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Inside Turkey

A visit to Turkish Technic provided an opportunity for Ian Harbison to check out TSI Aviation Seats and Turkish Cabin Interior

HABOM is the giant maintenance facility of Turkish Technic, a subsidiary of Turkish Airlines. It is located at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, which is situated on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, approximately 70km from Istanbul. Located at opposite ends of the campus are TSI Aviation Seats and Turkish Cabin Interior (TCI).

This is no coincidence. TSI Aviation Seats was established in 2012 as a joint venture between Turkish Airlines and Assan Hanil, a Turkish manufacturer of automotive components, including seats. TCI is a joint venture between Turkish Airlines, Turkish Technic and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and was first established in December 2010 at TAI in Ankara, before moving to HABOM in 2013.

Both companies exhibited at the Istanbul Airshow in October last year (see our article in Aircraft Cabin Management, January 2017).

Aydin Avar, Sales and Marketing Division Manager, says the company’s first seat, the Elesa Eco seat, was selected by Turkish Airlines for more than 40 Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The company has been successful in the Russian market, having sold eight shipsets of Elesa in the last 12 months (with the last three sets to be delivered by the end of the year).

This has been supplemented by Turkish Airlines orders for the Epianka seat, for 92 Airbus A321neo Family and 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with deliveries stretching out to 2023. Meanwhile, another operator has placed an initial order for four shipsets, but this will almost certainly increase to 10 to match the associated 737 MAX order.

Epianka was introduced this year and is designed specifically for the Airbus A320neo Family and Boeing 737 MAX. During the development phase, TSI’s engineers and designers worked closely with ergonomics specialists and airline customers, soliciting feedback to ensure the seat is comfortable, durable and effective to operate. Ergonomics development studies were undertaken with six forms and two seat widths tested by various passenger profiles that included 120 distinct postures.

The seat can be ordered with or without an IFE monitor. In-seat power is now in major demand, so the seat features both USB and 115V AC outlets, if requested. For passenger comfort, a 6in recline is provided as standard, but customers can opt to extend this, depending on the seat pitch. A four-way headrest with rotating ears is also standard, with a six-way version available as an option. The armrest is an innovative design, with a curved form that enhances comfort, especially for middle seat passengers. A lightweight version of Epianka will feature composite components and weigh around 10.5kg/pax.

Skysofa, a widebody economy class seat, has also been ordered by Turkish Airlines for its Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 fleets, with an articulated seat bottom, an integrated 11.1in smart monitor, handset, footrest, headrest, longer armrests and cushions with special foam developed for better comfort during long flights. Front row seats can be equipped with the 11.1in monitor mounted in the arm, as are the tray tables. This has line fit approval at Airbus and Boeing.

There is a US-based subsidiary, TSI Seats, in Ogden, Utah, which is responsible for all seats destined for the Boeing production lines. These are supplied from Turkey as semi knock-down kits and then assembled and delivered to Seattle. In a new development, it will also be using its FAA approvals to produce PMA parts for seats from other manufacturers. Avar says this is in response to demand from airlines looking for competitively priced spares with build quality.

The production line is based on the automotive Lean techniques used by Assan Hanil. Seat parts are pre-kitted and, when a seat is ready to be produced, the precise specification is entered into the production control computer – not all seat units on an aircraft are the same, with subtle changes due to fuselage curvature, as well as customisation differences between customers. This automatically sets up the tooling to the correct spacing for assembly of the lower support structure.

 When this is complete, it is moved to the first of eight assembly stations. Large LCD screens on the wall take the personnel through the various steps and demonstrate the procedure to be followed. The system monitors all aspects of the work, raising the alarm if, for instance, a bolt is over torqued.>>


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