Lufthansa Technik Unveils Innovation Initiatives At EBACE

 - May 22, 2014, 5:10 AM
Oliver Thomaschewski, Project Manager A/C Interior VIP & Executive Jet Solutions, introduces a new innovation in VIP seating.

VIP aircraft services provider Lufthansa Technik has unveiled new offerings for cabin completions and a major corporate investment and reorganization aimed at keeping its pipeline filled with innovative ideas, products and services.

Under its Innovation Boost program, introduced here at the EBACE show, Lufthansa Technik (Booth 5634) is quadrupling its research and development spending, committing €200 million through 2017. The company is also changing its organizational structure to create a better environment for innovation and new product development.

“Sometimes the market just doesn’t offer products to the liking of our customers, or their delivery takes such a long time that it negatively influences the redelivery of the aircraft,“ said Walter Heerdt, senior vice president of marketing and sales. “With our approach, we will do our utmost to fill the gap between expectations and products presently available.”

A newly established Corporate Innovation Management and Product Development department will promote, coordinate and control company-wide technology and product-development projects and manage the innovation budget. Meanwhile, a new production division for Original Equipment Innovation will have charge of all products offered by Lufthansa Technik as an OEM. The company also unveiled Inairvation, a joint venture with interior specialists List Components and Furniture, and a new interior concept the joint venture has produced called “Technology Meets Cabin.” An integrated solution, one of the cabin’s key features, is “a new seat family called ‘chair,’ [which is] a new innovation in VIP seating,” Heerdt said. “The seat is the central interface between the human body and the aircraft.” He invited attendees to see the chair at the company’s booth (5634).

Lufthansa also announced a modular “pre-customized” VIP cabin for narrow-body aircraft, immediately available for the ACJ and BBJ families. “The new modular cabin concept allows a customer many possibilities to combine different cabin elements that are close to an individual cabin layout,” Heerdt said. With an ACJ 319 for example, Lufthansa Technik can offer 96 variations on the cabin, and in a longer aircraft such as the BBJ2, even more choices. Prices for the modular interior start at about $20 million, along with a short turnaround time of about six months for the completion. The work will be performed by Lufthansa Technik subsidiary Bizjet International of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Among the options that can be installed: a self-contained steam shower system that Lufthansa Technik is also showcasing here at the show.

Inairvation Joint Venture

Inairvation, Lufthansa’s joint venture with List, is an independent company based in Edlitz, Austria, allied with preferred partners Schott and Design Q. The company aims to become a turnkey provider of interiors for business jet OEMs, under the guidance of the manufacturers’ design teams. Its integrated cabin approach will enable Inairvation to develop cutting-edge solutions while improving quality and lowering costs of the interiors, said CEO Philip von Schroeter. The company is in discussion with two OEMs and close to reaching an agreement with one to take over responsibility for the interiors for an existing product line, Schroeter said. At a mockup based on a Challenger 650-size airframe at Lufthansa Technik’s EBACE booth (5634), the fit, finish and philosophy of the integrated approach is on display in touches such as a wood floor from List outfitted with flush strip-lighting from Schott. Schroeter said Inairvation’s timeline for developing a turnkey interior is two years from a first meeting with an OEM to delivery of the first interior.