; Amac Aerospace; Comlux, Indianapolis; Gore Design Completions; Jet Aviation Basel; Lufthansa Technik; and Taeco, Xiamen, China.