EBACE Convention News

Jet Aviation Focuses on Innovation

 - May 20, 2022, 11:18 AM
Jet Aviation submitted this design and its sustainable elements for the 2022 Yacht & Aviation Awards.

Swiss completion, refurbishment, and MRO specialist Jet Aviation (Booth D35) arrives at EBACE 2022 with a firm focus on “innovation and sustainability across the business,” said company v-p of completions sales Matthew Woollaston. “This centers on continued development of our sound and weight capabilities, innovation in VVIP completions, and partnerships with higher-education institutions.”

Jet Aviation’s forward focus follows last year’s redeliveries of four aircraft, including the world’s first head-of-state BBJ Max 8, and the company’s first head-of-state Boeing 787-8. Two ACJs rounded out the completions, including its first ACJ320neo. All were originally green airplanes.

The 787 Dreamliner, inducted at its Basel completion center in late 2019, was redelivered on time and below target weight. It was approved under Jet Aviation’s existing EASA STC for installations on the composite Boeing 787 airframe—the first STC of this kind granted to a completion center, said Jet Aviation senior v-p for EMEA regional operations Jeremie Caillet.

Designed by an outside firm, the 787 interior incorporates several new design elements and features an “exceptionally low cabin noise” level according to the company, the latest milestone in long-term collaborative research and development projects between Jet Aviation, universities, OEMs, and partner firms. Caillet called the 787 “one of the most beautiful and technically impressive cabins we have ever redelivered,” adding that the results “position us strongly for future 787 completions.”

Continued focus centers on balancing weight and sound to create cabins “that are not only light but also exceptionally quiet,” said Woollaston. Among Jet Aviation's noise-reduction collaboration partners is sister company Gulfstream Aerospace, which has decades of research and development in analytical and testing capabilities applied in creating quiet cabins for its business jets.

For Jet Aviation, the challenge has been “how to apply this proven technology to aircraft completed with custom interiors, since every Jet Aviation aircraft completion is unique and there is not sufficient acoustic test data for the larger VVIP airframe,” Woollaston said.

Jet Aviation’s team has used Gulfstream’s statistical energy analysis technology that can model exact custom interiors to predict cabin noise in head-of-state cabins. Engineers and designers can then evaluate how different materials will affect sound levels, allowing the completion center and the customer to collaborate on optimizing sound and weight before production begins.

The completion specialist has also developed new methods of installing “behind-the-scenes” materials such as OEM blankets and window treatments, as well as controlling airflow, to further improve cabin sound/weight balance.

This week at EBACE, the company is highlighting “our ongoing efforts to offer our customers a range of sustainable choices” in cabin materials and furnishing options, Woollaston said. A cabin design concept from its in-house studio that explores the integration of sustainable elements—including table marble marquetry made of stone offcuts, natural fibers, and flooring produced from recycled materials—was shortlisted last month for the private jet concept category of the 2022 Yacht & Aviation Awards.

Jet Aviation is also showcasing at Palexpo innovative digital tools being implemented with the goal of making its customers’ completion center experience “seamless,” he said.

Helping optimize workflow on its projects, last July Jet Aviation opened an 8,000-sq-m (86,000-sq-ft) production center at its Basel facility, combining renovated and newly constructed space and bringing together the cabinet, interiors, finishing, and sheet metal shops into one location.

Going forward, Jet Aviation sees its ability to innovate as “key to staying relevant in an ever-evolving world, where customers expect more and more of their home comforts while in the air,” according to Woollaston. One avenue for incubating that capability: Jet Aviation is collaborating on projects with several universities to gain “greater insight into how the world is evolving” while also “impart our knowledge and help aviation artisans of the future understand our industry, and help us to see it through the eyes of a younger generation,” he said.

In a project with the Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology, a multi-disciplinary student team is developing a concept for a futuristic VIP aircraft interior that provides modern technology and luxury while using the most sustainable alternatives to conventional designs. Jet Aviation also collaborates with Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S. through the university’s industrial liaison program.

Further underscoring its forward focus, in March Jet Aviation signed the World Economic Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow 2030 ambition statement, which aims to accelerate the production and adoption of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to constitute 10 percent of the global supply by 2030. Jet Aviation was the first FBO to offer a blended SAF option at Van Nuys Airport near Los Angeles in 2019, and in 2020 brought SAF to Switzerland for the first time in collaboration with Neste and Zurich Airport.