Unique lighting scenes system developed by AIM for Virgin Atlantic
AIM Aviation has developed a unique lighting control system to add further drama to the stunning upper class bars it has installed across the Virgin Atlantic fleet of Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
Up to 64 pre-programmable lighting scenes, capable of transitioning in a pre-determined time of between two and 17 seconds, allow for the mood of the bar area to be carefully chosen to reflect or inspire the atmosphere of the space. The bespoke 16-channel digital LED lighting control system was designed and developed in-house by AIM Aviation. The lighting scenes can be selected by cabin crew using an ergonomic and intuitive control panel, concealed within the bar. The strategically placed RGBW LED light sources are capable of immersing passengers in a full spectrum of colour.
John Heath, technical director at AIM Aviation, says: “The finished Virgin Atlantic bar area is really striking but it was the initial careful research, development and design at AIM Aviation that allowed us to use such unusual materials and technologies, to make the concept work. The GRC bar top is a revolutionary new material, developed by AIM Aviation and unique in commercial aviation. The hugely adaptable lighting sequences and sources have been designed specifically to complement the futuristic look and give the upper-class bar area true distinction.”
The simplicity of the control panel and programming interface belies the ingenuity that has gone into this new technology. In order to bring the lighting control project to commercial fruition, new scientific and technological solutions had to be pioneered by AIM Aviation. These included creating highly shaped and controlled electronic pulse modulation; significantly increasing the frequency of the pulses; and developing control-system architecture compatible with commercial aviation software and firmware constraints, with absolutely minimal EMI/EMC emissions or susceptibilities.
The lighting system meets the stringent conducted and radiated electro-magnetic interference levels for Airbus Long Range and A380 commercial aircraft and is certified to EASA CS-25 requirements and all applicable Airbus and Boeing requirements.
AIM Aviation’s craftsmanship and attention to detail make the bar area intriguing yet comfortable for the passenger and clever design quirks, along with robust engineering, ensure it is practical and fit for purpose for the cabin crew. Even the bar stools are a significant exploration in the possibilities of design and engineering. Machined from a solid aluminium alloy and finished with a unique ceramic coating they become sculptures in their own right.