EBACE Convention News

Widebody mods offer safety, comfort

 - April 28, 2010, 6:42 AM

The people at Greenpoint Technologies like a challenge, and two of their most recent contributions to the world of widebody completions are all that and more. The U.S. company now holds a patent on its 747-8 modular overhead space utilization project known as the Aeroloft.

The berth and lounge modules are typically located above the main deck, between fuselage doors three and five, though some clients have found a layout between doors four and five more to their liking, leaving the main deck ceiling open at door three. Other clients have opted for additional modifications to close out and finish the main deck ceiling under the Aeroloft.

The Aeroloft is installed on aircraft after delivery from Boeing, but before the aircraft goes to a completion center. “This program has turned out to be a very popular option amongst customers for an executive/VIP version of the 747-8,” according to executive vice president Sloan Benson. The Aeroloft can be seen in a 747-8 model, also on display at the Greenpoint exhibit (Booth No. 455).  

Also on show here as a full-scale mockup in a Boeing 747-8 model is the patent-pending Aerolift, capable of transporting passenger from the ground to the main deck of the aircraft.

 “Tackling the complex task of modifications to the aircraft’s primary structure, Greenpoint’s Aerolift is a complete installation,” said chief customer engineer Mike Weisner. It consists of an automatic door in the fuselage, a power unit and lift structure from the keel up through the main deck, a lift carriage with internal doors, and a cabin enclosure.

Without the Aerolift, passengers on the executive/VIP 747-8 are obliged to use ground-based stairs due to the height of the door from the ground and lack of a built-in airstair. From a security standpoint, the enclosed carriage descends directly to the tarmac, reducing the occupant’s exposure to public view and providing a degree of privacy. What’s more, the carriage was specifically sized to permit transport of a wheelchair and attendant, “creating a dignified, secure boarding experience.”