The liberalisation of the air transport industry has significantly lowered the cost of air travel and ushered in many new entrants. The Low Cost Carrier (LCC) operators have made air travel much more affordable. Compared to the full service premium carriers, the LCC operating model provides passengers with an à la carte service model where cabin services, such as catering and in-flight entertainment, are sold separately. These optional services provide the LCC with additional ancillary revenue.
GVH Aerospace was presented with the challenge by an Airbus A320 LCC to design a stowage system for an Apple iPad-based IFE system and to certify the IFE storage system for use. The iPads are equipped with an extended-life Lithium battery pack to minimise the need for recharging in between short haul flights. GVH Aerospace designed the storage drawer that will carry up to 5 iPads and which fits into a standard galley cart. The storage drawer is designed to eliminate the possibility of cascading thermal runaway of batteries when the iPads are stored in proximity. GVH Aerospace conducted the thermal runaway testing to demonstrate compliance and rapidly manufactured 600 stowage drawers. The iPad stowage system entered revenue service on time and provided the customer with the first mover advantage in their target market.