It is of course one thing to imagine and draw a concept: it is quite another to bring to fruition technically complex projects such as these.
It is not purely design itself that determines an interiors quality but innovative production techniques and its consistency in execution. Projects of this scale are subjected to many pressures from many directions during the construction phase. These pressures can derail innovative designs very quickly. It is our responsibility to ensure that the integrity of the design remains faithful to the concept which must remain strong and well executed throughout.
INITIAL TECHNICAL COORDINATION MEETING
- ITCM -
Following the award of the Completion Contract, typically held at the Completion Center's premises, the project team is introduced together with all the key suppliers. It is important that the project team meets, and understands the key people involved in the project.
The program and basis upon which to deliver the aircraft is discussed, with all key suppliers stating their own project timelines. Key dates for regular and milestone meetings will be set with stakeholders.
PRELIMINARY DESIGN REVIEWS
- PDR -
The PDR's demonstrates that the preliminary design meets all system requirements with acceptable risk and within the cost and schedule constraints and establishes the basis for proceeding with detailed design. It will show that the correct design options have been selected, interfaces have been identified, and verification methods have been described.
The following are typical objectives of a PDR:
- Ensure that all system requirements have been validated, allocated, the requirements are complete, and the flow-down is adequate to verify system performance
- Show that the proposed design is expected to meet the functional and performance requirements
- Show sufficient maturity in the proposed design approach to proceed to final design
- Show that the design is verifiable and that the risks have been identified, characterized, and mitigated where appropriate
CRITICAL DESIGN REVIEWS
- CDR -
The CDR demonstrates that the maturity of the design is appropriate to support proceeding with full-scale fabrication, assembly, integration, and test. CDR determines that the technical effort is on track to complete the interior and system developments, whilst meeting performance requirements within the identified cost and schedule constraints.
The following are typical objectives of a CDR:
- Ensure that the "build-to" baseline contains detailed hardware and software specifications that can meet functional and performance requirements
- Ensure that the design has been satisfactorily audited by production, verification, operations, and other specialty engineering organizations
- Ensure that the production processes and controls are sufficient to proceed to the fabrication stage
- Establish that planned Quality Assurance (QA) activities will establish perceptive verification and screening processes for producing a quality product
Taking the engineering drawings, production shops can begin cutting composite panels and machining metal parts. The pieces are kitted and assembled together to build the initial cabinet carcass.
Mechanical, system and electrical hardware is integrated into the cabinet carcass to support water, electrical, lighting and entertainment systems.
Decorative finishing materials are produced; hand stitching leather and fabrics, joining and polishing woods, cutting stone and engraving metal inlays.
The decorative parts are applied to the finished cabinet carcass whereby the initial inspection acceptance process’ can begin.
The sections of cabinetry, linings and seating come together, where the new interior starts to take shape.
All structural mounting, air conditioning ducts, water and waste pipes are fitted into the fuselage, and the first electrical looms are installed.
The larger elements, such as the antennas, external cameras, power and communication racks are installed and connected.
Depending upon the floorplan and systems, the interior installation typically starts in the center of the aircraft, and moves fore and aft to the main entry doors. Large cabinets and bulkheads are first installed, followed by window, sidewall and ceiling panels. Seats and divans go in next and finally the hardwood, stone and carpet flooring are fitted.
MONTH TWENTY TWO
The newly installed and modified systems are extensively tested on the ground. Air conditioning, temperature control and airflow rates are measured. Satellite communication channels are opened. Wireless network protocols are established. Electrical systems are tested under various loads. Baseline performance of the audio and video systems are recorded. Lighting systems are calibrated. Galley equipment is powered up. Water is circulated, heated, flushed and drained. After a period of long term storage the aircraft goes through a series of de-preservation maintenance activities in preparation for coming back into operation.
MONTH TWENTY THREE
As the aircraft is returned to the sky. Flights are performed to cover certification and shake down flights prior to performing long range cold soak testing. All of the cabin mechanical and electrical systems are tested to ensure they are operating within specification. Interior sound and interior vibration levels are all measured. Everything is carefully assessed, validated and signed off to ensure everything has been Designed, Manufactured and Installed to Specification.
Upon successful trials all interior elements and loose additions including artwork and sculptures, operational equipment are delivered and installed.
MONTH TWENTY FOUR
Prioir to the point where the aircraft is delivered to the client, the first activity would be to plan for the entry into service. This would consist of a series of key conferences arranged to address the initial provisioning of spare parts, maintenance planning, and training and general support-related issues. The modification center plays a significant role in managing the timetable during this period. In the course of the 6 month period prior to the aircraft’s re-delivery the modification center will be expected to support the following deliverable's:
- Preparation and delivery of manuals and technical publications
- Development of the maintenance Planning Document
- Creation of the Minimum Equipment List (MEL)
- Determination of initial provisioning of spares, tools, and their delivery
- Organisation and execution of training for pilots, maintenance personnel and cabin crew
- Set up access to online E-Services of equipment suppliers
- Establish the warranty process.
After the re-delivery has been concluded, the Modification Centers sales and marketing personnel maintain their involvement with the client through their representatives in order to provide continuity of the relationship. Both the Aircraft Manufacturer and Completion Center have an interest in ensuring that deliveries are properly managed and will obviously seek further opportunities to extend the relationship further. Feedback from the client in terms of experience of the aircraft in operation is also a vital part of the relationship.