Austrian Airlines is retrofitting its fleet of Fokker 70/100 regional jets with LED cabin lighting technology. After the first installation was completed in August, three aircraft have been modified during scheduled C checks. The airline currently operates nine F70s and 15 F100s, according to its website.
The LED system is supplied by Fokker Services in Nieuw-Vennep near Amsterdam, and installed at Austrian Technik Bratislava in Slovakia. The net weight saving over conventional light bulbs, tubes and fittings is 8kg (18lb) on F70 and 28kg on F100 aircraft. Reduced maintenance costs are the other central advantage. Fokker claims that the typical lifetime of the LEDs is 10 to 15 times longer than the standard lighting equipment, which needs frequent replacement due to discoloured, flickering or failed lights.
The modification requires approximately 100 man-hours per aircraft. Fokker declines to comment on the cost but says that the typical return on investment is between one and two years.
Austrian is the launch customer for the LED retrofit programme, which Fokker Services plans to extend to exterior lights, such as navigation and logo lights, in the near future. The Dutch company also aims to offer the technology for other platforms, including the Boeing 737 series.