Aircelle “lights up the sky” during the initial test flight of a nacelle with an electro-luminescent display

Toulouse, France, June 11, 2015

Aircelle (Safran)'s highly innovative method to display logos, advertising or other messaging with thin electro-luminescent markings on airliners and business jets has been unveiled during its first flight aboard an Airbus A380.

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In an evaluation performed June 8 during the nighttime hours, the A380 testbed aircraft's no. 1 outboard engine nacelle was outfitted with an Aircelle electro-luminescent display configured as an illuminated Airbus logo. Thanks to this flight, Aircelle was able to demonstrate the marking's brightness, clarity and readability – confirming its outstanding visibility at various lighting conditions and distances.

With the thickness of a decal, the "Illuminate the Sky by Aircelle" patented solution can be easily modified and reprogrammed, allowing for a variety of images or messages to be displayed and changed.  It is capable of showing a full range of graphics, patterns and animations, with placement almost anywhere on an aircraft – from the fuselage and under-fuselage belly to the engine nacelles and tail.

This innovative solution, which uses on-board electrical power, opens up highly creative opportunities that are exceptionally visible, with applications including the highlighting of airline logos and liveries, as well as promoting the air transport sector's growing number of joint marketing campaigns and event affiliations. The concept also is scalable to private jets, enabling owners to personalize their aircraft with artistic designs.

"The A380 flight validation culminates three years of work, which builds on Aircelle's innovation and branding capabilities from our role as a leading engine nacelle supplier, while also benefiting from the expertise of another Safran company, Labinal Power Systems," explained Serge Rière, Aircelle's Site & Operations Director. 

Rière said Aircelle's consideration of aircraft lighting concepts evolved from its experience in applying highly detailed, complex logos on the engine nacelles it produces for such jetliners as the A380, A320neo and A330neo. As a result, Aircelle's nacelle and engine integration center in Colomiers, France – located adjacent to Airbus final assembly lines – has developed unique paint and decal methods for such tasks.    

"The next logical step was to look at the use of lighted means, which led to our development and qualification of the thin electro-luminescent display system for aircraft," he added. 

Aircelle has received positive response from aircraft manufacturing and airline executives who have been shown the electro-luminescent solution. It will be unveiled on the Paris Air Show exhibit of Safran (Hall A, Exhibit stand #228) from June 15 to June 21.

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