Partnership with Collins Aerospace for Exceptional Future Products in Turkish Aviation
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Partnership with Collins Aerospace for Exceptional Future Products in Turkish Aviation

Issue 1 - 2019
An Exclusive Interview with Mr. Colin R. Mahoney Collins Aerospace VP of Business Development for Interiors
Aviation Turkey: First of all, thank you very much for your time. Collins Aerospace is one of the leading companies in aviation and high-integrity solutions for commercial customers around the world. What kind of services do you provide for your customers?

Colin R. Mahoney: As you are very aware UTC Aerospace Systems merged with Rockwell Collins and Collins Aerospace is now a 23 billion-dollar company. The commercial aerospace segment provides a vast array of capabilities for all aircraft types, whether they are helicopters or fixed wing. We created the company in 5 businesses. They are: Mission Systems which is where our government and defense work falls under; Mechanical Systems, which includes systems such as landing gear; our actuation falls under call Power and Controls; Aerostructures which develop our cells that go around engines and there is Avionics which does flight decks for fixed and rotary wing platforms. The fifth strategic business unit is Interiors, which is what we all represent, and interiors obviously it’s an exciting world as we do things like seats, pilot seats, flight attendant seats, super-first class seats, business class, premium economy, economy, so all kinds of seats you can think of we do - we also do everything else that impacts the passenger experience such as aircraft galleys and galley inserts - things like ovens, beverage makers and refrigeration. We do oxygen systems weather that’s portable or in the infrastructure of the aircraft. We do lighting, all kinds of lighting inside the airplane and outside the airplane. We do water systems, waste-water systems lavatories, etc. we do all of that, we do portable water systems - faucets and drinking water on the airplane, and then we have the evacuation slides. We do all of the evacuation slides and rafts on most of the airplanes in the commercial market. So, a very broad list of things we can bring to airlines and we can bring OEMs and we do that from the very beginning of inventions. We collaborate with our customers to invent things that their customers are asking for right through to service and support and models and operation to keep those products in the air for many years.

The other thing you want to think about with Collins Aerospace and what we bring to our customers, with all of that capability, with a couple often talked about themes in aerospace these days, we are able to bring these capabilities together in a unique way. So you hear the industry talk about the connected aircraft, so given everything we have on the airplane, we have on the ground for data systems and the connection between airplanes and the ground we can add a very big role in the connected aircraft future and we can also have a big role in the all-electric aircraft future and more broadly, propulsion. When you think about all electric airplanes in the future, we’re going to have a big role in that as well. Collins aerospace has a lot to bring the industry and certainly a lot to bring Turkish aviation.

Aviation Turkey: In 2018, Turkish Airlines chose the Collins Aerospace MiQ seating platform for their new Airbus A321neo aircraft. Can you please inform us about the technical specifications and the delivery schedule of the platforms?

Colin R. Mahoney: We’ve been doing business with Turkish Airlines for many years as you know. The MiQ is the most prevalent business class seat for single isle airplanes so A321 is a very important platform for that product.

The secret of the MiQ product line, as you know you fly on plenty of airplanes, is living space, and the way the passenger feels while sitting in that living space vs sitting on it. It’s got width and the actuation is very specialized and we talk a lot about kinematics. Kinematics is the science of moving a mass through the air – so we have a special designed actuation to position the human body in a very perfect way, so that’s what you experience when sitting in an MiQ seat.

Ergonomics is very important, so a 4-position head rest, the leg rest architecture of the seats, the simplicity of access and egress, getting in and out of the seat. And then you need the privacy approach. Business Class passengers tend to want some privacy, so we have some special design in that seat to enhance the privacy of the passenger. Passengers are already those seats as the first airplanes went into service in July of last year, so we have about 9-10 months under our belt and about 15 or so airplanes in service, obviously the 737 MAX situation has delayed deliveries, but so far so good.

Aviation Turkey: Aside from Turkish Airlines, are you negotiating your product usage with other Turkish operators?

Colin R. Mahoney: Anytime an operator around the world is buying new airplanes - Collins Aerospace is a very normal phone call to make because we provide, as I described earlier, we provide so many things to the airplane. We have equipment on all airlines in Turkey, Pegasus, SunExpress, etc. these are all customers of ours and as they decide to increase their fleet we are very normally in negotiations with those airlines for our products. The inserts business specifically, for example with Turkish Aerospace or Turkish Industry with the galleys on the 737 and the A320 but we do the inserts that go in those galleys, so we are always in negotiations with all the operators in Turkey.

Aviation Turkey: Turkish Aviation Suppliers have gained great experience in terms of successful cooperation with major international manufacturers over the years. Could you please enlighten us about your collaboration with the Turkish Aviation Industry?

Colin R. Mahoney: As a company our philosophy is to partner with indigenous aviation capability, we do that around the world. Turkey obviously has big aspirations and big desires in aerospace which is great news for a company like us. So, we have found ways to partner with Turkish Industry as a company, and we’ve done it with avionics over many years, so Aselsan and Turkish Aerospace they are companies that we’ve either provided units to, to integrate into a system or in fact modules or cards that are inside a Turkish Industry product. We know how to do that, we’ve done that. Really the basics of that is adding value to both companies and then those partnerships work very well. As you know, Turkish Airlines and Turkish Technic formed a company TSI to create their own seats, and in so doing they didn’t need any of the aerospace capabilities and the same can be said for TCI which do the galleys. Galleys are a pretty high-end integration job, but the components within them are more straight forward. So, in those two examples, while we explored it, we couldn’t find that secret formula of value-add but we are always interested in and always exploring how do we partner with, in this case, Turkish Industry, like we have with the other examples we gave.

Aviation Turkey: Collins Aerospace has won two awards across two categories at the 13th Annual Crystal Cabin Awards. The M-Flex™ Duet was the winner in the Cabin System category and the μLED Reading Light won the Material & Components award. Could you inform us about these two technologies?

Colin R. Mahoney: Absolutely it’s a proud moment for Collins Aerospace interiors – we participate in this forum every year and we are usually fortunate to get an award or two. So, this year the M-Flex Duet, which is a door to door monument, so when you see monuments in airplanes they are like wardrobes or storage areas and we’ve created a very unique monument that stows while in flight. Our monument when in flight will open up to form a social area. If you’ve been on an airplane that has got a walk-up bar where you can go and help yourself to drinks or snacks usually that’s in the center of the airplane, and if it is in the center of the airplane it takes away precious seat space. So, what we’ve done with M-Flex Duet is that we’ve designed a unique monument that fits in the door space. So when the airplane is at altitude, the crews open it to form that social area, that bar, that serving area and we have extensive interest in that since Hamburg, and we are working through what the launch customers will look like etc., and the certification path of the two OEMs. So, we are really excited about that, as are the customers.

The μLED reading light, it’s very timely as we’re all into LED lights in our cars and homes now. It is a μLED, a very small powerful programmable light that allows us to do so much more than just light up a reading space. So, today you have a light, you adjust it and you read by it, but now you can do all those lights in one package, and software controls it to light up 3-4 seats. You only need one light to do the job of 4-3 and obviously that’s very powerful from a cost integration standpoint, and you can do unique things with it. You can display images with that light now, so you can display a seat number on the base of a seat, and we’ve also taken that technology and put it into our C-cap lighting panels which allows an airline to create custom images on otherwise boring and plane walls of an airplane – and the way we are going to use that in the future is unlimited, the ideas that you could come up with in terms of what you can use a flexible display for, from branding to revenue generation, there’s so many things you can do with that. μLED is at the heart of that technology as well, and I think life will change significantly as a result of this and the industry will recognize us as a leader of providing future state-of-the-art lighting.

Aviation Turkey: These days airlines provide more comfort to their passengers using cabin entertainment systems, Wi-Fi connections and USB power systems. The USB Passenger Power System is one of the cabin interior systems of Collins Aerospace, could you tell us about your USB Passenger Power Systems?

Colin R. Mahoney: We do provide the industry USB in-seat power capability. We have a couple of ways of doing it, two different technical approaches. The USB power technology itself is not rocket science, but the key is the way to integrate it into the airplane. We have a significant integration capability based in Seattle, where we are able to design and certify our own solutions and we do that all around the world, and so what that does for Collins Aerospace Interiors is it allows us to incorporate USB as one of many capabilities for a cabin line fit. Right now, we are doing a lot of retrofits with USB power, but as a seat provider it makes a lot of sense for us to be an integrator of seats and USB power together. So, I think that’s how we will be able to be a leader in the market for USB in-seat power.

Aviation Turkey: Would you like to add anything in the way of a message to our readers?

Colin R. Mahoney: Turkey is an important geographic location for the industry. Your flag carrying airline Turkish Airlines and its strategy is very important to us. We understand clearly what the airline is trying to accomplish in terms of its positioning on the top 10 airlines in the world. We see things like flying chefs in the airplanes to increase the passenger experience around the dining experience which is very interesting to us with our galley capability. Our Essence range of inserts, which is our latest and greatest, has been designed with chefs from catering companies from airlines to be the most effective way to provide food to passengers. So, what Turkish Airlines is doing is fully in line with what we are doing, so collaborating there is fantastic. But I think the most important thing that we can bring to help Turkish Airlines move up with our first and business class capabilities. You’ve seen products like the Q-Suite in Qatar. Obviously, there’s good relations between Turkey and Qatar and there’s a lot of traffic between the two, and the people of Turkey have seen the Q-Suite which is a business class capability in the Qatar fleet, and that is the sort of thing we can bring to Turkish Airlines. That is a one of a kind, as many first and business class solutions are, market leading capability that we collaborate and design together with the airline.

So as we think about the future, particularly wide body airplanes in Turkey, our desire and we work hard with products like our Elements business class solution that we showed at Hamburg for the first time, what we can do in a bespoke first class environments, and bring in that along with our lighting capabilities to Turkish Airlines so that we can strategically partner to help the airline realize their in-house goals. In a nutshell we are very focused on Turkey as a country because of its geographical importance and its reach to every corner of the world and also the fact that the airline is very strategically thinking about its future and therefore we believe we can play a bigger part in that future


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