Tuesday, March 22, 2005


This blog has been created to give you a short photographic overview of our Airbus A320 cabin modification program.
Eleven aircraft have been modified in our Swiss International Airlines Ltd maintenance facilities, in Basel / Mulhouse Airport, between January & March 2005.
I would like to express my warmest thanks to my colleagues who helped me to photograph this event.
Everything was shot using digital reflex cameras Canon EOS-1D & EOS-20D. I used various lenses, including 15/2.8 fisheye, 17-40/4L, 28-70/2.8L & 70-200/2.8L.
As I always shoot in « raw » mode, all files were processed with Pixmantec's RSE 2005, a very promising new software, still in early development stages.
Only a few slight white-balance, contrast & sharpening adjustments have been made before converting to JPEG.
You can click on any picture to enlarge it.

Gilles Theophile, copyright March 2005.

Special thanks to Nicolas, who gave me the possibility to test the EOS-20D, and Wolverine, who likes to show in most of my pictures...

Business class, post-modification. EOS-1D + 17-40/4L.
The cabin, post-modification, looking forward. Despite of dark seats & carpet, the cabin is surprisingly bright and feels comfortable. EOS-1D + 17-40/4L.
The cabin, post-modification. EOS-1D + 17-40/4L.
A brand new Bücher G6 aft galley. The vestibule is so narrow that it is impossible to use normal lenses in order to shoot the entire assembly. EOS-1D + 15/2.8 fisheye.
Cleaners are working hard to remove the dirt from the seat rails, while electricians start to modify passengers service units positions. EOS-1D + 17-40/4L.
Passengers service units position change due to the new cabin configuration. EOS-1D + 15/2.8 fisheye.
Electricians & mechanics at work. EOS-1D + 17-40/4L.
The old aft galley is removed, showing the aft fuselage pressure bulkhead covered with insulation blankets. EOS-1D + 15/2.8 fisheye.
The new Bücher G6 galley is now installed in the rear vestibule. EOS-1D + 15/2.8 fisheye.
The interior specialist reinstalls equipment on the aft cabin / lavatory wall. EOS-1D + 17-40/4L.
The best way to load the seats is to use a catering truck. EOS-1D + 17-40/4L.
New Recaro seats are much lighter and easier to handle. Pax capacity jumps to 168. EOS-1D + 17-40/4L.
A view from the top of the A320 modification works. EOS-1D + 15/2.8 fisheye.
An aircraft in maintenance requires a lot of access platforms & stairs. On the left, a brand new stowage unit ( build by Bücher, Switzerland ) is prepared prior to installation. On the right side, the new seats manufactured by Recaro ( Germany ). EOS-1D + 15/2.8 fisheye.
The aircraft is defuelled prior to weight & balance. EOS-20D + 17-40/4L.
The truck can't suck 100 % of the fuel out of the tanks. Therefore, the mechanics have to collect the remaining fuel through the wing drain points. EOS-20D + 15/2.8 fisheye.
The mechanics are preparing the balances to weight the aircraft. Every important modification requires to perform a weight & balance. The modification saves more than 1 ton ! EOS-20D + 15/2.8 fisheye.
On this shot, the background shows three different countries : city of St-Louis, France ( left of the tail ), Basel, Switzerland ( extreme right ) and a few hills in Germany. EOS-1D + 28-70/2,8L.

Even when the job is done, there are always touch-ups to do or small snags to fix. EOS-20D + 17-40/4L.

HB-IJS waits for her departure to Zürich, in front of the brand-new technical facilities in Basel/Mulhouse. EOS-1D + 28-70/2,8L.

Monday, March 21, 2005

A lot of people have been involved in this project. A few of them stand in front of the last modified A320, HB-IJS. EOS-20D + 70-200/2,8L.