Altitude Aerospace displays ‘Pounamu’ cabin for BBJ

 - October 13, 2010, 10:01 AM

When it comes to creating mockups, Altitude Aerospace has taken the art to a new level with the Boeing Business Jet Pounamu cabin on display here at NBAA 2010 (Booth No. 1213).

Project Pounamu was formed in late 2009, the child of a collaboration of skilled business jet interior specialists, partially funded by the New Zealand government and with a grant from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

Rather than build the cabin mockup in the traditional manner, Altitude started with a retired Boeing 737 fuselage to create an “out of the ordinary” example of its design and engineering expertise, the skills of its upholstery and cabinetry artisans and the experience of a crew of talented modification and installation specialists. No less important, said Altitude general manager Michael Pervan, was the contribution by “the best suppliers in the market,” including DeCrane, ATG, Tisca Tiara, Aeristo, Tapis, Nordam, Air New Zealand, Flight Interiors and Circa Marine.

Motivation for the project, said head of programs and procurement Pascal Jallier, came from “a desire to assure potential customers that we know how to undertake the most complex programs, even though we are technically a new name to the industry.”

While Altitude entered the executive/VIP completion and refurbishment business just a little more than two years ago, the Christchurch, New Zealand-based company’s experience in 737 design and interior work as part of Air New Zealand Engineering Services goes back some 30 years.

Altitude not only holds an EASA designated organization approval, it also holds an FAA Part 145 repair station certificate and is on Boeing’s list of centers approved for BBJ cabin completion work. Altitude has already done several major BBJ refurbishments and expects to do its first BBJ green completion in 2012.

The Pounamu project here in Atlanta aims to offer proof of that experience. By developing a new ducting system design, the mockup features a more spacious cabin with an additional four inches of headroom.

Visitors enter the mockup through a grand entrance and from there move into a salon with bar and seating for six. The next cabin zone is a fully functioning conference room equipped with a 55-inch, high-definition, LED-lit monitor, credenzas of exotic wood veneers and swiveling executive seats. “We took as much ‘mock’ out of this mockup as possible,” said business development manager Sue Hart.