Las Vegas is a pretty wacky, well-illuminated place and therefore the perfect location to present electro-luminescent markings for aircraft. Yes, you read that correctly.
The ‘Illuminate the Sky by Aircelle’ display concept was shown at NBAA15 on the Safran stand, parent company of Aircelle. The markings attracted a steady flow of attendees, who were briefed on the display concept developed over the past four years for use almost anywhere on an aircraft’s exterior.
The electro-luminescent markings evolved from Aircelle’s role as a leading manufacturer of aircraft nacelles, and its experience in installing increasingly intricate logos of international airlines on these jet engine components.
“After transitioning from painting airlines’ logos on our nacelles to the use of decals, we began looking at how to make them even more attractive and visible,” explained Serge Rière, Aircelle’s Site & Operations Director. “This led to the idea of using electro-luminescent displays, which opens new opportunities and takes the concept of aircraft markings to a much higher level.”
Aircelle’s electro-luminescent markings are very thin and require low power levels (7-10 watts from the aircraft’s electrical system) to operate. They are affixed to the aircraft with adhesive, and can be easily replaced or removed. As the layered material is flexible, it can be installed on flat and curved surfaces.
Typical uses of the markings are aircraft liveries and airline branding, along with the promotion of sports events. They are easily programmable via a control box, allowing letters or symbols to be illuminated in sequence, or to flash in a predetermined manner.
The Aircelle electro-luminescent markings’ first flight demonstration was on an A380 jetliner, with the Airbus logo and letters programmed to light up sequentially, at last June’s Paris Airshow.
“For the aviation sector, we’re already working on electro-luminescent marking ideas for a major international sporting event in 2016, along with concepts for airlines and an airframe manufacturer’s new aircraft,” explained Rière. “One application involves a display that would be seven metres wide and three metres tall!”
During Aircelle’s presence at NBAA15, Rière said operators of VIP aircraft could display the identity of customers on charter flight – a sports team or a music group for example – while private owners can make their aircraft stand out with illuminated liveries.
Aircelle is refining the design and working on qualifying the displays in terms of resistance to fire and lightning strikes.