One of Starling Aerospace's latest products is the VIP Track and Swivel Seat, a lightweight aluminium aircraft seat that has been designed to lie flat at 179°, turn 359° and accommodate passengers over 6 feet in height. It also tracks sideways, backwards and forwards to optimise passenger space for recline and relaxation.
Wigg comments: “I think we are the only [company] in Europe that’s actually manufacturing a VIP business class seat that's aimed at business jets and front-end commercial airlines.”
Because Starling Aerospace is a ‘one-stop shop’ for interiors, it can also deliver the chair faster.
Wigg explains: “We stock all the parts so you can come to us and ask for a seat and you will have your seat in about six weeks. The only part that's actually customised is the upholstery, so you'll choose your own leather colours, the style and so forth.”
As well as seating the company also offers beds, tables, storage and even posh loos.
Dreams into reality
Starling Aerospace serves some well-known and VIP clients – for example, Guns N’ Roses have sat on its berthable divans (sofas that convert to beds).
Unsurprisingly, high-end clients have high expectations for their private jets.
For example, the company has designed a gold desk for a client who presented a drawing concept that Starling had to turn into an engineering reality which met crash worthiness regulations, burn regulations, etc. The desk was made of aluminium and gold plated, with a marble top from Iran, Wigg says.
Other challenges include, for example, achieving a wooden finish on interiors, while meeting safety requirements.
Wigg says: “Up until a few years ago, we were able to put veneer on the interiors of business jets, but now that will no longer meet the smoke, toxicity and heat release regulations, so the way we do it is with a film, which is floated onto the product. It's like a photograph and then it's finished with aircraft-quality lacquers, so it meets all the right regulations, it's very durable and we can do a unit up to three metres by one metre. So you can do a sliding door, a bulk head, or a credenza in your aircraft. “
This finish could be wood, graphite or anything else the customer wants.
Wigg said: “It could be wood, teddy bears, whatever you like.”