Knight Aerospace, Collins Launch Next-Gen Interior Module For Cargo Aircraft
Knight Aerospace and Collins Aerospace have launched the newest version of their palletized galley and lavatory system, which aims to enable quick transformation of military cargo aircraft to better accommodate crew needs in flight. The companies delivered two Next-Generation Air Transportable Galley Lavatories (NG-ATGL) to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), which they hope will jump start growth with U.S. military customers.
According to Bianca Rhodes, CEO and president of Knight Aerospace, the NG-ATGL builds on the first-generation ATGL launched by the companies in 2020. Both versions are comprised of a modular, palletized system that features customizable galley and lavatory components. As with the previous version, the NG-ATGL locks directly into an aircraft’s cargo handling system without requiring additional tie-downs or attachment points and it can be rolled on or off aircraft in less than 30 min. Rhodes says it is interoperable across many cargo aircraft platforms, such as the Airbus A-400M, Boeing C-17 and KC-46 Pegasus, Embraer C-390, and Lockheed C-5 and C-130.
The NG-ATGL features upgraded technology, such as a vacuum system for the lavatory toilets capable of sustaining much higher G forces to prevent leaks. Rhodes says the functionality is essential for many use cases aboard military aircraft
“At high-nose altitudes during takeoff and climb, and when operating in and out of short fields, outdated galley lavatory systems lacking commercial-grade vacuum technology regularly leak their contents,” says Rhodes. “Incidents where traditional lavatory toilets can’t contain waste at certain G forces aren’t just unpleasant—they also pose major risks during missions. Leaks spread bacteria, cause sickness and distract crew during critical moments. Additionally, these leaks also cause corrosion of aircraft, which are expensive and time-consuming to address and repair.”
The NG-ATGL also replaces outdated parts or those no longer in production with new commercial components, which Rhodes says reduces costs and provides better efficiencies in repair needs. Since the units will use commercial galley and lavatory components, customers will have easy access to spare parts worldwide. Both Collins and Knight Aerospace will provide repair services for all components of the NG-ATGL.
Knight Aerospace says the RAAF has two more NG-ATGL units under contract and it has declared intentions to procure more, so it will ultimately receive approximately seven NG-ATGLs in the near future. According to a spokesperson for Knight Aerospace, Australia’s high airworthiness standards compared to those in the U.S. make the RAAF’s choice of the NG-ATGL “a major step towards Knight’s objective of striking a similar deal with the U.S. Air Force.”
“U.S. Air Force aircraft today use outdated galley lavatory systems, which Knight Aerospace hopes to replace with its NG-ATGL across the fleet,” notes Rhodes. She adds that Knight Aerospace is in talks with six customers to deliver additional NG-ATGL units in the coming months.