By the title, you’ll probably think I’m talking about the actual definition of the A350 well, not quite. A few days ago I was given the opportunity to tour the definition centre for Airbus’ A350 fleet. Basically, when a buyer (airline) is looking to fit out their $311 million dollar -900 or $359 million -1000 aircraft. The facility goes through all possible fitting you’d want on an aircraft, all the way from lighting to galleys, it’s all there.
The building is packed with modern and great looking furniture. Another interesting feature of the facility is that every room you go into, features coffee facilities. You’ve got to stay awake when designing the cabin of your aircraft 😉
The centre has an abundance of space and is quite spread out. There’s a number of rooms and they each feature different things. Some of the rooms are contain exclusive and confidential objects, plans etc so photos weren’t allowed in those.
One of the rooms we visited was the seating facility. Airbus have a collection of the Stelia Solstys Business Class seating as an example for seating that can be fitted on the A350. Obviously there are way more than one type of seating available.
Next we were shown the different types of furnishing that was available for the aircraft, who knew there were so many types of grey and whites to choose from?
There’s an abundance of colours and textures to choose from to suit and airline.
Also on display are the different styles and designs of window coverings. Next time you’re on a plane, look at the window panelling and see if you can spot the patterns, there’s quite a few styles airlines can choose from.
Right next to the furnishing facility is the lighting area. This is where airlines can choose which lighting they would like to have onboard their aircraft. One of the Airbus guides stated that more and more airlines are adopting the sunrise and sunset mood lighting and it’s obvious from passenger feedback.
There’s soo many colours to choose from and it was really cool to see just how many options of lighting are available.
Another really interesting room featured screens which would help assist the customer in choosing furnishings and styles for the lavatories. you may not think it but there’s quite a lot of work that goes into one.
There were other rooms that weren’t on here due to sensitivity but I am allowed to talk about them. One of the rooms we viewed was where customers could come and rest before starting designing their new aircraft. Designing an aircraft is a long and lengthy process so both the customer and Airbus don’t want to waste time. Airbus created a room, similar to a hotel to replace the need of going to a hotel then going to the Airbus facility. This saves around 2 hours of time one of the Airbus representatives was telling us.
Another room I thought that was interesting is where all of the ovens, trash compacters and other galley systems are held. In the room is a range of brands to choose from and Airbus as well as the customer will actually use these machines to cook themselves a lunch to test the systems.
It was really interesting to see the behind the scenes and what goes into designing the interior of an aircraft. For Singapore’s new A380 cabin, it took 24 months to design and 6 weeks for seat fitting – INSANE!
Zac (Points From The Pacific) is travelling as with other journalists as a guest of Airbus and Singapore Airlines.