Transportation Updates

How Do You Make A Helicopter Vegan? Airbus Has The Answer

When you hear or read the term “vegan helicopter,” what comes to mind? A helicopter that runs on plant-based biofuels? Or a helicopter that is made without using animal-based products? It sounds as strange as the term “plant-based beer,” but bear with us as we explain how Airbus Corporate Helicopters delivered a helicopter to a customer that had a fully vegan interior.

The helicopter in question is an ACH145 which was ordered by a German construction entrepreneur. Photo: Airbus

fully vegan ACH145 interior

Airbus was approached by one Dr Urs Brunner, who wanted to order an ACH145 helicopter. However, the German construction entrepreneur had one somewhat unique requirement: That his new flying machine would have a fully vegan interior- a request that actually came from his wife, ethical fashion pioneer Daniela Brunner.

Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH) and its design team rose to the occasion to create this entirely plant-based interior. The company notes that the specially-made cabin is fitted with an “ACH Line interior configuration in a grey theme.” However, ACH notes that the leather elements “essential to its luxury feel are replaced with Ultraleather which captures the visual and tactile leather experience with comparable durability.”

Indeed, the helicopter’s six passenger seats, central storage cabinet, rear partition, and cockpit controls cuffs have been specially designed and fabricated in the replacement material.

A look at the vegan aircraft cabin. Photo: Airbus

“We’re very proud of our team’s work in creating this bespoke ACH Line interior. The material that we used is certified for aviation use and is hard-wearing, but it can only be stretched in one direction which means it is a challenge to work with, particularly on the seats.” -Frederic Lemos, Head of ACH

Lemos adds that the challenges were overcome by the craftsmanship of the ACH hands-on team, which found a practical way to meet customer demands while maintaining a high level of finish.

Stay informed:Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

The woman behind the request

Making the request as Ms Brunner, a founding owner of specialist fashion house Giulia & Romeo. A core aspect of Brunner’s fashion house is that it has no animal products involved in its range. Taking its values a step further, Giulia & Romeo donates all its profits to animal welfare.

Giulia & Romeo fashion
Giulia & Romeo’s products are all vegan. Photo: Giulia & Romeo

To ensure that her husband’s big purchase would align with the couple’s vegan values, Daniela Brunner wanted the helicopter to steer clear of seating (and other surfaces) that would have traditionally used leather.

Dr Urs Brunner, an experienced helicopter and fixed-wing pilot, said: “We both greatly appreciate the skill and imagination that went into devising and installing this interior.”

Indeed, conventional leather, which is made from animal skin and hides, is an extremely common material used for seat covers. This is due to the material’s reputation for being strong, flexible, and durable. Leather features prominently in most premium cabin seating, such as Emirates’ new premium economy.

What do you think of this achievement by Airbus Corporate Helicopters? Might this be more common in the future? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.

Did you miss our previous article…