Of course, the big news with ViaSat is that Excede in the Air, inflight Wi-Fi system, won the 2015 Crystal Cabin Award. Excede in the Air is a Ka-broadband service offering primarily focused in the USA today with customers JetBlue and United. ViaSat1 offers 140 GB per second total satellite capacity. ViaSat builds the antenna, server and modem for the system, while the WAPS are typically outsourced. Also, it should be pointed out that ViaSat offers ground, air and maritime services. The other big story to come out of AIX was the announcement of ViaSat Flexible Broadband System. This system brings a new level of flexibility, high capacity and affordability to service providers and is specifically tailored to the small operator. ViaSat and Boeing are also adapting a ViaSat2 based payload to the Boeing 702SP (small platform) satellite bus to provide affordable and flexible satellite broadband anywhere in the world. Don Buchman stated, “The current technology is not smart spot-to-spot. The next generation satellite can move the spot to where the demand is, which is why we call it flexible.” The advantage of a network system is that it can quickly shift, or ad capacity, to markets where demand grows and/or changes. Excede is designed to outperform other satellite systems by economically delivering more and cheaper bits. Typically it has 100 times the capacity of Ku-band system offerings and over 10 times the throughput of any previous Ka-band satellite. The results – service that is 8x faster than traditional satellite Internet service. This translates to an estimated burst demand of up to 12 mbps per passenger. The management is done at the NOC and the modem.

As you probably know, W.L. GORE & Associates is a technology driven enterprise that focuses on discovery and product innovation, specifically the cable and fiber optic arenas. IFE vendors and airlines have benefited from greater bandwidth and lighter weight. The company’s portfolio includes everything from high performance fabrics (think GORETEX) to aerospace electronics. At AIX GORE discussed a new fiber optic cable that they have developed. In general terms, the cable offers increased flexibility, higher bandwidth, and easier connector interfacing. Without getting too technical there are at least two issues facing fiber: 1) If the fiber is bound too tightly (coat and bond) there is a potential for stress on the fiber creating breaks. 2) If the fiber is bound loose (filled with air so the fiber can move), decoupling the glass from the outside wall, there is a potential problem for micro-bends in the tube, causing collapse. GORE’s solution was to wrap the fiber with a tape, creating a “marshmallow over the fiber”. This acts as a dry lubricant. Additionally, they use another material over this creating a casing that acts like a “crash helmet”. The resultant benefit is a flexible semi-loose tube. Furthermore on another development front, GORE is looking at Plastic Optical Fiber (POF). POF is very rugged and can bend without snapping. It can be plugged and fixed without heat, and with POF you can cut and glue a termination and plug it in. The downside is 2DB/100 meters but from a sheer bandwidth perspective it is 10x worse than glass. POF is new to the industry but it is a very big deal. Stay tuned on this one.

We thought you might like a review of the new Lumexis IPAX system that we experienced at AIX – complete with prices. In the words of Lumexis: IPAX provides unprecedented revenue potential for the single aisle marketplace (both retrofit and linefit). It is ultra, ultra low cost; ultra, ultra light weight; optimized for LCCs seeking ancillary revenue; and focused on short to medium haul operations. The base system is $1495 per seat, weighing in at 8.9 oz per screen. Lumexis states that IPAX weighs 8.9 oz less an iPad mini. The system uses a responsive OLED touch screen and will feature TV, video, shorts, music, and moving map. There will also be the capability for food and drink sales in the GUI. The system is a hybrid, offering stored content at the seat with 64GB of local storage, but also features a Wi-Fi feature for connectivity. Lumexis states that the only wire running to the screen is for power. IPAX options include a 2.1 amp USB port with reversible jack ($295/screen); as well as, an optional screen reader at the seat ($295). Both added features bundled are offered for $395. Lumexis really sees these options as driving the ancillary revenue opportunity of IPAX. The company states they are well along the development path with first delivery slated for 4Q15. Installations will take a 2 consecutive night layover: The first night will be 3 WAPS (a 4th might be needed) and the second night will be for seats/screens. Edward Shapiro (pictured with Lou Sharkey) – VP PAR Capital stated: “Other companies won’t cannibalize their system to develop a low cost product. Apple does but their price doesn’t go down like ours did!”

Last week we ran some great pictures of KID Systems seat-back concepts: and yes they were only concepts! On a separate note, we stated that they were working Lufthansa Technik and Qantas – not so reports KID. Mea Culpa!

Looking for an Executive Engineer?

If you are looking for Executive Engineering Level – Director or VP, perhaps a candidate we know might be of help to your organization. He wrote: “I can bring a new outlook to an existing organization, leadership through change, all while providing consistent results in technical product development. In summary, I have 25 years experience in IFE and Connectivity, during this time, I have developed innovated solutions and lead teams of highly motivated technical experts delivering solutions to meet the customer needs, all within budget. My expertise ranges from Systems, Software, Hardware, and Aircraft Installations areas. I was instrumental in the transformation and growth of several key technical organizations, as seen with my leadership of both Systems and Software Engineering. My objective is to attain quick results, being a key change agent and efficiently leading teams by using the latest techniques, such as Agile methodology and SAFe development process.” IFExpress knows the caliber of this applicant and strongly recommend him. If you express interest to, we will be happy to supply a resume.

  • Competitors may submit their entries for the Crystal Cabin Award 2015 between 8 October and 11 November, 2014 at

Hamburg | October 6, 2014– Aircraft interior innovators take heed: From 8 October, 2014, the Crystal Cabin Award is open for entries. The world’s most famous and respected competition for aircraft cabin developments is being held for the ninth time. It’s worth taking part: A top-notch specialist judging panel evaluates the market potential of entries, and reaching the final brings concepts to the attention of potential customers. Information on the competition and an entry form are available online at (Competition). The winners will be crowned, as always, in association with the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg (14 – 16 April, 2015). Two more distinguished companies from the aviation industry, Emirates Airline and B/E Aerospace, have joined the ranks of the

This year, once again, the Crystal Cabin Award Association will be honouring the best ideas in seven areas related to aircraft interiors: Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment; Industrial Design & Visionary Concepts; Material & Components;
Passenger Comfort Hardware; Passenger Comfort Systems; Premium Class & VIP; and
University. An international committee of experts makes a preliminary selection from all entries received. After this, the 24 members of the specialist judging panel assess the participants who have made it onto this shortlist. Within each category, the three entries with the highest average score from the judges are invited to Hamburg to present their products and concepts at the Final Viewing. The official announcement of the winners takes place at a formal dinner as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo.

“Winning the Crystal Cabin Award was the greatest and most exciting event in my
professional career. To me the importance of the CCA is the recognition of the people, who are committed to the product and who are proud having achieved something that is being dignified. It is already fantastic to reach the next round – being a finalist. The CCA motivates inventors and students to come out of their rooms and show their innovations to the public”, enthuses Christian Lierow, Head of Product, Guide U from Lufthansa Technik and winner in the Material & Components category in 2011.

James S. H. Lee, Managing Director of Paperclip Design Limited and winner in the
Premium Class & VIP category in 2014, is also ardent in his praise: „The Crystal Cabin Award has given me enormous amount of exposure and essentially launched my career in aircraft interior design.”

The Crystal Cabin Award can look back on a successful year 2014. The last time round, there were 55 products and concepts submitted from twelve countries. The winners in the various categories were Diehl Aerospace (Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment), B/E Aerospace and TEAGUE (Industrial Design & Visionary Concepts), Schott AG (Material & Components), ZIM Flugsitz (Passenger Comfort Hardware), Lufthansa Technik (Passenger Comfort Systems), Paperclip Design Limited (Premium Class & VIP) and Delft University of Technology (University).

The Crystal Cabin Award 2015 is currently being supported by the following sponsors:
Airbus, Aircraft Cabin Management, the Aircraft Interiors Expo trade fair (Reed
Exhibitions), Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, APEX, B/E Aerospace, Bishop
GmbH Aeronautical Engineers, DIEHL Aerosystems Holding, Emirates Airline,
FERCHAU AVIATION Division, Jetliner Cabins and SEKISUI.

More sponsors, of course, are very welcome. Carmen Krause, Project Manager, is
happy to provide information about the various sponsorship packages: