Next-generation business jet and VVIP customers are more technologically savvy than any before. And that’s reflected in what they want in luxury interiors: a Next-Gen cabin that can provide a soothing home environment, innovative styling and connectivity, and Wi-Fi that matches their lifestyle on the ground.

Lufthansa Technik is pushing the envelope of cabin design with new products from its Hamburg innovation center. It’s not short of inspiration, but many ideas fail to make it through the reality check of engineering, certification and production.

This week marked the NBAA launch of Lufthansa Techik’s lush and ultra-modern Mercedes-Benz-style interior for large business jets. It also marked the arrival of the chair, a certificated carbon-fiber seating unit that could radicalize the way designers look at interior space.

“That’s exciting news,” says Philip von Schroeter, director of OEM business units at Lufthansa Technik and co-CEO of Inairvation, the joint venture it set up with renowned F/List Components & Furniture in Austria to innovate and manufacture integrated business jet cabin solutions.

The chair has won its first customer and is about to enter production at F/List, making Lufthansa Techik an OEM beyond hardware for cabin management and entertainment systems.

So what’s so different about chair? Its carbon-fiber skeleton allows great flexibility with styling, while saving weight and, just as importantly, floor space. With its much smaller footprint, designers can think about putting chairs around a dining table, for example, or around a mah-jongg table, something that’s very difficult to do with traditional seats without blocking walking space through the cabin.

Famed Pierrejean Design Studio has been involved with chair since the beginning, and his studio styled the seat.

The first customer for chair will have the aircraft outfitted at Lufthansa Technik. It had to compete against other seat manufacturers to win chair’s selection, and, ironically, it was requested in a traditional style rather than something radical, says von Schroeter.

Other highlights at Lufthansa Technik here in include:

• The Patient Transport Unit Next Generation (PTU NG), featuring an intensive-care bed and medical storage racks. Developed with Aerolite Max Bucher AG, PTU

NGs have been delivered to launch customers for integration into commercial Airbus A380s and several VIP aircraft. The initial aircraft type fitted with the PTU NG is Airbus Defence and Space’s C295 transport with four fully equipped units. This program for an unlimited number of aircraft started in May, with scheduled delivery for the first quarter of next year.

• A high-tech cooking stove (actually an Inductive Cooking Platform) that hasn’t been available on aircraft before. The cooker allows live, gourmet cooking in the style of high-end leaders, and can even include a special rice cooker. The design is still conceptual, and Lufthansa Technik is trying to determine markets for it – for business aviation, commercial aviation and outside aviation altogether. What if it were supplied with its own chef or came with a catering service? “Those are some of the things we’re looking at,” says von Schroeter.

• A new TIOS (two-in-one solution) tail-mounted twin antenna radome, popular among BBJ operators, that can house both Ka/Ku and live-TV antennas from various vendors. Available as a first-time installation or as a retrofit, the Ka-capable version will be available in the second quarter of next year. It is made in-house by Lufthansa Technik.

• NICE cabin management system is now in its fourth generation, and flying in more than 300 Challenger 300s, as well as in Challenger 350s and the 600 series. Upgrades for the 300 include moving from one to three high-definition sources (Blu-ray, USB and HDMI) and HD digital video streaming on the NICE network.