Thompson Aero Seating announces its plans to build a dynamic test facility (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 expand 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.
Parallel to the construction works, there will be testing engineering positions available. This is a great opportunity to help shape the future of the business and contribute to the design of the next generation aircraft 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 have more opportunities to innovate and designs can be optimised. This will result in lighter seats and a lower carbon footprint. Testing onsite is also a positive thing for the environment.
Engineers can simulate the dynamic conditions of a full scale crash event using sled testing. The installed reverse accelerator sled can generate accelerations of 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 an exciting 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.