JCB Aero Grows Interiors Business In U.S.
As it pushes to expand in Europe and at its new Arkansas facility, JCB Aero is here at EBACE exhibiting custom-finished furniture with metal accents and, to demonstrate its growing capabilities, a mockup of the front section of a business jet, comprising a galley and a lounge.
In recent deliveries, Auch, France-based JCB (Booth 6350) counts its first two sets of furniture for Dassault Falcon 7Xs. “We designed the furniture on specification, manufactured it in our Auch workshop and installed it at Dassault’s Mérignac factory,” sales director Pierre Mandelli told AIN. He said there are more on order and he stressed that JCB performs only some of the completions done in Mérignac, which represent a fraction of Falcon completions (most are done in Little Rock, Arkansas). Mandelli estimates JCB will supply furniture for three or four Falcon 7Xs per year and he hopes the company will be selected to work on Dassault’s upcoming Falcon M1000.
Recent refurbishment projects have included providing furnishings for a VIP Boeing 747 lounge, toilet and bedroom on behalf of a Swiss completion center, whose customer was a Middle-Eastern owner, Mandelli said. Separately, Embraer’s service center at Paris Le Bourget airport has tasked JCB with revarnishing the furniture of a Legacy 600.
This year, JCB will refurbish an entire Boeing 757 cabin, configured as a 50-seat corporate shuttle. “We will replace all soft materials, from nose to tail,” Mandelli explained. The aircraft’s downtime in Auch is estimated at three months, and will follow two-and-a-half months of engineering.
JCB also provides furnishings for rotorcraft and is supplying Airbus Helicopters with lining panels for the EC175’s cabin, in offshore configuration. The panels are fitted with lighting and noise-dampening material. They are designed for easy installation so that it just takes two hours for two technicians to plug them into an EC175, Mandelli said.
In related news, JCB has established a spinoff company in the U.S., called Beaudet Aviation. Located in Arkansas, the company expects it will be the same size as the Auch facility in three years. JCB Aero currently employs 150 in France (including 20 temporary staff) and 20 in the U.S.