For many years wood veneer has been the material of choice to add elegance and a quality feel to private, corporate and VIP aircraft but stricter regulations mean new alternatives are required.

Aside from its aesthetic qualities, wood veneer has also traditionally been used in thin sheets to save weight. However, the use of this material is now legally restricted due to stringent fire, smoke, heat release and toxicity regulations.

Starling Aerospace has come up with an alternative solution – ‘aqua transfer’, which is also known as hydro graphics, dip film or aqua print.

Coralie Wigg, director & co-owner at Starling Aerospace, tells FINN how the “magical process” works, explaining that it creates a decorative finish using vinyl film floated on water. The film can be applied to a variety of shapes and surfaces within an aircraft cabin and meets s flame and smoke retardant standards.  It is topped with lacquer to a matt or high gloss finish.

The end product is almost identical to veneer at a fraction of the cost.

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