Full VIP Completion
In this showcase we would like to provide you an insight in the full VIP completion of a green BBJ under direct contract of the Boeing Company with end-user The Government of the Netherlands. This showcase is intended to briefly describe the general process, the execution phase and to show the interior in detail including a virtual tour through the cabin.
The Dutch Government in the past had several Fokker type of aircraft in its fleet. The F27 friendship, the F28 fellowship and the Fokker 70 took care to transport the Royal Family and government officials for decades. Due to the scheduled phase out of the Fokker 70 in 2017, there was a need to find a replacement aircraft.
In the year 2013 the Government started initial market studies and in 2015 Requests for Information (RFI’s) were sent to potential Completion Centers and aircraft manufacturers. In 2016 the Request for Proposal (RFP) came out as an open European tender. Being the only Dutch company working in the narrow body aircraft interior completions, we were eager to provide the interior for this replacement aircraft for our own Government. Together with Boeing Business Jets we decided to team and jointly make the offer. A contract was awarded to the Boeing Company in 2017, with Fokker Techniek as subcontractor, responsible for the design engineering, procurement, integration and certification of the VIP Interior.
Thrilled with the positive outcome of the tender, our Engineering department started immediately with further detailing the interior, including specifications for the systems and cabinetry involved. The Dutch Government already had contracted Robin Dunlop, designer at CTM and co-founder of Altea, to provide the aesthetical design.
The “green” aircraft (the airframe as an empty tube), manufactured at the Boeing site in Seattle, arrived April 2018 and would be ‘ours’ for the next year to come.
The design is modern, very complete but certainly not an ‘over the top’ one. The interior needed to be functional and cabin noise to be reduced creating a silent cabin, in which we succeeded. The cabin offers a comfortable place to work and rest. The bathroom includes a shower backed by a large water tank to freshen up.
“We have developed a great relationship with Fokker Techniek and we appreciate their dedication to the build of premium high quality VIP interiors like the one recently completed and delivered to the Government of The Netherlands. The highest quality is evident in all aspects of their work and we are pleased to have Fokker on our BBJ completion center recognition and recommendation list.”
The finesse of this exclusive cabin interior is in the details. The designer brought in very nice details like drawers and closets covered internally with orange ultra-suede. Other distinctive details can be found in the stitches applied in the seats and interior lining panels. The patterns and colors used, give a nice flavor of humor mixed with famous Dutch Design aspects. The latest satellite communication (SATCOM) technologies have been incorporated. The SATCOM enables working online and making (video)calls with mobile phones during flights. An audio / video on demand system (AVOD) is available to the passengers. Remarkable is the unique sound system, with speakers invisibly integrated behind the cabin panels. This masterpiece was developed together with the University of Twente.
In this very specific market we have learned that cabin noise and the airframe added weight are key elements in a VIP cabin completion. We managed to significant lower the cabin noise to an outstanding level. By using the right lightweight materials the interior stayed well below the requested weight targets.
A unique Direct View cabin camera system, for monitoring the cabin during Taxi, Take-off and Landing by the cabin crew, from their seat positions, one of Fokker’s own certified developments, was applied here again as well. The PH-GOV is equipped with additional fuel tanks, which enables i.e. a nonstop flight to the overseas territories of the Netherlands.
After delivery and hand-over to the Government, the aircraft was adopted in KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ fleet. KLM is contracted as responsible partner for the operation. For that reason, the Fokker Techniek team implemented some cockpit commonality modifications on top of the exclusive cabin interior. As a partner of KLM, Fokker Techniek will remain responsible for their installations for the next four years.
Did we face challenges during this prestigious project? Yes of course, but together with Boeing, the designer, the end-user and other partners we tackled them. Below we will give you some examples.
- The design requested the described stitches in the leather and cabin lining. It required top-skills to get these exactly on the right spot and in parallel. Especially at stitching the lining panel skin our interior shop did a fabulous job.
- Another challenge was filling the PH-GOV cabin with the projected lay-out. The cabin design in reality seemed to be a tight fit and caused various problems due to lack of floor space in the crew rest area and the rear cabin.
- Material selection versus fireworthiness requirements also appeared to be challenging. PH-GOV is now fully compliant to the highest fireworthiness standards without violating any of the esthetics.
- Meeting the very stringent weight requirements of the interior is a challenge in most completions, also in this case we succeeded to deliver what was promised.
“The aircraft offers a comfortable place to work and to rest,” said Hans Büthker, “it has a professional business look with Dutch accents. In addition to the familiar blue colour of the Dutch Government, there are orange and Delft blue accents in the interior. Fokker Techniek has done a great job and it is a great honour for us to support the transport of the Dutch Government and the Royal family this way.”
CEO GKN Aerospace (2013-2021)
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