Lufthansa Technik (LHT) has developed a virtual three-dimensional modelling system to test-fit cabin interior equipment in its simulated aircraft environment before installation.
The system will be used to check that the equipment can be installed without interference with the airframe structure, systems and other furnishings.
It is particularly relevant for VIP completions with customised cabin interiors.
Layover times for such aircraft will be "noticeably" reduced, because the number of trial-fittings can be reduced and potential changes to the equipment's original design taken into account before their production, said Franz-Josef Kirschfink, director technology projects.
The maintenance and VIP completions company installed a glass cube with 12m² (ft²) floor space and infrared cameras in the ceiling. This so-called "Cave Automatic Virtual Environment" (CAVE) allows technicians who are wearing special glasses to see and freely move within a "faithful three-dimensional reproduction" of the aircraft's interior.
Potential problems with the installations can be identified more easily and investigated more closely than on the workstation, said LHT. Faults or inaccuracies of the equipment could then be rectified before its production in the workshops.
For most of the components, no physical test-fitting will be necessary in future, the company added.
LHT plans to install the first complete cabin interior using a "virtual fit-check" in two years and employ the system also for other business areas. It developed the system with funding from Germany's ministry of education and research.