SCHOTT solutions no. 1/2013 > Interview

The two companies Lufthansa Technik and SCHOTT develop cabin lighting solutions for commercial airlines, business jets and VIP aircraft together. In the picture on the left, Dr. Armin Plichta, Director of Transportation SCHOTT Lighting and Imaging, and Andrew Muirhead, Director of Innovation Lufthansa Technik AG (right). Photo: SCHOTT/A. Sell

Feel-good Atmosphere Above the Clouds


Andrew Muirhead, Director of Innovation for Lufthansa Technik AG, and Dr. Armin Plichta, Director of Transportation at SCHOTT Lighting and Imaging, on the aircraft cabin lighting solutions they have developed together.


Dr. Haike Frank

solutions: Your cabin lighting solution HelioJet was successfully qualified for installation in aircraft just recently.

Muirhead: Yes, we expect to see it installed for the first time in an Airbus this summer.

Plichta: Light plays an important role in creating a feel-good atmosphere on board an airplane. With HelioJet, we have achieved our objective of developing an innovative lighting solution that offers passengers the comfort they desire.

Muirhead: But the passengers are not the only ones who will benefit from this new technology because HelioJet requires only about one-fifth as many light diodes as other LED solutions. This has a positive effect on reliability, maintenance and costs and explains why our development is of such great interest to all of the airlines.

solutions: And the next step will be to introduce HelioJet in color as well?

Plichta: Yes, HelioJet will be entering into a new dimension. For the first time ever, we will be offering this cabin lighting solution in color as HelioJet (TCS). A newly developed, innovative sensor technology constantly sees to it that all of the colors are rendered in a consistent manner by controlling all of the LEDs. The name TCS which stands for True Color Stabilization already suggests this. Without this type of control system, instable rendering of the colors by the LEDs would inevitably cause undesirable and unaesthetic changes in color.

solutions: What is so special about this technology?

Muirhead: The innovative sensor technology is really what makes it so unique. It ensures that each of the LEDs installed in the system remains perfectly in tune and renders the desired color shade extremely accurately, both inside a HelioJet (TCS) unit and with all of the light units inside the cabin.

Plichta: In this case, the light is permanently controlled online against a predefined set value. The interplay of colors can even be controlled, for instance, by using the cabin management system ’nicemood’ from Lufthansa Technik.

solutions: What is your timetable with respect to market introduction?

Muirhead: We expect to see product development, including validation of HelioJet (TCS), completed by the end of 2013. <

Colorful and homogeneous at the same time