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AirTanker 20170306 1Just over two years ago, AirTanker, a consortium of leading aerospace, Defence and management specialists, enlisted the support of SWS to support the conversion of two RAF Voyager aircraft, a derivative of the A330-200.

As certification partner, SWS helped to take the initial enhanced cabin and commercial design concepts all the way from initial design stage, inputting on certification requirements and identifying risks through development and testing, onto final prototype stage and installation.

Certification Challenge: Enhanced Cabin for the RAF...

AirTanker 20170306 2The RAF commissioned AirTanker to convert an existing military Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Voyager to provide enhanced cabin transport for government ministers and the UK Royal Family.

The new enhanced cabin jet would be converted to include 58 business class seats, conference facilities and a changing room.

As part of this programme, SWS would need to provide civil approval through the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for design changes, whilst ensuring the aircraft retains its military approvals to carry out its primary role to the RAF in support to the movement of UK Armed Forces and Air-to-Air Refuelling capability.

Transport for Government Ministers and the UK Royal Family...

AirTanker 20170306 3Individual interior items including the Thompson ‘Vantage 4’ seat, new divans, new ottomans, monuments, overhead bins, conference table and a new changing room all required SWS’ design and certification involvement as well as comprehensive FEA analysis/ static and other testing.

SWS have been an outstanding certification partner for AirTanker providing us with first-class certification expertise to obtain a civil (EASA) STC approval for a full enhanced cabin reconfiguration on a military registered, Airbus A330 aircraft."

Phill Blundell: CEO, AirTanker.

Certification Challenge: Thomas Cook Airlines Programme...

AirTanker 20170306 4AirTanker also agreed a ground-breaking A330 civil leasing deal with Thomas Cook Airlines.

Under the three year agreement, the airline would damp lease a single Airbus A330-200 to support long haul routes as part of its UK flying programme. The deal between AirTanker and Thomas Cook Airlines represented a ‘first in civil aircraft leasing’ in converting a military aircraft to civil operation and onto the Civil Aviation Register (CAR).

The challenge here was for SWS’ team to come up with a design which saw the existing military A330-200 aircraft reconfigured to match the interior look and layout of existing Thomas Cook Airlines aircraft. Working alongside Thomas Cook Airlines and AirTanker, SWS were involved in supporting the redesign of the cabin to produce a commercial operator’s specific layout to accommodate 320 customers, whilst also including a disabled toilet, meeting the requirements of the US department of transport.

Supporting the interior products through Development & Testing...

AirTanker 20170306 5As certification partner, SWS worked with Airbus Group, Airbus Defence and Space, AirTanker and the product manufacturers, from the early stages of design, advising on regulatory requirements to support the various products through development and testing.

The Thomas Cook Airlines cabin included the new Acro Aircraft Seating ‘Superlight Ultra Seat’ which although an existing design, this specific variant needed further testing to obtain an approval for its installation on the A330.

As part of the programme, the aircraft had been stripped of its military equipment and various items redesigned or modified. At the same time a completely new Zodiac Rave IFE system was installed. These latter additions required SWS to obtain a ‘design change’ approval from EASA.

Additional items including new overhead bins, monuments, dog boxes, floorpath marking system and a disabled wheelchair storage unit also required SWS’ design and certification involvement as well as comprehensive FEA analysis/ static and other testing.

Why you should visit us at the Hamburg AIX...

  • AirTanker 20170306 6We are fully accredited with the required regulatory approvals.
  • We have an excellent relationship with EASA and other national regulatory bodies.
  • We are experienced in dealing with Airbus / Boeing / Agusta & McDonnell Douglas and have the technical experience to deal with other fleet types.
  • SWS have pioneered some of the latest certification standards in service today.
  • Mechanical and electrical approvals are available from one source.
  • We have CVEs in many disciplines.
  • We are the preferred DOA for many airlines and OEMs around the world.

SWS Test Facility Location...

The facility is located on the M4 corridor in South Wales, just 3 hours from London.