Upper deck of A380 under construction, showing aluminium frames.
Upper deck of A380 under construction, showing aluminium frames.
B777 side panels.
B777 side panels.

Under the contract, Spatial Composite Solutions will design a total of 13 Cabin Service Trainers (CSTs) with Emirates' specifications for various Airbus and Boeing aircraft configurations (including the new Airbus A380), and install these at the new Emirates Aviation Crew Training College in Garhoud, Dubai.

The CST designs have been completed, manufacturing is currently under way, and installation has begun. Emirates' first A380 CST is scheduled to be complete in time for training operations to commence in early 2008.

Spatial Composite Solutions creates 1:1 scale replicas of Airbus and Boeing cabin interiors which provide a realistic environment for cabin crew in-flight service training. The aircraft interior panelling, bulkheads and galleys are manufactured from composite honeycomb panels to the client's colour choice and surface finish. There is the option to platform mount the trainers with potential for light turbulence motion, controlled by instructors. Most of the components used in the construction are manufactured in the company's Jebel Ali factory.

Spatial Composite's CSTs are manufactured from conventional Scott Bader fire-rated unsaturated polyester resin with low shrink Reichhold gel-coats. Either vacuum bag or resin transfer moulding (RTM) manufacturing processes are used, depending on the size and quantity of the components required. Honeycomb panels are used as a core material for all bulkheads and for the galley construction. The moulds are manufactured using epoxy resins.

“The composite parts we manufacture differ from actual aircraft parts in that they do not need to be FAA [Federal Aviation Authority] approved,” says Joe McKeever, CEO of Spatial Composite Solutions. “However, we look for a more robust laminate construction than actual aircraft panels because the CSTs themselves are subjected to more wear and tear than an actual aircraft, as training of the cabin crews takes place on a continuous basis in the aviation training environment.”

Founded in 2007 Spatial Composite Solutions is the only specialist manufacturer of cabin crew training equipment in the Middle East. It has a workforce of 40 people.

“We differ from other manufacturers of aviation training equipment in that we manufacture all of the composite and aluminium parts ourselves,” says McKeever.