On 27th of June, 2018 Bucher Aerospace Corporation, the Seattle-based branch of the international Bucher Group, was granted with the Technical Standard Order (TSO)authorization from FAA for its latest innovation in the airline catering segment: the ARCTICart™, a highly performing thermally insulated galley cart.
Obtaining the FAA authorization is a key milestone for the development team of this new product, which initiated its work in 2015. Aircraft operators can now start testing and using it in flight. Bucher Aerospace CEO, Francisco Aguilera, assures that “the ARCTICart™ program was launched with the ambitious and clear objective to present aircraft operators a solution to significantly reduce weight and power consumption of airplanes by allowing the removal of chillers from commercial aircraft”.
Thermal insulation excellence through innovation
It is no coincidence that ARCTICart™’s most distinctive feature is its superior thermal insulation performance able to keep contents below 4 degrees for up to 20 hours without the use of chillers nor any other active cooling. Unlike existing systems available on the market today, ARCTICart™ does not reduce the internal usable space of an ATLAS size cart nor requires any dry ice, power supply or operating fluids. Reaching this extended time period is necessary to enable airlines disregard chillers on intercontinental flights. It also allows airlines reduce operational expenses by reducing the number of catering stations used in continental or domestic networks.
Bucher’s bold engineering approach of rethinking conventional and existing design solutions and material choices of in-flight trolleys has led to a superior product. ARCTICart™ incorporates insulation technology used on pharmaceutical and human organ transportation and an innovative non-metallic structural design. This is a first for the airline industry.
Operational benefits by reducing weight, power & fuel consumption, emissions and maintenance efforts
Will the avoidance of a chiller decrease food quality? In fact, food quality will improve and so will the catering experience for passengers. Unlike active refrigeration methods, such as through-air chilling or dry-ice, temperature differences within ARCTICart™ are minimal regardless of storing meals in the top front drawer or the bottom back tray. The food will neither be too cold nor not cold enough.
Avoiding chillers unlocks a series of advantages and cost savings for airlines. Not only can the weight of chillers be eliminated but also the weight of ducting and wiring necessary for the galley’s chilling system. No chillers also result in less power consumption, less maintenance costs (chillers are highly maintenance intensive), less fuel consumption, less cabin noise, just to name a few direct operational and environmental benefits that are materialized by ARCTICart™. Any ATLAS galley garage on the plane can be used to store chilled food in ARCTICart™.
The future is cool
This first full size version of the ARCTICart™ will soon be followed by a half size version. Bucher is also committed to incorporating industry feedback into its product family to meet different catering strategy demands. For instance, “return catering” when an airline loads at its home base the meals of consecutive outbound and inbound flight legs. The ongoing industrialization and set- up of ARCTICart™’s assembly line in Everett (WA) will allow delivering the first serial units in 2018, just before the production ramp-up in 2019.