No Animals Were Harmed In Making This Helicopter

Its buyer, whose wife is an “ethical fashion” pioneer, insisted on a “fully vegan” interior.

Answering the demand of “a valued customer,” Airbus Corporate Helicopters has delivered an ACH145 light twin with a “fully vegan” interior, the manufacturer said at the 2021 Dubai Airshow. That customer, German construction entrepreneur Urs Brunner, is married to ethical-fashion pioneer Daniela Brunner, founder of Giulia & Romeo, which uses no animal products in its offerings and donates all its profits to promote animal welfare. Daniela insisted their new helicopter be consistent with those values.

In place of the leather elements that ACH terms “essential to its luxury feel,” the design team used Ultrafabrics' Ultraleather, a synthetic that “captures the visual and tactile leather experience with comparable durability,” the European consortium said. Items that had to be specially designed and fabricated in the replacement materials include the six passenger seats, a central storage cabinet, a rear partition, and flight deck control cuffs.

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“The material we used is certified for aviation use and is hard-wearing, but it can only be stretched in one direction, which means it is a challenge to work with, particularly on the seats,” said Frederic Lemos, head of ACH. “This is where the craftsmanship of our hands-on team became crucial, and I am delighted to say that we found a practical way to meet our customer’s desires, which also looks superb.”