STG Aerospace

There were a lot of new LED Cabin Interior suppliers at AIX and an interesting trend we observed was the simplification and down-colorizing of the solutions… white, blue and red were the primary solutions we found. Designed as a cabin lighting retrofit solution, LED’s provide light, reliability, and the promise of color while lowering weight and power requirements… not to mention cost. What’s not to like?

Now, let’s talk about one vendor we visited – STG Aerospace. In the past we visited STG Aerospace but never got the full story – this time we did, and boy what a thoughtful and precise pitch on the STG Aerospace solution it was… it is called liTeMood®. We can’t say enough about their CEO, Nigel Duncan. If you ever get the chance to hear STG Aerospace’s side of the LED argument, don’t miss it. Nigel had to be from Marketing because his idea of a presentation is exactly what airlines need to see. Features, Advantages, and Benefits – STG Aerospace’s point was simple… since 94% of air travelers are coach fliers – with slim profit margin fliers, do airlines need to spend up to $3 million for “sky-like” a complete interior retrofit when well-designed LED lighting solutions in limited colors can provide significant improvement to the passenger experience at 1/nth the cost?

Putting the costs in perspective, Mr. Duncan’s version of “Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Pyramid” said it all. Quoting Bubb’s Discomfort Pyramid (2008) and pointing out the relative location of “visual vs. biological needs”, he noted the order of least to most disruptive environments to humans from top to bottom goes: Ambience, Anthropological, Temperature, Acoustic, Vibration, Light, and at the bottom, Odor. Put simply, as long as there is no bad odor in the cabin, poor quality lighting is the next most important cause of passenger discomfort.

Yes, STG Aerospace notes, “as Light is way down the discomfort pyramid as one of the impactful to humans so why,” STG Aerospace asks, “It is good there is attention finally being paid to cabin lighting; but do airlines really need expensive and complex multi-colored lighting solutions to improve the economy cabin need to spend so much for it…good question? “To be a light solution most effective,” Nigel noted: “that the lighting needs to be uniform and aesthetically pleasing and has to work with the airline’s brand. Further, it needs to have visual impact but still manage the passenger’s well-being. Additionally, each area of the cabin lighting needs to be task optimized then combined with a holistic cabin view – it must look good.” Lest we forget he noted that it must also be in regulatory compliance with the photoluminescent floor-path charging regime.

The point here is to ask two basic lighting questions: What do passengers really need – and – How much should it cost? With some 10 sources and points of aircraft interior lighting perhaps the trick here is to “optimize but do not over-customize and avoid unnecessary color complexity which may not yield meaningful benefits to passengers or the airlines”.  Thus STG Aerospace struck out and built a blue-white system that is simple, cost effective, non-invasive, non-software driven – a light solution that has human factor benefits, is brand positive, is simple to install and operate, while still having future programmable capabilities. STG Aerospace’s Lighting System really impressed us.

We asked Nigel about future aircraft interior lighting issues and he had a few ideas that our readers might like to hear:

• Health concerns may drive hands-free control of lighting…think motion or voice activated.

• Data transmitted thru light sources – modulated LED sources

• Passenger centric lighting…not aircraft interior-centric.

• Cabin density increase and the effect on passenger interior lighting

• The change from in-seat IFE to BYOD and the lighting required.

• Unknown but stronger regulatory requirements.

Finally, Mr. Duncan pointed out that their liTeMood®. LED lighting product is true a plug-and play retrofit with no aircraft modification. It meets all regulatory requirements and offers a significant 40% weight improvement, not to mention 70% reduction in cabin lighting power, and last, but not least, a patented wireless program-ability function.


SKYFE

Of the more “interesting” sides of the reporting business, referral-based based stories are always interesting and this is one of them. At least two industry knowledgeable sources told IFExpress that we “had” to interview the avionics company we are about to disclose here. While their motives were most probably based on sales potential we felt there must be more – you be the judge. The company is called SKYFE and is a combination of people from two Turkish technical companiesHavelsan, who, we understand is the 32 year-old Turkish software/tech company (1200 employees) that has inroads into the Turkish military, and Turkish Technic which deals in new technology hardware.

Their prime new commercial product, as far as we can determine, is a wireless IFE portable device/system (outside IFE products) inflight entertainment solution that has been in development for 2 years. We note that they showed a server (WQAR – Wireless Quick Access Recorder, which looks quite impressive, by the way) that has cell connectivity antennas for ground connectivity updates. We were told that the IFE system is in the final rounds of EASA certification. SKYFE did not mention whose wireless router was involved (nor was it shown in their booth and the server was probably a variant of the one shown) but we assumed that they do not manufacturer the router and the “Kontron” name came up, we note. Their inroads with Turkish Airlines (Turk Hava Yollari) are assumed to be quite good and with 263 commercial aircraft under Turkish wings, SKYFE is assumed to have a high market potential there, at least for their first IFE attempt.

SKYFE also displayed a few rows of seats with seatback IFE in operation. They did note that the seatback demo was only a mockup of a system to be developed and rolled out later. The existing server unit we saw was part of a system development that included a ground 3G station used presently for aircraft data collection and management – IFE seemed a natural extension for that server. SKYFE mentioned that their prices were competitive, hardware fully customizable, and they have an in-house certification, installation, and maintenance capability

The first wireless unit install is, as we said, awaiting certification and SKYFE is looking for a first customer as well (unless you assume the first unit will be for Turkish). We suspect the Turkish Airline fleet is in their sights, but if their product line grows, they will be another IFE contender, especially in their corner of the world. Not only because they build equipment, but because they install it as well. One of their software management team was in our interview and we were quite impressed with his grasp of the IFE challenge. We also note that all the show business cards were from Havelsan employees but that their website is still in development, we assume. Further, the message here is these folks have an inside line on a lot of potential IFE and thus you vendors know exactly what to do. We also guess you will hear more about SKYFE so Stay Tuned.


Here is an inflight texting update and it is partially being driven by Gogo and TMobile because their customers can text free on over 2000 US aircraft today. While not commercially launched, the service is still running with free text and picture messaging and visual voicemail today. Saying “talking is becoming a thing of the past,” Gogo Inflight Connectivity CEO Michael Small told investment analysts and its Talk and Text product is generating “substantial” business on the business aviation side. “It’s on many aircraft,” he told reporters, “we actually are seeing some interesting things like a very high percentage of our BA customers have chosen to add it,” he said, in a Seeking Alpha transcript. He further noted, “The world has moved on from talking. It’s emailing and its texting. Talking is becoming a thing of the past.” Sure is… especially when the other is free. Our only complaint is that there is not enough info about the availability before or during the flight because it is not an “offerable product” yet. Expect to see this solution popular for even-more-expensive satcom calls.

Hamburg, Germany | April 15, 2015– STG Aerospace, a world leader in pioneering aircraft lighting technologies, has been awarded the contract to retrofit the DreamJet trading as La Compagnie Boeing 757-200 aircraft that has been configured to provide a transatlantic all-business class service. The aircraft will be equipped with STG Aerospace’s latest generation safTglo® SuperSeal UltraLite™ (SSUL) emergency floorpath marking system and liTeMood® LED cabin lighting system.  The installations will take place later this month.

A low-cost, low-weight alternative to electrical emergency systems, safTglo® SSUL features a unique, fully-sealed design which eliminates fluid ingress and can reduce maintenance costs by up to 80%. Moreover, with no power source required, it offers 100% reliability and considerable weight savings. Today, safTglo® is the system of choice for over 300 global airlines and is currently installed on over 9,000 aircraft worldwide.

SSUL, certified by EASA and FAA in December 2014, is the latest version of safTglo® is the lightest photoluminescent emergency floorpath marking system available. Incorporating all the benefits of previous designs, SSUL is 70% lighter than previous versions – helping to reduce airline fuel costs even further – and has a 17% higher luminosity rating.

In addition to over 300 colour options enabling airlines to achieve an aesthetic, co-ordinated cabin interior without reducing safety. DreamJet trading as La Compagnie will also be the first airline to install the SSUL OverCarpet system, which provides even simpler installation and with its hinged-wing design removes the need for airlines to bind the carpet edges providing the best possible appearance in the cabin as well as saving airlines cost.

As part of this interior upgrade DreamJet trading as La Compagnie selected liTeMood® for the LED lighting.  liTeMood® is a true plug-and-play, programmable, blue/white LED cabin lighting system that offers a cost-effective, versatile and controllable solution to bring the  lighting quality of existing non-LED equipped aircraft cabins in line with aircraft delivered new with the latest LED lighting systems, helping them achieve impactful brand differentiation and increase airline yields.

Incorporating the latest research into the effects of ambient lighting, liTeMood® also provides significantly increased reliability over traditional lighting systems, thereby reducing ongoing maintenance costs, and also delivers important environmental benefits.  Not only is liTeMood® up to 40kg lighter than original-fit fluorescent lighting, it also consumes 70% less power, increasing both the aircraft’s fuel and electrical efficiency.

DreamJet SAS, operating as La Compagnie, is a French airline, based at Charles de Gaulle Airport, offering an exclusive business class only service between Paris and London and New York’s Newark Liberty International Airport.

Yann Poudoulec, EVP Technical of DreamJet trading as La Compagnie commented:

“As an all-business class airline, lighting quality is key to our passengers, which is why we have selected STG Aerospace’s liTeMood LED lighting for our latest 757 aircraft.  Having installed safTglo®  on our first 757, the latest SSUL was the obvious choice for our next aircraft.”

Marcus Williams, Director of Sales & Marketing at STG Aerospace, commented:

“STG Aerospace is delighted that after evaluation of the available retrofit LED cabin lighting systems available, DreamJet trading as La Compagnie has selected  liTeMood® for their latest 757, and at the same time have become the first 757 operator to install our latest generation safTglo® SSUL with our new OverCarpet solution. It’s further evidence that STG Aerospace really is leading the way in innovative cabin lighting solutions”. 

 

United Kingdom | February 24, 2015– Leading aircraft cabin lighting company STG Aerospace is delighted to announce that Copa Airlines has become the latest airline to install its liTeMood®  retrofit LED lighting system representing the first airline in Latin America to complete a 737-800 liTeMood® installation.

With many of their 737NG fleet installed with Boeing Sky Interior, Copa looked for a cost effective solution to upgrade and harmonise the look and feel of cabin interiors of the older aircraft installed with fluorescent lighting.  The liTeMood® installation followed an on-wing demonstration in Panama during 2014. Founded in 1947, Copa Airlines serves as Panama’s flag carrier flying more than 11 million passengers a year to destinations in 30 countries in North, Central and Latin America and the Caribbean.

liTeMood® is a versatile, programmable, fully plug-and-play system which can be installed quickly and easily and offers a highly cost-effective upgrade for airlines seeking to improve passenger experience and increase yields.  It features significantly increased reliability over traditional lighting systems, thereby reducing ongoing maintenance and operational costs, and also delivers important environmental benefits. Not only is liTeMood® up to 40kg lighter than original-fit fluorescent lighting, it also consumes 70% less power, increasing both the aircraft’s fuel and electrical efficiency.

Despite the simplicity of its design, liTeMood® incorporates the latest research into the effects of ambient lighting on individual passenger comfort and wellbeing and, as a result of its versatility, can also be applied to achieve impactful brand differentiation.