The Wulfmeyer NTF System: the idea
In the early 1980s, Wulfmeyer Aircraft Interior developed and implemented its first self-adhesive version of a Göppinger NTF top layer for aircraft cabins. The system solution’s authorization took place on July 14, 1981 by Airbus.The 90s
From the idea to technical perfection
Once involved in the task of offering NTF floor coverings as a system solution for aviation, the idea matured into consistently developing and utilizing optimization potential, a topic that had already been touched upon earlier on in this context.
With Lothar Neumann, Wulfmeyer Aircraft Interior had a creative boss at the helm who never tired from bringing in ideas and inspiration from the market.
The first NTF with laminate reinforcement
As early as the beginning of the 1990s, laminate reinforced NTF was available in the market. Silicone was used as the preferred upper material, combined with 0.5 mm thin phenolic resin laminates.
The development of this first NTF system solution inspired the developers at Wulfmeyer Aircraft Interior, Auge and Polozek, to start testing their own concepts.
First failures led to development
The first failed attempts, often conducted in improvised yet practical test environments, were regarded less as setbacks and more as important acquisitions of knowledge on the road to creating the optimal NTF system.
The aim was to develop an "NTF sandwich" with behavior congruent to the requirements of aviation.1992
The adhesive as the key factor
The main criteria for an optimal NTF system in aviation are
- Absolutely stable behavior – regardless of air pressure, temperature, climatic changes or influences, and even aggressive liquids
- The lowest possible weight
- High mechanical strength and resilience
- Durability and long service life
- Safe, simple and economical processing / installation
- Fire resistance
A key factor in the fulfillment of these requirements is the adhesive within the system.
First steps to the "Wulfmeyer Process"
The first tests, with a 2-component adhesive and the resulting optimized formula variants, paved the way to the “Wulfmeyer process”, which is now established worldwide.
However, this would be a long, rocky road, since a system needed to be developed in which all (!) components would work together perfectly.1994
The components harmonize
The NTF system ultimately developed proved to be superior in all respects to the solutions from other manufacturers made available in the mid-1990s1995
Those who have a need also have a source to meet their needs.
The dream customer, Airbus, needed an NTF…
… and consequently the connection to a reference source.
It was therefore necessary to prove the superiority of the Wulfmeyer system.
Airbus takes notice
Investigations revealed that the NTF Airbus was using from Wulfmeyer Aircraft Interior’s competitor did not sufficiently fulfill a key criterion (flammability).
Wulfmeyer now had its chance. Airbus was interested in the company…
…nevertheless, they remained cautious.
First sales success
Wulfmeyer Aircraft Interior develops the "Moonwalk" and brings it to the market. Offered with three types of surface coverings: Taraflex AVR160, Taraflex AV150 and Göppinger PUR, together with the laminate Conolite 6000T, the company supplied the airlines Hapag Lloyd and Condor.
Demand from the aircraft manufacturers remained tentative at first.1997
Quotes were provided with product samples, and Wulfmeyer Aircraft Interior’s NTF system clearly proved superior to the competition – mainly due to the key factor of its "adhesive bond".
Since 2002, a component of Airbus's NTF call for quotes is a prototype which must pass a series of practice tests / behavioral tests in the context of a real flight situation.
The success story begins
Shortly afterwards the winning factor, the "adhesive bond", was officially designated by Airbus as the "Wulfmeyer Process" and became the international standard – a triumphant success in the market.
Quick sales growth
In 1997 the sales of the Wulfmeyer processed NTF began to rise steeply. For example, Hapag Lloyd equipped its mixed fleet at the time – Boeing 737s and Airbus 310s – with the Wulfmeyer system.
The business relationship remains one of conviction – even after conversion to the Boeing fleet.1998
Production based on demand
Wulfmeyer Aircraft Interior supplies the NTF sheets in lengths of up to 5.10 meters, depending on the door-to-door dimension of the respective aircraft type2002
Constant probation included
Wulfmeyer Aircraft Interior supplies NTF sheets with a “EASA Form 1”.
The NTF system must continually prove itself at Airbus. The material can only be authorized once it has been built into an aircraft, in order to have it registered in the "Capability List" and obtain approval from the LBA (Luftfahrtbundesamt or Federal Aviation Authority).Today and the future
Since the development of the NTF system in line with the Wulfmeyer process, there have been constant updates, for which:
Passengers today walk to their seats on the plane on wood or stone replicas, for example, with virtually smooth surfaces on uni-colored structures or photorealistic images.
As versatile as each customer’s request
Wulfmeyer Aircraft Interior offers tremendous flexibility in production and provides its customers with proven solutions in new designs, surfaces and fitting variations according to each customer’s needs