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About Ipeco

Aircraft interior excellence since 1960

Ipeco Holdings Limited is a world-leading manufactuer of aircraft crew seating and executive jet passenger seating, with a growing presence in the electrical galley insert sector. From ergonomic pilot and crew seating to minimise fatigue, to stylish and comfortable executive passenger jet seats, to the ultimate galley environment – it’s all about enhancing the flight experience.

Founded in 1960, Ipeco  is now in its third generation of family ownership and during this time we have  developed valuable long-term relationships with customers such as Boeing, Airbus, ATR, Lockheed, Embraer, Textron, Bombardier and Gulfstream. These are underlined by considerable investment, training, and employee coaching to cultivate a high level of opportunity, integrity and performance throughout the business.

“Ipeco is always looking to invest in ever faster innovation and deliver process change across our products and services to meet and exceed customer expectations.” Steve Johnson, Chief Executive


From humble beginnings

Allen Johnson worked with Freddie Laker, one of Britain’s great aviation entrepreneurs, at Aviation Traders (ATEL). With a strong desire to start his own company, he used a £200 loan from Laker and an additional £200 from his mother to purchase second-hand mills and lathes. This marked the beginning of Industrial Precision Equipment (IPE), which he operated from a Nissen hut in Southend-on-Sea.

Ipeco became interested in pilot seating in the mid-1970s. During this time, they created a prototype seat that prioritised comfort. Their first customer for this seat was Fokker, whose chief pilot had a back problem, but initial attempts to win business at Boeing were unsuccessful. We received responses such as “We’ve never heard of you,” “You’re too small,” and “You’re from where?” Essex? Where’s that?” Eventually, the pressure from airlines, especially Lufthansa, led Boeing to install Ipeco seats on their aircraft. This resulted in contracts for seats on the 757, 767, 747-400, and 737 Classic. There are more than 10,000 Boeing commercial jetliners in service worldwide, and every one of these aircraft features pilot seating that has been designed and manufactured by Ipeco.

Today, Ipeco employs over 850 employees with facilities in the USA, Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing. The current CEO, Steve Johnson, is the grandson of Allan and the son of Chris. He took over the position in 1997.

Photo from left to right: Aviation Traders managing director Freddie Laker, chief of flight test Derryck Turner, production manager Allan Johnson and chief test pilot Laurence Stuart-Smith.

Engineering capabilities

Engineering is core to the Ipeco culture and benefits from a programme of continuous improvement and investment. Product development processes utilising the latest 3D simulation and rapid prototyping tools enable us to develop innovative and state-of-theart solutions across our crew seating, executive passenger seating and galley insert portfolios.

Our select partnerships with research organisations, universities and design consultancies allow new concepts, technologies, materials and processes to be fully explored and, when appropriate, to be incorporated in our product portfolio. Membership and regular liaison with organisations overseeing performance standards within the aircraft industry ensures our technical know-how is at the forefront of aerospace and regulatory developments.

Ethos, ethics and culture

It is our mission to perform to the highest standards in everything we do and we value the long-term relationships we have established with our customers and suppliers. To sustain our business we are  proud to invest in our people, our infrastructure and our capabilities. Ipeco has a policy of continuous improvement which spans the entire organisation globally.

Capital investment in equipment to deliver improved efficiencies and broader scope for customer requirements underpins a growing range of innovative products and changing requirements, particularly in the development of new solutions for the automotive, aerospace and defence markets.

Health and safety are important elements in our workplace. Our facilities are maintained to the optimum environmental, health and safety criteria in consideration of the employees’ work space. All engineers and technicians are trained extensively in the use of equipment and materials across our business.

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