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Gradual transformation

Any development programme will undergo changes in response to comments from potential customers. Kerry Reals reports on AIM Altitude’s galley concept

AIM Altitude is pleased with the response from airlines to the next-generation galley concepts it presented at last year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and is in the process of moving towards certification of the more popular elements.

In his first interview with Aircraft Cabin Management since becoming Chief Executive Officer of the company, Richard Bower describes how some of the concepts detailed in the July issue remain on hold while others will progress towards certification, with a view to being launched by the end of 2018.

Those destined for deployment include the pull-out table that is flush with the rest of the cabin crew work area and a roller blind which covers the galley inserts at the point of entry for passengers.

“The idea behind the concept galley at Hamburg 2017 was to make evolutionary changes in the look, feel and configuration of the galley. The galley world is fairly conservative and things hadn’t changed for some time,” says Bower.

He reiterates that the features displayed on the prototype galley were all designed “to differentiate us and to get traction and interest from airline customers” in the company's ideas for how the next generation of aircraft galleys could look.

The plan worked, and “a couple of flag carrier airlines with widebody aircraft on order” have since specifically requested the flush pull-out table and the roller blind, Bower says. AIM Altitude is now working to produce certifiable versions of both products for these two airline customers, saying they will probably see them in service by the end of 2018.

Bower describes the pull-out table as a unique feature that creates additional space for cabin crew to perform their meal-preparation duties.

“It is a big bonus for cabin crew to have a flush, genuine extension of their work-deck space. A complaint they’ve had about the galley area provided is there is never enough space to prepare meals,” he says, noting that some airlines have sought to rectify this problem by erecting fold-up tables next to the galley.

A mechanism on the pull-out table enables it to go completely flush with the rest of the meal-preparation area, and be stowed away under the work-deck when not in use.

“We haven’t quite finalised the mechanisms for securing and releasing it. There is quite a bit of work to be done by our design team in New Zealand and we’ll be talking to airlines and cabin crew to find out what they want, says Bower. The load-bearing will be the same as a regular pull-out table, and the flush mechanism does not add extra weight.

The roller blind feature was not part of the prototype galley at last year’s AIX, but was “rolled out to airlines during [subsequent] discussions”, says Bower. It will, however, be included on one of the AIM Altitude galleys to be displayed at this year’s AIX. >>


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