Andrea Girolin, Manager and CEO of AMS Heli Design LLC. and Alexander Bode, Vice President Marketing & Sales of AUTOFLUG GmbH (left to right)
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Atlanta, 6 March 2019 – “The slim, lightweight and narrow design is excellently suited to the kind of technical task we are continually addressing.” This statement from Mr Andrea Girolin, Manager and CEO of AMS Heli Design LLC., based in Denison, Texas, explains very clearly why he has decided to purchase new safety seats from AUTOFLUG. The company AMS, which specializes in the equipping of helicopters for use in Emergency Medical Services (EMS), has now already been commissioned with the refitting of various models. The latest order comprises the equipping of the model AW-169 in an EMS configuration, in each of which 4 safety seats from AUTOFLUG will be used. With the concept FLYWEIGHT®, the German company AUTOFLUG, based in Rellingen, Schleswig-Holstein, is presenting a series of helicopter seats characterized by light, robust, and slim construction combined with modern design. Flexible and space-efficient cabin solutions can be easily realized thanks to options such as folding seating surfaces and the possibility of wall mounting.
The cooperation agreement signed at the HAI Heli Expo in Atlanta covers a term of 6 years, for the time being, and also includes joint approvals (STCs) for different helicopter models of the manufacturer Leonardo. The first seats are already to be supplied in March next year and are to be installed in the framework of the equipping of the AW-169.
AMS Heli Design is a premier aviation engineering development and aircraft alteration company, based in North Texas Regional Airport (KGYI). Current development projects include light weight EMS interiors for AW169 and AW109 Trekker further to an modular neonatal composite transport deck that might be installed on several helicopter and fixed wing types and that is currently under EASA and FAA STC certification.
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Barely a year after its successful launch, the AUTOFLUG FLYWEIGHT® seating family which offers safety seats for civil helicopters is supplemented by a powerful new addition providing drastically increased flexibility. With AUTOFLUG FLYWEIGHT® UP, the company is setting new standards with regard to the diverse use of helicopter cabin space. Its extremely sleek design and the folding seat enable cabin configurations which were inconceivable up until now. In a range of application areas, it is thus possible to install additional seats, especially in the door area; this couldn’t be achieved with rigid systems. The easy-to-use and robust folding mechanism enables loading and boarding to proceed smoothly, while the light weight of the seats keeps the total load for the increased number of seats at a reasonable level. As well as use in the door area, the FLYWEIGHT® UP also enables a range of daily transport requirements to be carried out much more easily. Thus, as seats can simply be folded back, bulky cargo does not pose a problem, as it can be loaded without the effort of having to remove and install seats.
As with the other seats of the FLYWEIGHT® series, the folding seats offer a range of individual options and configuration possibilities. The first of the latest generation of standard seats will already be available on the market at the beginning of the coming year and is already highly popular. At the up-coming HAI Heli-Expo in Atlanta from March 4 – 6, the Swiss company Kopter Group is displaying, for example, a cabin variation of its modern and brand-new SH-09 in a passenger transport configuration with AUTOFLUG FLYWEIGHT® UP seats as well as others from the range. The modern design of the seats also highlights the helicopter’s innovative concept. Other seat variations will be on display at AUTOFLUG’s own stand and will show a variety of additional application options. For the first time, visitors will also be able to experience individually configured seats in a virtual 3D environment in a range of cabin configurations.
Bereits 2017 trat Herr Martin Kroell (42) in die Geschäftsführung der AUTOFLUG GmbH ein. Mit Ablauf des vergangenen Jahres ist Herr Kroell ebenfalls in den Kreis der Gesellschafter der AUTOFLUG Gruppe eingetreten. Damit gibt es erstmals in der fast 100-jährigen Unternehmensgeschichte einen nicht zur Familie Sedlmayr gehörenden Mitgesellschafter. Herr Kroell führt die Geschäfte des Unternehmens zusammen mit Herrn Andreas Sedlmayr (63). „Der Eintritt von Herrn Kroell in unseren Gesellschafterkreis ist ein Signal für Kontinuität und Zukunftsorientierung des Unternehmens“ freut sich Sedlmayr.
Schutz- und Sicherheitsanforderungen schränken das Platzangebot im Innenraum geschützter Fahrzeuge zunehmend ein. zudem sollen die Fahrzeuge „multi-role-fähig“ sein, um das wachsende Einsatzspektrum abbilden zu können. Hierdurch werden der Personen- und Verwundetentransport zu einer echten Herausforderung.
AUTOFLUG sah sich daher veranlasst, in Konzepte zur Verbesserung des Verwundetentransports in militärischen Landfahrzeugen zu investieren und Lösungen zu erarbeiten. Die Ergebnisse wurden auf der diesjährigen EUROSATORY erstmalig vorgestellt und überzeugten zunächst durch ihre Andersartigkeit. So erleichtert ein deckenmontiertes Schienensystem das Verladen von Krankentragen in Innenräume, in denen keine Stehhöhe zur Verfügung steht. Die Krankentrage wird an der hinteren Luke in ein Gurtsystem eingehängt und kann von außen mühelos in den Mannschaftsraum geführt werden.
Auch die Insassensicherung während der Fahrt erfolgt auf textiler Basis; die Systeme zeichnen sich daher durch ein geringes Gewicht und einen optimalen Schutz bei Minen- / IED-Kontakt und Unfällen aus. In Verbindung mit AUTOFLUG Sitzen und bei optimaler Ausnutzung bezüglich Gewicht, Schutzniveau und Funktionalität lässt sich der Mannschaftsraum innerhalb weniger Minuten für den Verwundetentransport vorbereiten und genauso schnell wieder für den herkömmlichen Personentransport zurückrüsten. Ergänzend bietet AUITOFLUG Regalsysteme an, bei denen jeder einzelne Boden textil von seiner Rahmenstruktur und somit auch vom Fahrzeug entkoppelt ist. Ihren wirksamen Schutz, beispielsweise für empfindliche Elektronik, haben die Verstausysteme bereits in Anspreng- und IED-Versuchen unter Beweis gestellt.
RELLIGEN, Germany, April, 2018 – The German company AUTOFLUG located in Rellingen, Schleswig-Holstein, has been collaborating closely with the South Korean company HANWHA Corporation, Seoul, for over ten years. During this time, several projects in the area of fuel systems for a variety of aviation programs have been completed successfully. Starting with the Korean Utility Helicopter (KUH) most recently these projects were an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Light Commercial Helicopter (LCH) and Light Armed Helicopter (LAH), for which AUTOFLUG developed together with and on behalf of HANWHA significant parts of the Fuel Quantity Measurement Systems (FQMS).
At the ADEX in Seoul, South Korea, another contract for the development of a “Fuel Quantity Measuring System” (FQMS) was signed. The system is being developed especially for the Korean Fighter Development program a South Korean and Indonesian project for production of a twin-engine multipurpose combat aircraft with stealth attributes.
“The basis for the long-term business relationship with the HANWHA Corporation is on the one hand the sustainable professional dialogue covering all of the relevant aspects of the projects, and on the other hand the trustful and partnership-based collaboration that has developed in the course of the past years.” This statement by Axel Kiens, Vice President of the Business Unit Measurement & Control Systems at AUTOFLUG, was again supported by the friendly atmosphere during the signing ceremony for the actual Korean Fighter development contract.
The design and development will take a period of approx. 3 years. A final decision about the future series production is still pending, but initial positive discussions on this topic already took place.
Cabin Solutions for the STH-Program – The best equipment for troops
RELLIGEN, Germany, 6 March, 2018 – For several months now, Sikorsky, A Lockheed Martin Company and the German aviation company AUTOFLUG have been in talks regarding cooperation in the planned new purchase of heavy-lift transport helicopters for German armed forces.
Sikorsky and AUTOFLUG signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate more closely together on AUTOFLUG’s equipment portfolio and Sikorsky’s CH-53K helicopter for the German STH program. AUTOFLUG views Sikorsky CH-53K as the most modern aircraft solution in the Heavy Lift Market and would assure the Germany Air Force has the safest and most technological aircraft with the best equipment available today. Each company views this as an opportunity to expand beyond only the STH Program for potential requirements in both the military and civilian markets. AUTOFLUG is a leader in aircraft seats, mission equipment for MedEvac and auxiliary fuel systems.
The companies have held talks regarding the CH-53K, the newly developed, state-of-the-art, heavy-lift transport helicopter made by Sikorsky, which is competing to be the successor to Sikorsky’s CH-53 GS/GA currently being flown in Germany. AUTOFLUG is already developing safety seats for current German fleet to improve crash safety for its remaining service life. The seating systems also have a low weight and are extremely quick to fit and remove, as well as being durable with no maintenance, and providing the occupant with maximum freedom of movement. If the requirements remain the same or similar for its potential successor, AUTOFLUG could adapt for a configuration of up to 48 troop seats in the CH-53K, with minimal development effort. The management of AUTOFLUG is sure that an important factor in the selection process of the successor to the CH-53 GS/GA will be the ratio of German industry in the overall program. A high degree of German participation is the precondition for a high level of constant availability during the planned life-time of the helicopters to be procured.
As part of the ILA 2018 in Berlin, AUTOFLUG will present not only a first prototype of a possible troop seat, but also an additional tank solution for the range extension of the CH-53K. This will be done within the framework of Sikorsky’s Team STH CH-53K Supplier Chalet”, where in addition to AUTOFLUG, other German industry teammates to Sikorsky will exhibit their possible products and services for the CH-53K program.
As of March 15, 2018, Mr. Alexander Bode (46) has joined AUTOFLUG GmbH. In addition to the management of the Marketing & Sales division, Mr. Bode will also be responsible for the Rescue & Safety as well as Service & Engineering divisions. In addition, he will utilize his many years of experience in the aviation industry to support AUTOFLUG in the expansion of civil expertise.
Martin Kroell – who has been in charge of company management together with owner Andreas Sedlmayr since January 1, 2017 and concurrently led the marketing & sales force up to now – will now focus even more on the operational management of the company. At the same time, another focus is on the strategic corporate development and associated challenges.
The newly developed helicopter seat from AUTOFLUG should be lightweight, robust and extremely safe. After one year of development, AUTOFLUG presented the result to the world public for the first time this week at the HAI Heli-Expo in Las Vegas, USA – AUTOFLUG FLYWEIGHT®. “We have not only reached the set of goals,” says Björn Kanstorf, Head of the Business Unit Cabin Solutions at AUTOFLUG, “rather a seat family has emerged on the basis of which nearly all requirements for modern cabin layouts in civilian helicopters can be realized.“ Thanks to the use of state-of-the-art composite materials in the production of the seat-shell and the sophisticated design, the AUTOFLUG FLYWEIGHT® seats are among the lightest seats on the market. The energy absorption system used to achieve high crash-safety is a proven system that has been used for several years. “Right from the start, my team was looking for the best compromise between proven technology and innovative approaches,” continues Kanstorf. Only in this way has it been possible to realize a seat with a weight of less than 9 kg in the basic configuration. However, the family approach hides more than just a seat. The concept includes a variety of features that can be combined on the basis of three configurations. Depending on the purpose, desired flight time and comfort level, there is the right FLYWEIGHT® seat for a wide variety of helicopter cabins. The seats are also characterized by a modern design that can be custom-tailored in numerous details.
AUTOFLUG has been actively involved in the development and production of seating systems in military helicopters for more than a decade. In the current development of a seat-family for civil applications, it was thus possible to draw on a tremendous amount of experience from a large number of different projects. Initial discussions with major OEMs in the helicopter industry have shown keen interest in the modern and safety-oriented approach of the AUTOFLUG FLYWEIGHT® seating solutions.
“A substantially extended range of applications and increasingly stringent requirements for usability in various mission scenarios require optimization of modularity, ergonomics and especially the crash safety of seating systems.”
In this statement from Björn Kanstorf, Manager of the Business Unit Cabin Solutions at the company AUTOFLUG, the subject is the latest developments of crash-safety for the occupants of the latest generation of military helicopters. “Especially the increase in the load on seating, due to highly developed personal equipment and the accompanying increase in weight also calls for light seating systems to realize efficient use of the air vehicles”, adds Kanstorf.
Recently, the medium-sized company AUTOFLUG received the order for adaptation of the in-house developed passenger seats for use in CH-53 in the GS configuration as currently used in the German armed forces. The
modification of all machines in service is to begin immediately after the development stage.
The main characteristics of the new seating system are very low dead weight, flexible and fast installation and dismantling in the helicopter to achieve optimal “mission flexibility”, and substantially increased occupant protection, especially in the event of a crash.
The family concept worked out at AUTOFLUG for such seating systems enables swift development and qualification. At the same time it allows swift reaction to new operational, ergonomic and safety-relevant requirements. For example, AUTOFLUG, based in Northern Germany, has also been entrusted with the development of a special “Mission Troop Seat” for the NATO helicopter NH90, which will be put to use on the basis of the requirements of a user nation in its organizations. Use by further user states is, however, possible at any time. The seats in this development only represent a component which can be built up into a complete cabin system with a large number of further items of equipment. The solutions here range from stretchers for the transport of the wounded through a wide range of storage solutions for items of equipment to special racks for the storage of “personal survival packs”, PSPs for short, to make survival possible in emergency. All components of the AUTOFLUG airFLEX family of products are here optimally coordinated with each other, thus ensuring the efficient use of the limited available space in helicopter cabins.
Mit Wirkung zum 1. Januar 2017 tritt Herr Martin Kroell (40) in die Geschäftsführung der AUTOFLUG GmbH ein. Herr Kroell wird neben seinen bisherigen Aufgaben Vertrieb und Geschäftsentwicklung künftig als Geschäftsführer auch die Bereiche Operations und Entwicklung verantworten. Herr Kroell ist bereits seit 2013 im Unternehmen tätig.
Herr Andreas Sedlmayr wird als geschäftsführender Gesellschafter weiterhin die kaufmännische Verantwortung des Unternehmens
AUTOFLUG took another strategic step in the development of its international sales network last month when it launched a long-term partnership with Yepsan SSH. Under the initial contract, YEPSAN SSH will be the exclusive distributor of all AUTOFLUG products on the Turkish market. “YEPSAN will have access to advanced AUTOFLUG technology, and together, we will be able to develop the Turkish market with innovative safety solutions”, said Andreas Sedlmayr at the official signing of the contract in Ankara on April 7.
In the longer term, however, the partnership will not be limited to distribution by Yepsan. A second contract is gradually to establish some aspects of production at Yepsan sites in Turkey. This will not only offer logistical advantages, it will also create value added in Turkey – which could be extremely useful in meeting offset requirements, not least as regards the aviation sector. Yepsan already has manufacturing expertise in metalworking and also in textiles; the latter is for example key to production of AUTOFLUG GmbH’s leading global textile safety seat solutions.
“Growing demand for our safety solutions, in particular in the aviation and ground vehicle sector, is challenging us to find efficient solutions. Our top priority is constantly to adapt our products to the needs of our users so that we can offer maximum safety and the best possible protection.” YEPSAN already meets the strict military and aviation quality requirements and is therefore an ideal partner for rapidly achieving long-term goals.