Thompson Aero Seating announces world-class dynamic test facility

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 be able innovate more by having an enhanced capability for dynamic testing in-house. Designs can also be optimised to reduce weight and carbon footprint. Additionally, it will be beneficial for the environment to test onsite.

Specification for testing

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.

Partnership funding

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 a great 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 and Councillors have supported the Makers Alliance as well as ADS and Sharing In Growth business transformation coaches.