The aerospace industry is the greatest workhorse for transportation today. In 2017, air traffic carried 4.1 billion passengers throughout the world. With so many people and flights, it is important to maintain the interior of the airplane to high-quality standards.
Replacement parts from the manufacturer are often not the best option. Airlines that transport 8 million people daily need immediate solutions for issues they come across. Parts direct from the manufacturer often have unacceptable lead times. They can also be quite costly and will wear out just as quickly as the previous part they are replacing.
Such was the case for a major airline and its passenger cabin window shades. The airline’s large fleet required hundreds of replacement window shades, so leadership contacted Aereos Interior Solutions.
Windows on an airplane have a few different purposes, almost all for passenger comfort. They do bring light into the cabin and reduce a claustrophobic feel to some passengers. They are most useful in rare emergencies or for a flyover shot for passengers to post on Instagram.
The window shade, however, is the subject of more controversy. For safety’s sake, shades are open for takeoff and landing, but in-flight is a hot topic. (For fun, do a quick Google search of window shade etiquette.) While it has no effect on the continued safe flight and landing of the aircraft, it is a major part of the airline passenger experience. When approached with the order for replacement window shades, Aereos Interior Solutions looked for ways to improve the product and passenger experience.
Recreating the thermoplastic shade is a relatively easy process for Aereos Interior Solutions. The company deals with many like products throughout the cabin, including seat parts, overhead bins and lavatories. While the process is relatively straightforward, the closed window shade has another function.
On a hot tarmac or in a summer heat, the closed window shade helps in keeping cabins cooler. When the aircraft is being cleaned or waiting for boarding, closed window shades dramatically reduce the temperature in the cabin. Engineers at Aereos Interior Solutions, aware of this use, decided to implement a new strategy.
The replacement shades were created to the size specifications of the manufacturer. However, unlike the original shade, Aereos Interior Solutions engineers developed a reflective coating for the outside of the shade. By reflecting sunlight and ambient heat away from the plane windows, the cabin saw even greater cooling efficiency than before. This simple change even reduces fuel cost.
Now an entire fleet has access to an improved product without waiting for a long lead time from an OEM. Owner-operator produced parts (OPP or OOPP) are often cost effective and have shorter lead times. They can also help improve the original product, creating a better flying experience for us all. And upon your arrival at your destination, please close your window shade.