Wellness on board

First installation of a steam shower on board an executive aircraft

April 2014 - Healthy, healing sweating in a steam bath is extremely relaxing and has a positive effect on the circulation, the cardiovascular system and the skin. The practice of sweating in steam is more than 5,000 years old, having been common since the days of the public thermal baths in ancient Greece. From Greece, the steam bath culture spread via the Roman and Ottoman empires as far as Russia. The masons and crusaders rediscovered the practice in the early middle ages, spreading it throughout the continent. The pleasantly warm temperatures and the high humidity of almost 100 percent mean that the muscles relax and the cardiovascular system is not overloaded.

And now, after more than 5,000 years, it is also possible to enjoy the relaxation and the healing powers of a steam bath in the form of a steam shower in an executive aircraft. Lufthansa Technik has developed the ASG System ("Aircraft Steam Generator"), consisting of a steam generator, steam outlet, control panel, and refill port, and installed it for the first time in a Boeing 737 aircraft. The system is a self-sufficient unit, not connected to the aircraft's existing water system, meaning it can be installed upon request in any shower cabin in any model of aircraft. The installation of the steam shower is, however, also possible as a retrofit modernisation of existing showers.

The complete ASG System measures just 343 x 363 x 439 mm and has an empty weight of 18 kilograms. Filled with the maximum seven liters of vaporizer fluid, the ASG system weighs just 25 kilograms. Seven liters of this special fluid, consisting of extremely softened water, are normally sufficient for a total of up to two hours in the steam bath for one or two people. Essential oils may also be added to aromatize the room where desired. The shower cabin is appropriately sealed to ensure the steam does not escape into the rest of the aircraft cabin. The ceiling of the steam shower cabin is cambered slightly so that the water drains to the side rather than dripping on the body. The duration of the shower can be preset using a time whilst a special continuously variable regulator allows the temperature to be set at any value between 38 and 45 degrees celsius.

A panel integrated into the Cabin Management System allows for all functions to be controlled from within the shower cabin or via remote control from outside the cabin. The preheating time is just five minutes. The steam in the cabin is simply extracted after use. The ASG System is approved according to RTCA DO-160G and tested and authorised in accordance with EASA guidelines for aviation technology. And so there is now nothing to stand in the way of a healthy steam bath in the clouds.