At the Aircraft Interiors Exhibition in Hamburg, Germany, the halls were buzzing with talk of the new SupaLite product, the result of a unique co-operation between Pittards and Yarwood which is set to revolutionise the weight saving boundaries in leather and seating applications.
Weighing in at 390g/m2, SupaLite is 30% lighter than other, so called, lightweight leathers and 50% lighter than standard aviation grade leathers. For some airlines, this will generate weight savings of over 1kg per seat, meaning the product will pay for itself over its lifecycle.
The product itself combines Pittards’ leather manufacturing expertise with Yarwood’s knowledge of the upholstery sector and seat manufacture, building on Pittards existing Firebloc technology employed in fire fighting and professional motor racing to meet and surpass the most stringent flammability tests, whilst at the same time using all Pittards fibre engineering skills to reduce leather density and consequent weight.
Up against all competing products on vertical flame tests, SupaLite passes the strict requirements of Airbus ABD0031 with regard to Smoke Emissions & Toxicity and Heat Release. The two companies also believe this will make SupaLite an ideal material for further cabin applications, which will contribute to a more luxurious passenger experience.
As a result of the show, discussions are now taking place with several short-haul and trans-Atlantic airlines to confirm first orders and bring SupaLite successfully to market.
A joint statement issued by the two companies states: ‘We’ve invested considerably in the development of this genuinely innovative material, which we’re confident will punch well above its weight. The aviation industry is increasingly coming under commercial and political pressures to subsidise fuel price increases and lower carbon emissions. Here we have a ready-made solution, which is lighter, safer and more cost effective than any other leather in the marketplace. We estimate that for the average cabin fit out, SupaLite will effectively fund itself over the product’s lifecycle.’