German leisure airline Condor and MRO provider Lufthansa Technik have signed a contract for the installation of the latter’s newly developed “HeatNOW” floor heating system in its Airbus A320 fleet.
The technology addresses cold spots in aircraft galleys which Lufthansa Technik said were a “well-known problem”.
-10C in galleys
The company said: “While the passenger cabin is zone-controlled to comfortable temperatures at outside temperatures of -52 °C, it can get as cold as -10 °C in the galleys during a flight, especially in the lower door areas, due to the sometimes very cold air flow created by the differential pressure.
“These conditions not only create an uncomfortable working environment for crew members; other problems can also arise from the potential freezing. In situations where an aircraft is operating in very cold weather, the temperature differences cause condensate to collect on the door seal and mechanical parts, freezing there and potentially preventing the doors from opening easily in icing conditions on the ground.”
To address this, Lufthansa Technik’s HeatNOW system uses conductive coating that prevents the formation of cold areas in the aircraft.
The heating pad consists of a heating layer between two additional protective layers. Connected to the on-board power, the electrically conductive layer acts as a resistor and heats itself in a self-regulating manner, meaning HeatNOW can provide an even heating of floor areas.
Lufthansa Technik said conventional solutions, such as standard heated floor panels, have a high failure rates due to their design, and are also expensive and less efficient. It said the ultra-thin and lightweight HeatNOW system can be installed easily and flexibly on almost any desired floor panel, in galleys and or in seating areas.
HeatNOW is EASA-certified for the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft family, and the certification can be extended to other aircraft types.
“We chose HeatNOW primarily because the health of our crews is very important to us. With this new heating system, we want to offer our crews a more comfortable workplace and keep them from having to stay in a partly cold working area,” says Christian Schmitt, Condor’s Chief Operating Officer and Accountable Manager.
“After having been asked by several airlines to develop a cost-effective alternative for retrofitting a floor heating system in the cockpit and cabin areas, we are now pleased to equip Condor as our first airline customer with HeatNOW. For cargo aircraft operators, HeatNOW is also extremely interesting as an additional floor heating system in the forward galley area between the cockpit and the main cargo bay, where the cargo attendants spend time during the flight. We believe we are providing a great alternative here, either as an additional heating system in already equipped aircraft or as a full retrofit solution,” said Niels Dose, Product Sales Manager at Lufthansa Technik.