While wings, engines and, lately, lithium-ion batteries, get most of the attention in aerospace, there is plenty of drama over plumbing, an essential amenity for passengers. These highflying lavs must withstand high velocity and abrasion without spilling a drop, minimize water use to hold down a plane’s weight and stand up to throngs of users, some of whom punish toilets by dropping in extraneous objects such as dentures, underwear and even airline blankets.
Competition is fierce among the half-dozen companies that populate the field. Zodiac had been building toilets for the 737 for years…early last year, B/E Aerospace won the business. B/E says its new modular lavatory system, using its patent pending “Spacewall” technology and “Ecosystems” vacuum toilet, will start going on 737s later this year.