Aviation companies are always looking at ways to improve passenger comfort – including offering something different in the luxury travel market.
That includes Starling Aerospace, which had its new VIP track and swivel seat on display at both Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) in Dubai and Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) Hamburg.
“The lightweight aluminium aircraft seat has been designed to lie flat at 179°, turn 360° rotation with positive locking in all positions, and accommodate passengers over 6ft in height,” said Coralie Wigg, Starling’s commercial director and co-founder.
“It also tracks sideways, backwards and forwards to optimise passenger space for recline and relaxation.”
The seat comes in cream with blue leather piping and twin stitching, and its features options include plug-in or hidden headrest, retractable leg and foot rest, adjustable lumbar support, stowable food trays, and an in-flight entertainment (IFE) option.
“The seat meets the latest aircraft regulations and is certified for 9G and 16G crash impact. It can be on any business aircraft from Embraer up to an A340,” said Wigg. “We are already in talks with a potential launch client.”
The company, based in Leatherhead, UK, has a staff of 50 and is fast expanding.
“We have carried out major improvements to our facility and invested in new technologies to improve efficiencies and increase production capabilities,” said Wigg. “From the shop floor through to the offices, the company has all the technologies, equipment and skilled technicians in place to carry out every aspect of aircraft interiors work with shorter lead times and an even higher standard of customer service.”
The company’s newest offering, also highlighted at both AIME and AIX, is its technology equipment for aqua transfer printing – a model aircraft finished in a wood-look film was on display.
“We have two tanks at our facility in Leatherhead; one a standard size and one is three metres by 1.2 metres, allowing us to dip even the largest panels, such as a bulkhead or sliding door,” said Wigg.
With a super-large tank and using a robotic arm, consistency of print scale is guaranteed across the unit.
“Aqua Transfer panels are easily repairable, or can simply be buffed to give a delivered finish,” explained Wigg. “Clients can select a high-gloss, semi-matt or matt lacquer finish. All finishes will meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) smoke and toxicity, heat release and flammability requirements.”
The company boasts mainly European and Middle Eastern customers – including Emirates.
“We do repair work for all the key seat OEMs, for Emirates, and several other carriers who use aqua-transfer printing on their cabin interior,” said Wigg.
“We are also about to undertake a project for a head-of-state aircraft in the Middle East that will include sliding doors and bulkheads that will dip in one go.”
Starling Aerospace is also known for its berthable divan – available as a single, double, triple or as required – and its lavatory upgrades.
“The divan is a high-strength lightweight aluminium frame construction. It berths with a smooth manual motion, converting the divan into a 91-inch long by 35-inch wide flat bed,” said Wigg.
“With our lavatory upgrades, we work clients to develop a new upgraded look for standard lavatories,” added Wigg. “We can refurbish the lavatories in house, or provide a kit at the MRO. We have a range of basins, faucets and designer flooring from which to select. Smoky mirrors will be used to enhance the space available. Our design certification department will develop the accompanying EASA minor modifications.”
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