Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


16gAirTest-Phase2 Report Summary

Project ID: 711347

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - 16gAirTest-Phase2 (Innovative EASA certified dynamic test method for 16g aircraft seat cushions)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"The project has the objective to:
1. develop and test a new manufacturing and certification method for "16g multilayer seats and cushions" for aircrafts, compliant to FAA regulation 121-135, extending the already EASA approved method for 16g monolithic cushions,
2. experience the method on different multilayer seats and cushions and produce pre-commercial samples,
3. achieve FAA and EASA approval for the certification method,
4. develop marketable 16g multilayer cushions,
5. define and roadmap the production, logistics and commercialization strategies and organizational structures to support the new business originated by the new cushions.
The key idea behind the project starts from the concept that without such a low-cost certification method, airline companies struggling with cost constraints would either neglect passengers' safety by delaying cushions replacements or offer low-comfort flying conditions, by using old or non certified cushions models, with potential vascular risks and impacts on passengers' wellbeing. Besides being safer and more comfortable than current products, TAS multilayer cushions are lightweight, and will be complemented by TAS certified covers, 60% lighter than originals (up to 600 g./pax.), thus reduce fuel consumption, in compliance with IATA commitment for CO2 emissions reduction (carbon-neutral growth from 2020). Therefore the project has not only consequence on safety and economy of the transport industry, but is also relevant for passengers' health and for the environment."

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

"In this first year of the project here is all work performed so far:

- from a technical point of view, after having carefully evaluated with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) representative the details of the method to be developped and certified, through a series of aimed meetings, we purchased all foams needed to build the 6 different configurations for dynamic testing and all material to test as planned in accordance with authorities flammablity regulations, materials included mainly foams, leathers and fabrics.
Compared to the original plan in which Politecnico of Milan was meant to carry out part of the flammability tests in its own laboratory, we had to perform more tests internally in order to speed up the whole testing process, leaving to Politecnico only the dynamic testing part, being the only entity with the appropriate structure. Politecnico already performed 80 dynamic compression tests by 5 configurations for a total of 400 tests. Only one configuration, the "F", which includes the floating layer, still needs to be tested. In the meantime, Politecnico is analysing the collected data through specific mathematical systems as in accordance with our EASA representative and will give us all final results by January 2017.
On the other hand the other main subcontractor, GEVEN, has performed 8 out of 12 dynamic crash tests with the slide in its certified lab. These tests were meant to be completed by December 2016 but due to what explained in AMD-711347-2 it was delayed of a few months without extending the duration of the entire project since most activities are carrried out simultaneously.
ACME aero is working on the new lab project as planned for enhanced flammability testing.

- from a dissemination and commercialization point of view, all communication and rebranding material has been prepared, including a new logo, an institutional video and a presentation video of the specific project and a brand new web site. A new digital marketing campaign, initially based mainly on LinkedIn activities, to promote the new company capability has been outlined and is meant to start in march 2017.
We opened 2 commercial offices in Dubai and in Dublin in order to better promote our product in 2 of the main geographical areas we considered crucial after an accurate market analysis. Ireland is where the highest percentage of Aircraft lessors are located in Europe and the Middle East is at the moment the fastest growing market globally from an aviation point of view.
We participated as planned to 2 exhibition, in Hamburg, the most important one in Europe, and Dubai, for the reasons explained above.
Our commercial executives and agents have traveled around all clients within all countries where we already established business relationships in order to present and promote the new project. As initially planned the aim is to rase our market share in the existing markets to then move to new geographical areas such as China and South America.
We have been invited at the end of October 2016 by EASA to the 8th Triennial International Aircraft Fire and Cabin Safety Research Conference in Atlantic City in order to present the project at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The reactions we got from our presentation were really promising from both potential clients and all aviation authorities representatives."

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Other than what already listed above, the expected impact remains the one of the original demand. This first year has been mainly about testing the method and materials and planning the certification procedure with the Aviation Authority.
Our limited dissemination activity however has already shown the market readiness and interest towards this technological improvement.

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