Thompson Aero Seating announced plans to create a DTF in Northern Ireland. This is a £7.5 million investment in a facility that will catapult Thompson into a new era of development and innovation.
Already, construction works have begun to extend the Thompson brownfield site for DTF in Banbridge County Down. The test equipment will be installed during the Summer, while testing will begin in Autumn 2023.
Along with the building work, several test engineers will be recruited. This exciting opportunity offers the chance to create a new capability within our business and play an integral role in designing the next generation aviation interior products.
Thompson will have an enhanced ability to certify new products for airworthiness as well as carry out research and developmental work without leaving the factory. Thompson was forced to send products and members of his team to North America and Europe to test the DTF.
Neil Taggart, CEO of Thompson Aero Seating, said: “Having our own Dynamic Test Facility will give us a huge opportunity to save on lead times in the development of our new seats and improve sustainability – which have to be positives for our airline customers.”
Innovation and green credentials
Thompson will be able innovate more by having an enhanced capability for dynamic testing in-house. Designs can also be optimised to reduce weight and carbon footprint. Testing onsite is also a positive thing for the environment.
Sled testing allows engineers the ability to simulate full-scale crashes in controlled environments. The installation of a reverse accelerator sled can produce accelerations up to 100g.
Added Taggart: “The majority of the funding for the project has come from Thompson’s shareholder, with Invest Northern Ireland is part-funding the project. This is a great opportunity for Thompson Aero Seating. It will enable us to push the boundaries of design and bring further innovation to the aircraft interiors industry.”
Local MPs, Councillors, and business leaders from ADS, Sharing In Growth, as well as local MPs, have also supported the Makers Alliance.