Bonner R&D Flexing Muscling into Aircraft Completions and Refurbs
Jeff Bonner has roots in the aircraft MRO and completion/refurbishment businesses that go all the way back to Dee Howard Company of San Antonio, Texas, where Bonner was head of research and development. Today, he is the founder, president and CEO of Jeff Bonner Research & Development–still based in San Antonio–and head of a company that is beginning to flex some muscle in the world of cabin completion and refurbishment.
Here at the NBAA convention, Bonner’s company, an executive aircraft component, prototype developer and subassembly fabricator (Booth No. C12044), has announced a new era in cleanliness at 41,000 feet, one that features a line of showers that take the concept well beyond a simple stall with running water and a drain.
“We reviewed what we had been doing over the years and decided to make benchmark products using twenty-first century manufacturing techniques, products and design ideas,” said Bonner.
Using new, lightweight materials, most of the shower assemblies weigh no more than 130 pounds finished. Among the features are rain showerheads, flexible showerheads, multiple showerheads, LED lighting and motion sensors that will activate and deactivate the shower’s water system. The motion sensor will also activate an instant-hot-water supply when a presence is detected in the shower stall.
With partners Bob Sawyer and Ed Harris, who pioneered the two-piece self-standing aircraft shower, Bonner R&D has also produced a line of lightweight toilets, bidets and toilet shrouds. One concept combines a toilet and bidet in a single assembly.
Among Bonner R&D’s more recent and more innovative creations is a motion-controlled bed that automatically compensates for the deck angle in normal flight. And unlike most in-flight beds, the Bonner R&D motion-controlled bed is a turnkey product that includes the bed frame and bed shroud. “We do it all under one roof, including the final finishes,” said Bonner. The motion-controlled bed is the offspring of a bed already produced for Gore Design Completions for several wide-body airliner executive conversions.
Bonner explained the company’s philosophy, which goes back to his early work for Page Gulfstream when it was run by Ross Chapin. “The one thing Ross taught me was to always think into the future and not to let regulatory requirements stagnate your creativity.”