In Hamburg, on Aircraft Interiors International’s opening day, Thales announced a host of new technologies specifically designed to align the company strategies to enhance the passenger experience with increasing airlines’ return on investment. Having integrated LiveTV activities, Thales will now be able to offer a unique IPTV service for a near-real-time feed of live television programs. By using real-time satellite feeds, popular television events, such as sports matches, will be streamed to all airplanes equipped with IPTV services from a dedicated Thales lab tasked with controlling, transcoding, and disseminating the TV signal via the Thales connectivity system. This offer is made viable through Thales’s strong ability to develop global rights management and its effective use of content, which differentiates it from any other type of service, in that, Thales will broadcast only the valuable events from various content providers to the aircraft and record the programs for on-demand playback. This solution eliminates irrelevant programming and makes the most efficient use of the aircraft bandwidth. Traditional TV streaming services simply pipe content directly from TV networks, prohibiting any control over what is broadcast. The Thales solution is a significant step forward as it allows airlines to stream relevant content that effectively targets their customers, giving passengers more choice and control over their television experience.

Thales also introduced their near field communications (NFC) for payment transactions using its systems. Through the remote module developed for the AVANT system, airlines will now be able to configure their IFE to accept this growing “Tap and Go” technology to allow passengers to make instant payments for all on-board transactions. Regardless of the airline’s business model, ancillary revenue generation streams are becoming ever more important and NFC technology will facilitate payment transactions, improving the passenger experience and increasing airlines’ revenue streams. Another another new technology is an enhanced digital magazine experience, the result of a partnership with Zinio, the world’s largest digital newsstand, boasting over 6,000 titles in 33 languages. With the use of Zinio’s Android inflight application for digital magazines, available through the Thales App portal, passengers will be able to access an unrivalled choice of content ranging from the world’s biggest brands to niche specialist titles. Interests and topics covered include news, politics, technology, art, style, travel and more. Thales also offers a solution which provides an enhanced passenger experience while simultaneously opens up avenues of exciting new revenue generation to airlines, due to attractive licensing and sponsorship models, as well as potential new business relationships with publishing houses and advertisers.

The company continues to evolve its AVANT platform to ensure its continued technological superiority amongst all other in-flight entertainment systems. On the opening day of the Aircraft Interiors International show in Hamburg, Thales announced several new technology evolutions that will be made available on AVANT. These underpin the success of the modular design of the system and highlight the proven track record of the most advanced in-flight entertainment system on the market. First and foremost, the cornerstone of the passenger interface, the AVANT screen, will now be larger, with 10-22” HD in-seat displays for the economy cabin and up to a 24” and 32” Ultra HD for premium cabins. These new screens will bring passengers a vivid and cinematic picture quality, no different than what they can expect from the best home-entertainment systems. Airlines will incur a significant benefit from a 35% reduction in weight and 20% reduction in power per screen. Equipped with the latest generation quad-core processors, USB 3.0 for PED charging, the displays will be faster and will able to have a greater local storage capacity than 512GB units.

Additionally, Thales announced the long awaited next-generation Touch Passenger Media Unit (PMU) controller. With a 70% larger 5” multi-touchscreen, this evolution of the award-winning Android-based TPMU is equipped with haptic feedback, letting the user register their commands. It represents a game-changing user interface that lets the passenger interact with the seatback display in a unique manner. A revolutionary point-in-air motion sensor lets the user navigate the content simply by pointing the TPMU at screen. This allows the passenger to both navigate the content through the TPMU while keeping the trademark second screen experience. (Editor’s Note: We couldn’t do this Thales report with out the help of Mike Moeller and Giaime Porcu – Mike for his time in explaining the new InFlyt concept and Giaime for his excellent daily Thales write-ups – perhaps other vendors will consider this solution for reporters!)

Noted Giaime Porcu, Thales Communication: “From a market perspective the IFEC world faces three key challenges as we all know, 1) A growing global fleet and the growing demand for IFEC systems on single aisle and shorter routes, 2) A more tech minded passenger requiring higher levels of technology interaction at all times, and 3) Intense competitive pressure for airlines to differentiate their brand and foster brand loyalty.” He went on: “Thales estimates that by 2025 70% of the global fleet will be equipped with in-cabin connectivity. Already, all RFPs in the market for the past 2 years have included a form of connectivity. We also know that the market is reaching a level of maturity that is driving down costs which is opening up new segmenting opportunities in areas like low cost, single aisle and shorter routes. All this lead to our strategic decision to change the paradigm of our offer. As Dominique GIannoni mentioned in his press conference: 1) Our strategic vision is to become the Number 1 provider of IFEC solutions in the world, 2) Passengers want an immersive, personalised, and connected experience, and 3) Airlines no longer accept IFE to be a static cost centre, they want a positive branding and marketing tool to drive customer retention and direct monetization . The result is simple, with the integration of Thales IFEC and LiveTV we were able to bridge the gap on all these market needs and are the only ones in a real position to do so.”

(Editor’s Note: Here is an important piece about the “new” Thales reshaping (and rebranding) of the inflight experience – it is called InFlyt. Check it out.)


The microwave antenna world is in for a radical change and the folks from Kymeta are using metamaterials to make it happen! First, a Wikipedia definition: Metamaterials are materials engineered to have properties that have not yet been found in nature. They are made from assemblies of multiple elements fashioned from conventional materials such as metals or plastics. The materials are usually arranged in repeating patterns, often at microscopic or smaller scales that are smaller than the wavelengths of the phenomena they influence. Metamaterials derive their properties not from the properties of the base materials, but from their designed structure. Their precise shape, geometry, size, orientation and arrangement gives them their properties.

Appropriately designed metamaterials can affect waves of electromagnetic radiation or sound in a manner not observed in bulk materials.[3][4][5] Those that exhibit a negative index of refraction for particular wavelengths have attracted significant research.[6][7][8] These materials are known as negative index metamaterials.”

And, thus we have an update of a IFExpress Exclusive story we ran in the summer of 2013. Kymeta, if you remember at the time, was the solid-state antenna company who didn’t want to say much about the technology as it was in the Ku Band, pre-development stage but from the looks of the unit shown at AIX, they are really up a couple of generations with a virtually flat device, a couple of inches thick.

If metamaterials are not your thing, here is a definition of the application from the Kymeta website: “Broadly defined, electromagnetic metamaterials result from arranging naturally occurring materials in such a way that they produce an electromagnetic response not found in nature. On the mTenna suite of products, tunable elements are arranged in a precisely calculated pattern. Radiofrequency (RF) energy is scattered when the elements are activated, holographically generating a beam. The direction of the beam is defined by the specific elements that are electronically activated—a design that allows for both continual and instantaneous changes in direction.” Look at the antenna like this – between two layers of special glass, metamaterials are deposited much like a printed circuit. The materials, “circuit” design, material used, and the activation elements develop a clean antenna waveform that, in many cases, can “see” beyond 180 degrees, with no moving parts – a star performer on the equator. We also understand that by 2016 they will have a conformal aviation antenna ready to go. Check out the picture we took at AIX with one of their engineers, Kenny Kirchoff (no kidding), and be sure to visit their website! (Editor’s Note: We should mention that clever Honeywell is the first partner we know for the Kymeta aviation product, but Boeing and Airbus will be in the loop because you just can’t pass up an external antenna a few inches thick.)

Rockwell Collins

A couple weeks prior to the show, Rockwell Collins announced the choice of Craig Elliot as VicePresident, Airline Cabin Sales and Marketing, for the company as follows: “Rockwell Collins today announced that Craig Elliott has been named vice president, Airline Cabin Sales and Marketing. Craig brings strong industry knowledge and customer focus to his new role along with extensive business relationships that he has built through his 20 years working in a variety of positions at Rockwell Collins,” said Scott Gunnufson, vice president and general manager, Commercial Sales, Marketing and Support at Rockwell Collins. “Most recently, Elliott served as senior director of Airline Sales at Rockwell Collins, working with airlines throughout the world to equip their fleets with the latest avionics and IFE systems. In his new role, Elliott will lead a sales and marketing team focused on the Rockwell Collins’ full suite of cabin solutions for air transport aircraft. This includes a number of systems and applications, including PAVES™ On-demand, PAVES™ Broadcast, PAVES™ Wireless, ARINC Cabin Connect, Airshow® 3D Moving Map and air-to-ground high-speed connectivity. Elliott holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa.” So much for the news release… now, we have an opinion too – Craig is one of the smartest and nicest folks we have ever worked with in aviation! Our past experience is proof. He will be great with customers and the company engineers alike and we wish him the best. He told IFExpress; Rockwell Collins won the #1 Supplier Supplier Award from Airbus as a Cabin Solution Provider. It revolved around the airlines giving their inputs regarding supplier products (Rockwell and their competitors) and out team won, even when we were up against other cabin suppliers, seats providers, galley hardware manufacturers and the like…we were number one, and we couldn’t be more pleased.”  This points out why Craig Elliot will succeed… he is upbeat, positive, and a good role model for sales and marketing teams – her gets everyone involved. And, lest we forget, Rockwell (and ARINC) have some very interesting products on the cusp of announcement, but alas, that is all we can say for now!

IFExpress had a reason to contact Richie Sugimoto over at ACS and he told IFExpress: “We just delivered 42” HD LCD monitors that comply with DO-160G, Section 16, Current Harmonics (Variable Frequency Power) which directly applies to the A380, A350 and B787. Our brand new 65” HD LCD monitor will also meet these standards by the end of this year.”

The Airline Retail Conference (ARC) is coming up on 2nd & 3rd June at London Olympia it is the leading networking platform for airline buyers and suppliers in the fields of airline retail and ancillary revenue. The event also explores the impact and implications of the ‘Always-Connected-Passenger’ To give you a little more information, please see the link here which contains all the information for the up and coming event.

We are still trying to get our hands around this past month’s  Gogo announcement – “Interest in In-Flight Connectivity Higher for Passengers Outside the U.S., According to Recent Gogo Global Study on In-Flight Connectivity.” You can find the report here. Here is what Gogo said: “(Gogo) recently conducted a global study on traveler interest in in-flight connectivity and connectivity related products and services.  The study revealed that interest in these products and services is significantly higher outside the U.S. despite the fact that fewer connected aircraft are operating internationally as compared to within the U.S.” And, we thought, US travelers had more connected, carry-on devices? What gives? We would like to hear from you on why.

Perhaps, the biggest non-hardware news at APEX this year was the introduction of new CEO of Thales Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Company, Dominique Giannoni. Mr. Giannoni (above left) has been in a Thales leadership position for more than 15 years focused on both military and commercial aerospace markets. He joined Thales in 2003 as head of the company’s Underwater Systems business line for Submarines and then later lead the Thales Military Avionics Business Line. In all, he has been in the military and commercial sector for 6 years and actually ran an avionics factory for a time. In July 2013, he was appointed to the position of CEO for the company’s In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) business and was introduced to the IFE press at APEX. Dominique has worked in the Telecom world as well as the French Defense Ministry and has a Masters Degree from MIT. In this new capacity, Dominique will take the business through its next growth phase rounding out the operations (grow the brand) advanced products and services with added-value propositions to global airlines (grow the customer base). It appears Thales has the right man for the job but he will have his work cut out for him. We expect to see him very involved in new product development activity to increase the product depth, and to be immersed in the relationship between Thales and their CETC partner in China. In-house, we expect him to fine-tune a lot of the operations as he gets more involved with the product line and customer requirements. No doubt, roles and missions will change at Thales. We should also mention the new position that Alan Pellegrini (above right) fills – President and CEO, Thales USA. Long-time IFE’er Pellegrini is now responsible for all Thales US companies and will have offices in Irvine and Washington, DC.

IFExpress did a little research on Alan’s work history and it is impressive to see the companies that benefited from his tenure: CEO, IMS; President, Panasonic Transportation Systems; Senior VP, Panasonic Avionics; President & CEO Tenzing; VP Marketing & Sales Rockwell; VP Marketing & Sales Hughes Avicom. Thales has assembled a strong management team and the next dew years ought to be interesting. Good luck Alan and Dominique!

Airbus has delivered their 2013 – 2032 Market Forecast and you can watch the 1 hour YouTube version. Also, check out the great market infographic. If you need an Airbus Android App, try this one – or an Airbus iOS App. Enjoy!

A while back we did a story on the newly designed aircraft retractable monitor with its developer and designer, Yukio Sugimoto. If you have a technical bent you may remember that his product was an engineer’s dream instead of a mechanical nightmare that often plagues these devices. In all fairness, the FAA restrictions and requirements on retractable monitors are moderately onerous, especially considering the fact that they must operate with power that is subject to dropping out for up to 150 milliseconds… not to mention issues like the necessity to retract under loss of power or emergency situations. This explains the high mechanical parts count and resultant weight increase of competitive units, not to mention stored energy springs and clutches to facilitate zero power retractions. The ACS patent pending solution involves storing energy in capacitors – that’s the simple answer but it is a circuitry design solution as well! Check out the spy shot of the mechanicals here. The unit sports 9.7 and 12 inch monitors and FAA certification testing is now underway and at last count passed 250,000+ cycles and is going strong. In fact, he is guaranteeing a 50,000-cycle non-failure or 5 year warranty. Yukio noted, “The new, bigger display actually retracts flat against the outside of the PSU while the rest of the frame and the electronics are buried in the PSU itself – the box sits between the rails while the display (and cover) protrudes ½ an inch above the surface and folds flat against it… and, the unit is installed on an A319 bizjet.” Mr. Sugimoto, who has a history of industry soothsaying, hinted earlier that the market for retracts might be on the rise in the single-aisle market and, in some cases, in conjunction with wireless! With recent interactive and second screen technology intros there may soon be some interesting deals afoot!

One of the best and most exciting part of this job is ‘discovery by chance’ of a new technology or a new product… this year was no different and there were many. This next product was discovered by the classic accidental rendezvous followed by a “You gotta see this” and Hratch Astarjian (Mr. BOSE) never fails to surprise and amaze us with demo’s of wonderful and ingenious audio products. This time it was the QC 20i Noise Cancelling in-ear headphones. We will get to sound in a minute but first; here is a picture of what we are talking about with a new BOSE IFE representative Danielle Glassman. If you remember the line of Quiet Comfort headphones, they are always seen on the heads of passengers on planes and airports. For us, it is impossible to travel today without them. Screaming kids, aircraft noise and weird, travel, next door neighbors are all alleviated. Two problems do exist tho – they are bigger than one likes and when someone needs your attention (like the cabin crew) they have to hit you on the arm. The QC’s are that good at noise cancellation. Now the QC 20 and QC 20i show up with in-ear sized tip and a switch for letting in outside noise when needed (QC 20) and an inline mic/control switch as well (QC 20i). If you remember the control box on your bigger QC’s… that has been replaced by a new box that houses the microelectronics and rechargeable lithium-ion battery, but now, it is the size of a thin USB drive. The QC 20 product uses USB 5 volt power charging and gets 16 hours of use each time. When we tested them on the show floor for a couple minutes we could not distinguish them from the old QC’s… in fact, they sounded a bit better. Check them out!

Correction: The Lumexis Server contains 1.5 TB of SSD memory, not 60 GB as we reported last week.

Aircraft Cabin Systems
Booth: 6B18
Contact: Ben Ludlow
Telephone: + 1 425 629 4129

ACS will be debuting our new overhead retractable monitors in 9.7” and 12” sizes. The new ACS retractable monitors are a direct replacement for the existing retractable systems for A320 aircraft. Considering the frequency of removals and high cost of repairs to the old systems, making the switch is easy. ACS’ patented design allows us to offer a 50,000 operational cycle guarantee and a 5 year warranty.

Booth: 6C40
Contact: Dennis Markert
Telephone: +1 425 442 8195

Come see the latest innovations from Astronics in power conversion, intelligent power management, and distribution to passenger devices and IFE. Also included are the other Astronics divisions including aircraft lighting products, safety devices, aircraft interface devices, and test equipment.

Bose Corporation
Booth: 6A31
Contact: Hratch Astarjian
Telephone: +1 508 766 4075

Products at show: Bose will demonstrate the QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphone and the A20® Aviation headset at its stand. The QuietComfort 15 is the best performing noise reduction headphone ever from Bose. The A20 Aviation headset is an active noise reduction, communication headset for the cockpit and offers an unmatched combination of noise reduction, clear communication and comfort.

Booth: 6D39
Contact: Ben Fuller
Phone: +1 801 691 7225

At the digEcor booth this year we’re excited to be launching our all-new low cost GLIDE IFE embedded system, a tape replacement solution, and our newest portable tablet dubbed the digEtab featuring the Samsung Tab 2 10.1. We’ll continue to tout our content services as well as introduce the industry to our new media management system. Being known as the traditonal portable IFE provider, we’re effectively evolving into a one-stop shop for all IFE needs and that will be on full display in Hamburg.

Booth: 6A18
Contact: Steve Nolan
Connect with us at

Gogo will be showcasing its latest developments in global satellite technologies as well as focusing on its ground breaking wireless products including: Gogo Vision – Gogo’s wireless IFE solution; and Text and Talk – Gogo’s new text messaging and voice product.

Gogo is a global leader of in-flight connectivity and a pioneer in wireless in-flight digital entertainment solutions. Using Gogo’s exclusive products and services, passengers with Wi-Fi enabled devices can get online on more than 1,800 Gogo equipped commercial aircraft. In-flight connectivity partners include American Airlines, Air Canada, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America. In-flight entertainment partners include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Scoot and US Airways.

Booth: 6C10
Contact: Neil Thomas, Business Development Manager
Mobile: +[44] (0778) 698 7454

We have brought airlines the hardware to enable the payment system of the future. Our Near Field Communication in-flight payment technology eases payment and therefore increases airline’s ancillary revenue generation. In addition, it can provide destination e-vouchers to the passenger so not only Improves the passenger experience, but also the operator’s revenue.

We also have other innovative products that the pioneering team at IFPL have developed; our brilliant Breakaway jack has no moving parts, offering minimized headphone operating cost for these cost-critical times; and our maintenance saving / time saving Self-Testing jack – we don’t need to tell you that if you are saving time you are also saving money!

KID-Systeme GmbH
Booth: 6B30, Hall B6
Contact Maren Münte
Telephone: +49 40 743 71245

KID-Systeme GmbH, a hundred percent Airbus subsidiary, is well established in the industry since 1999. Focused on cabin electronic systems, KID started their business with their innovative In Seat Power Supply System. With a permanent development of its product portfolio KID is able to offer complete cabin system solutions in the field of Connectivity, such as mobile telephony and Internet access on board with the passengers own devices and In Seat Power. KID-Systeme GmbH is still on the cutting edge of the industry and is able to install their products in every type of passenger aircraft.

Lufthansa Systems
Booth: 7A7
Telephone: +49 69 696 90776

Lufthansa Systems adds new functionalities to its wireless IFE system BoardConnect. For the first time the new features were presented at the AIX 2013. In addition to accessing on-demand audio and video as well as information about their destination, passengers can now read electronic magazines by using the eReader functionality of BoardConnect. System maintenance will be further improved through the use of a so-called maintenance front-end.

Unlike conventional in-flight entertainment systems, BoardConnect does not require any complicated wiring for each seat. Instead, it works with a regular WLAN based on the established WiFi standard, meaning that just a few access points need to be installed in the cabin. This makes it possible for the first time to offer passengers an extensive range of information and entertainment on short- and medium-haul aircraft such as the Airbus A320 family and the Boeing 737. Since BoardConnect is lighter than conventional IFE systems, airlines can also achieve considerable fuel savings with it.

Lumexis Corporation
Booth: 6E40
Contact: Doug Cline, CEO
Mobile: + 1 714 813 8550

Lumexis will be demonstrating the leading-edge FTTS® system with its next-generation seat displays, and will be introducing its highly advanced FTTS Second Screen™.

Booth: 6D38
Contact: Charlie Pryor
Telephone: +44 7958 975 667

As well as issuing a number of stories about new customers and extensions of existing customer agreements, OnAir will be talking about the Connected Aircraft 3.0. This is the next stage in the development of the connectivity market, building from passenger communications to incorporate cabin crew and cockpit applications which will help streamline airline operations.

Panasonic Avionics
Booth: 6C20
Contact: Rebecca Atchison
Mobile: +1 949 421 8529

At this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, Panasonic Avionics will showcase ways to amplify your brand, foster passenger loyalty, and generate more revenue. Check out our latest designs that deliver smaller, lighter systems, and witness firsthand how we are building business platform solutions that deliver more opportunities for you and your passengers.

Booth: 6A30
Contact: Lori Krans
Tele: +1 949 923 0976

Key Booth highlights: Thales will feature several new seat configurations with production TopSeries AVANT® equipment. Key announcements focus on three new partnerships tied to connectivity and advanced system applications. Innovations cover an end-to-end, home to hotel, connected passenger experience, and a first time ever shown, immersive seat that embraces more futuristic capabilities designed around passenger comfort. Come visit!

Thompson Aerospace, Inc.
Booth: 5E51
Contact: Mark Thompson, President/CEO
Mobile: +1 949 690 8668

Thompson Aerospace will be showcasing their 1Net product. 1Net provides an Intelligent Aircraft for a Connected World, Accelerating Business Innovation for Airlines. The key aspect is Cabin Marketplace Enabler, to allow Airlines to monetize the passenger experience. 1Net provides the same levels of passenger satisfaction and revenues as the Internet.

Booth: 6D40
Contact: Charlie Pryor
Telephone: +44 7958 975 667

TriaGnoSys will be launching AeroConneX+. It is the latest in the company’s series of connectivity hardware solutions. It builds on the highly successful GSMConneX solution, that provides both GSM and Wi-Fi in a single box, enabling service providers to extend the connectivity solutions they provide passengers, as well as to cockpit and cabin crew. It also has the potential to incorporate machine-to-machine communications to make the maintenance process more efficient.

VT Miltope
Booth: 6B49
Contact: Markus Gilges
Telephone: +44 7793 758755

On Display: In addition to printers, servers, and Ethernet switches, VT Miltope will be exhibiting the latest in wireless products featuring developments of a cellular + Wi-Fi™ ground link (product: cTWLU) and an IEEE 802.11ac wireless access point (product: nMAP2).

Zodiac In-Flight Entertainment (formerly The IMS Company)
Booth: 6B20 (Hall B6
Contact: Harry Gray, Vice President Sales and Marketing
Mobile: +1 714 683 3793

Zodiac In-flight Entertainment (formerly The IMS Company) has provided innovative solutions for the aviation industry for over 17 years.

RAVE (winner of the 2011 Crystal Cabin Award) is on display and provides the latest innovation for Audio/Video On Demand (AVOD). Our (patented) seat-centric system architecture provides for a simple installation and operation, and the highest reliability of any in-seat design.

The system is fully certified and flying today on over 30 aircraft providing state-of-the art features, as well as a system that is about one-half the weight, power and price of the traditional IFE systems available today.

Inflight Retail:
GuestLogix Inc., the onboard retail and payment technology solution provider to airlines and the passenger travel industry, recently announced that it has partnered with in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) provider, Thales. The partnership involves the integration of GuestLogix’ Transaction Processing Engine (TPE) into Thales’ TopSeries® IFEC systems, enabling payment acceptance via seatback screens. Implementation of the joint solution will commence immediately with the first installation targeted for July 2013. The Thales’ customer-base will use the GuestLogix system for onboard payments without any need to retrofit hardware. The system features two big deals – a software solution for aircraft and access to GuestLogix’ Global Payment Gateway which enables secure payment processing anywhere in the world – ensuring each aircraft is able to accept payment regardless of origin or destination. Thales will also have access to certain components of GuestLogix solution such as its analytics platform that contains valuable business intelligence tools that can ensure airlines are maximizing their merchandising efforts onboard. Good stuff for airlines that takes the staffing and retail challenges away and provides airlines with a turn-key retail solution. And yes, the ground fulfillment solution for any post-flight delivery can be handled thru GuestLogix’ many partners. We should note that last year, GuestLogix signed
Panasonic to a similar deal
that makes the global payment company the Big Dog in the industry!

GuestLogix will integrate and license its Transaction Processing Engine via Thales onboard IFEC systems to many of the world’s leading airlines. The software will capture payment information, transfer the information to an onboard server and securely transmit the data to the ground. The payment engine (software) meets the most stringent Payment Card Industry (PCI) validation as a payment application, and all ongoing maintenance will be handled by GuestLogix over the duration of the 10-year agreement. Interestingly, the ability to use fraudulent credit cards is on the increase and some circles peg the losses at 3% of sales, but it might be bigger. We note that the GuestLogix folks have a lot to say about credit card authorization and you can read about it here. Note that TPE will support both live and cached transactions at the seatback screen for items such as Pay per Access, onboard shopping and meals. No information was mentioned about duty-free, we note.

Through the company’s technology, airlines can open virtual stores in the sky that operate in a self-service model. For passengers, this means the convenience of purchasing entertainment, duty-free items, destination-related content (think theme park tickets and passes for events, concerts and local attractions), and food and beverage directly from their seats without having to order thru a flight attendant. For the airlines, this allows retailing to occur throughout the entire duration of a flight rather than a limited time when the Flight Attendant walks the aisle. “For the world’s airlines struggling to justify their costly IFE systems, this means the ability to offer passengers a much broader selection of content that can be immediately monetized, and streamlining their onboard operations to increase sales and ancillary revenues through their IFE systems,” noted GuestLogix CEO, Brett Proud. He estimates the deal will generate USD$350-500 million for the company over the next ten years, through a combination of software licensing and recurring transaction fee revenues. And that’s minor compared to what he believes the airlines could capture if they began to harness the power of retailing through these systems.

IFExpress asked a few questions of the successful service provider:

IFExpress: Regarding real-time processing of inflight duty-free purchases, how is payment validation made prior to a flight arriving at a destination? Is the validation/verification process the same as payments for BOB/non-inventory items?
GuestLogix: “It is the same as payment for any other type of product. If there is no connectivity, it is done in an offline/batch process where verification of a valid credit card happens on the screen and authorization happens on the ground through a batch transmission. If connectivity is available then real-time authorization happens at the time of payment.”

IFExpress: Does merchandise/content available though the onboard store vary from airline brand and aircraft?
GuestLogix: “Merchandising strategies differ from carrier to carrier but often remain constant within individual carriers regardless of aircraft type or destination. As we’ve seen many of our customers begin to integrate more strategic and dynamic merchandising strategies we are starting to see product offerings differ from flight to flight. For example, food selection is tailored to the destination to provide a more localized catering program. Or of course, destination-based entertainment or transportation offers are now providing more dynamic onboard merchandising.”

IFExpress: How is the merchandise “catalog” uploaded to the onboard store in an aircraft?
GuestLogix: “Product offerings are loaded into the back office which is managed by the airline and then transmitted to the aircraft when flight crew is opening the flight. The products are transmitted to the onboard server which then are accessible for browsing by passengers through the seatback screens.”

If you are looking to dig deeper, check out GuestLogix’ CEO as he discussed on Business News Network’s The Close, airlines must become global retailers in order to survive.

News From Gogo:

IFExpress got wind of a new development at Gogo so we traced down a story on a new development called Gogo Text and Gogo Talk that you should see at next week’s AIX Hamburg. It seems the folks with slide rules in the connectivity providers’ back room have developed a clever twist on voice and texting from the airplane, over their system. As you might remember, the Gogo system talks to passenger Wi-Fi equipped devices via their onboard server. By communicating to the ground via terrestrial VHF or via satellite, your email message enters the ground-based communication network via the Internet and with the aid of telcos and communication providers. Now, lets go back to the airplane. What if you were to load an Android or iPhone application that figured out that you wanted to text message a person on the ground, and after a proper “handshake” with the onboard server, sent the text message over Wi-Fi on the plane but when it hit the ground it followed the telco route to your friend’s phone or tablet. We note that if the plane was a business jet, it could be voice to text because of existing regulations. This clever technology is being Skype to VOIP but when the folks at Gogo work out the details with their partners (telcos, airlines, biz jet operators) you can expect to use text messaging on your next Gogo equipped flight. Yes, you can get a Gogo app today but that just gets you on to email quicker on the plane. Let’s face it readers, text messaging has been a long time coming to Gogo equipped planes, but it has been available where the picocell GSM solutions have lived for some time. Interestingly, you will be able to see those text charges on your phone bill. Cool!

Lastly, a Correction:
Correction to the ACS Retract Story last week: “When we got wind of the retract we wondered like you probably did – the market for retractable units must be dropping, in part because of their past reliability issues with retracts – perhaps the lowest (correction) MTBF of any IFE LRU…”


Six months ago we did a story on a newly designed, commercial aircraft retractable monitor with its developer and designer, Yukio Sugimoto. If you have a technical bent you may remember that his product was an engineer’s dream, instead of the mechanical nightmare that historically plagues these devices. In all fairness, the restrictions and requirements on retractable monitors are moderately onerous, especially considering the fact that they must operate with power that is subject to dropping out… not to mention issues like the video display retract necessity under loss of power or in emergency situations. (Editor’s Note: There is a qualification test requirement (RTCA DO-160 currently version “F”) which says that avionics equipment must withstand 250 milliseconds of power interruption and this poses some difficulty to electro mechanical equipment like retractable monitors. The real FAA requirement issue is: How does one design the monitor to close when airplane power is lost? With loss of power, the first generation retractable monitor systems that use mechanical springs and other additional parts, like clutches and control mechanisms, have generated a lot of problems in, resulting in lower reliability units.) This also explains the high mechanical parts count and resultant weight increase, not to mention stored energy springs to facilitate zero power retractions. As we noted in the earlier article, the ACS patent pending solution involves storing energy in capacitors – that’s the simple answer but it is a circuitry design solution as well! We stopped by the company’s Redmond office for an update with Yukio Sugimoto, President and Richie Sugimoto, the company’s new Vice President – Operations.

Product Update

If there is one message our IFExpress reporter got from the test team it was: “The new retractable monitor is performing even better than expected. In fact, it has undergone over 250,000 cycle operations without a single failure!” noted Yukio, “Which is pretty remarkable in its self.” Unit qualification testing is now underway and it looks like the manufacturing process is clearly in the build-up stage. What really caught our news eye was the fact that ACS has designed an even bigger screen version than the first 9.7-inch LED unit, a whopping 12- inch, (diagonal) HD display version. In fact when we saw it in the life cycle test frame, we wondered if it would fit in the narrower Airbus overhead PSU rails? “Look closer,” Yukio said. “The new, bigger display actually retracts flat against the outside of the PSU while the rest of the frame and the electronics are buried in the PSU itself – the box sits between the rails while the display (and cover) protrudes ½ an inch above the surface and folds flat against it.” Later, Mr. Sugimoto, who has a history of industry soothsaying, hinted that standard HD video is not the only video standard interface he is considering. He would not say much more on the subject that left us to wonder if different industry video standards will be the subject of future IFE systems?

The Market

When we got wind of the retract we wondered like you probably did – the market for retractable units must be dropping, in part because of their past reliability issues with retracts – perhaps the highest MTBF of any IFE LRU. We asked Richie about the demand for retracts. “Here is where we are ahead of the market and our answer is buried in airline operational cost increases… our product will be an airline cost saver!” He went on, “Keeping those operational costs down is the name of the IFE game today, and our retract is a game-changer, especially for value driven airlines and airlines that are seeing a lot of onboard passenger use of their own entertainment devices (PED’s). Let’s face it, it costs an airline a lot of money to install and pay for the recurring costs (maintenance, content, and fuel) of a multiple displays while many watch their own PED movies or work on laptops instead. Look at it this way, both retractable overhead and seatback devices can do an approved job of delivering the safety briefing but as an airline, which would you rather pay for, especially if the overhead units cut the maintenance costs by 80 per cent!” While the market for retractable monitors is falling off, no one knows the effect of personal, carry-on devices. There is an argument for pay-per-click revenue in seatback solutions but the ACS team pointed out that on any flight under 1 ½ hours or so, that revenue model falls apart, not to mention the challenge of showing full-length movies. Subtract the 30 minutes lost after take-off and before landing and the model might even extend to longer flights. “The message is simple,” noted Richie, “airlines that want to cut costs and airlines that fly in short haul markets need to take a new look at retractable monitors… not to mention routes where passengers bring their own devices! The costs are unbeatable – overhead monitors have a 9 to 1 display advantage. One monitor can serve 9 passengers.”

Let’s review:

• The new retractable video monitors from ACS employ new technologies that make them more reliable, exhibit longer MTBF, and in some cases, provide larger displays than previously offered
• ACS claims their new HD retractable video monitors offer airlines reduced procurement, installation, operational life costs
• The overhead video display monitor market may soon make a comeback because of the aforementioned and recent trends in passenger personal electronic devices (PEDs)
• Airline crews on low cost airlines prefer video display for safety briefings versus no video display solutions
• Display costs for overhead video is roughly 9 to 1 are in favor of solutions involving one display per passenger

No doubt the new retractable monitor will impact the retrofit market first. In fact if we were to bet, we expect the low cost folks to be the first to climb onboard. If you want a hands-on experience ACS will exhibit the new device at AIX in Hamburg next month. We expect to see both the 9.7-inch and the 12-inch units there with more data available as well. Be sure to ask Yukio, Richie, or Ben Ludlow for a demo and tell them IFExpress sent you. For more information contact Ben Ludlow, or by telephone (425) 883-8008 (ex 100); or see the team and the new retract at AIX in Hamburg, Booth 6B18.

(Editor’s Note: You will notice that we do not refer to a product name or model numbers and we attribute that fact to two things. Firstly, this unit is destined to be an OEM device, and as such, will only have numerical representation. Secondly, the ACS team has frankly been too busy to do so. When you see them at AIX, they might have an update!)

The installation of Wi-Fi access points and WAP’s in aircraft cabins is part science and part black magic, or so we are told. Often, airlines have the challenge of “space available”. Let’s face it, the black art of RF and antennas needs a little help and that is where VT MIltope’s cabin antenna and mounting bracket come in. At first we thought – no big deal – but we were so wrong. Firstly, the four horizontal dipoles are not only removable via connectors, they are installed horizontally when the WAP is mounted either flat or inverted horizontally. No separate antenna mounts adds up to less install time and easy replacement. The connectors do allow remote antenna installations; however, they do provide easy access for repair and replacement as well. If you look closely at the attached image, you will see four black 802.11 antennas on the mounting bracket. Working in conjunction with the VTM nMAP Access Point product, the antenna bracket optimizes both 802.11a/b/g transmit and receive signal antenna and the three 802.11n MIMO antennas. (Note: Wikipedia explains MIMO thusly: “MIMO technology has attracted attention in wireless communications, because it offers significant increases in data throughput and link range without additional bandwidth or increased transmit power. It achieves this goal by spreading the same total transmit power over the antennas to achieve an array gain that improves the spectral efficiency (more bits per second per hertz of bandwidth) or to achieve a diversity gain that improves the link reliability (reduced fading). Because of these properties, MIMO is an important part of modern wireless communication standards such as IEEE 802.11n (Wi-Fi), 4G, 3GPP Long Term Evolution, WiMAX and HSPA+.” The real deal here is the exact placement of the three MIMO antennas. You can see the precise spacing of the antennas one on each end and one centered, which are the 802.11n MIMO antennas. The exact placement (end-center-end) is for interference optimization while the one remaining antenna serves 802.11a/b/g. For more information contact Bob Guidetti.

As we went to press, we received a release from ACS detailing a joint development program between ACS and Gulfstream for HD LCD video monitors and touchscreens with a note: “We are finally able to release the news regarding our G650 Joint Development Program. It is now complete as GAC has received their STC for the G650. 25 Shipsets consisting of a 5.7” and a 10.1” TS (really PCs), a 17” and a 26” Bulkhead monitor and a 26” Credenza monitor have been ordered and are shipping now. These products are also being installed on Legacy Aircraft such as the G450 and G550 as well. The paragraph in the data sheet noting “fiber-optic distribution technology” and “single-point failures will be resolved or mitigated automatically” caught our attention. For more information contact Bill Baltra.

Don’t miss the Rockwell Collins booth if you happen to be at NBAA. Their latest news release (see our News Release section below) touts a new “Skybox” server, based on Apple compatibility. It looks like Rockwell has seen the light on PEDs and if we aren’t mistaken, this means they have a much closer relationship with Apple than most IFE vendors and are possibly using their hardware on the server side. At APEX, we saw some very clean Rockwell concepts displayed on iPads that looked like “apps” for portable Apple products. Now we are curious about the iTunes store and it’s app integration with Skybox. We were knocked out by the AIRSHOW “app”… expect to see more of this one, possibly in commercial aviation! For more data contact Josh Baynes of Rockwell Collins.

Meet Tom Mockler. Oh, you already know him! Well, he was with another company over the last 30 years but now he has his own start-up called InflightDirect. Tom saw an opening to sell airlines inflight amenities like headphones, amenity kits, blankets and so on directly from the manufacturers with out the middleman (middle person?). Anyway, Tom serves the travel industry and told IFExpress that he sells over 400 different kinds of headphones – overhead (noise canceling, passive, disposable, resale units with logos, etc). Headphones have become a very inexpensive commodity to manufacture as most of them are produced in automated factories and thus he saw a price market that his company could develop. He told IFExpress that his prices “… are lower than anybody!” You had better check that out and get a quote: or phone 401 714-4190

If you don’t know Yukio Sugimoto, Aircraft Cabin System Founder and President, you should. For the last few months, Yukio has hinted at a new product and we wanted a chance to show it to our readers. Back in January, Yukio indicated that it would be a revolutionary new drop down monitor… but that was about all. If you visited their booth at APEX, you would have seen the device (patent-pending). When we got the inside story, we were pleasantly surprised and had to agree that it is indeed a revolutionary concept. The ACS retract is very cleverly designed and probably the most advanced on the market today and certainly is the lowest power unit. Here is a preliminary data sheet on Yukio’s new toy and we suggest you check out the block diagram of the electronics. The first thing we noticed was the lack of a big retract spring that allows activation in case of power loss. A big spring means a bigger motor to power the drop mechanism. As an engineer, yours truly caught the gist of the electrical storage. Yep, you guessed it, he stores energy in a capacitor(s) – not a spring. You might think that there is not enough energy in standard aircraft voltage to handle the screen retract and you might be correct except for another clever design trick. Yukio developed a switching power supply to jack up the system voltage enough and store it to get the required loss-of-system-power screen retract (Remember – P = V squared over R). One can see the the smaller motor in the magnified image. Lower power mechanical requirement (small spring) equates to a smaller actuator motor. Another feature is microprocessor control. By adding “smarts” with a processor, the unit can be programmed to adjust for head strike and other dynamic anomalies, as well as, counting operation cycles – a boon to maintenance tech’s. With all this technology the unit maintains a weight in the low 8 pound range. At APEX the retract featured a 9.7 inch screen, but Mr. Sugimoto told IFExpress that he is entertaining a 12″ monitor and see’s applications on B737’s and A320’s. We predict that the ACS retract will become an industry standard and should you get to another show where the unit is demonstrated be sure to check it out. You can reach Yukio Sugimoto at

At APEX we ran into a “retired” Peter Daniello working in the Post Modern Group booth, and he wanted us to say hello to all his industry friends, so, here’s Peter.

Lee Costin, Mr. ARINC, had a compelling story to tell about the future of passenger wireless connectivity. To that end, the ARINC folks kindly provided a cabin diagram of their connectivity solution. Launched in 2011, the system is now tested and installation will begin on their first customer – Virgin Atlantic – in 2013. The message here is that it is no longer a “proof-of-concept”. In an actual installation, ARINC would provide the end-to-end integration of their COTS solution – Konotron servers, etc. ARINC helps obtain the STC and certification for their customers. The system is a very simple Wi-Fi solution that acts as a standalone IFE system for passengers who want to use their own devices. Connection to various PEDS is handled by the software and uses an open HTML standard, which also includes a payment module in the package. Launched in 2011 at APEX Seattle, the service is being promoted via the two ARINC offices in UK and Singapore today. Lee told IFExpress that they can even target passenger demographics. “By taking a very pragmatic approach, ARINC has a very cost effective way for airlines to offer Wi-Fi in the cabin!” Contact

Next, here is a great picture of John Guidon, Row 44 Tech Guru, who spent quite a lot of time in the IFExpress interview educating us on the “Row 44 experience difference” and why they have a clear advantage in that arena. His hidden message may be the widespread distribution of Ku band coverage, strong signal power, and weather insensitivity that a strong suit for those frequencies. Come to think of it, we have never talked to anyone who had a bad connectivity experience on a Row44 equipped plane. John noted that the company was quietly increasing their customer base and at the time of the show, they had around 370 aircraft installations – knocking down one installation per day! Coming soon – Russia’s Transaero and IcelandAir. According to Guidon, “Ku band European coverage starts in Iceland and on to Northern Norway, then goes down thru the Ukraine, Belarus, on to Dubai and on to Egypt, Lybia, Algeria, and on to to include the Canaries.” Obviously, one advantage of Ku band is the existing satellite coverage – worldwide. We got it, John. Check out their website for more info.

And last, but not least, we talked to Jamie Newland, Managing Director of Yocalm, the inflight video Yoga solution. However, we are still trying to figure out “downward-facing-dog” on a single aisle aircraft? Contact

This week we have a 2-for-1 on the subject of business jets; the latest IFE offering from Flight Display Systems and the biggest biz jet LCD display out there from Aircraft Cabin Systems. Let’s get right to work.

IFExpress contacted Flight Displays and asked if they had anything new on the drawing board. We quickly found out about FDS’s CMS Platinum – the newest offering from the Flight Display Systems folks which embodies improvements that include HD, in-arm 10″ display in business class seats, and moving map displays. “We are very excited about this substantial improvement to our popular aircraft cabin management system,” says David Gray, President of Flight Display Systems. “The Select CMS Platinum is a considerable advancement that uses a fully HD backbone for easy installation on any retrofit project.” Here is an image of a CMS Platinum installation on a retrofitted commercial aircraft.

“Select CMS Platinum provides VIP customers with customizable controls for all information and entertainment needs. Powered by user interfaces called Cabin Control Modules (CCM), Select CMS Platinum manages audio/video sources, lights, shades and more from anywhere within the aircraft. Select CMS Platinum is versatile enough to control any cabin – from a six seat turboprop to a wide body airliner. Many sample photographs are on-line.

High-Definition is the hallmark of the Select CMS Platinum. The system provides resolutions up to 1080p and will also upscale non-HD content. Our Fly HD end-to-end High-Definition product line includes source devices such as Blu-ray players, amplifiers, and monitors ranging from 5″ to 55″ in size. To ease installation, Select CMS Platinum uses common video cable rather than Cat5 to transmit the High-Definition signal. This allows for a tighter bend radius, simpler termination and crimping. Select CMS Platinum requires fewer parts by using HD-SDI direct to LCD monitors instead of converting HDMI to Cat5 on both ends. Additionally, one switching box is all that is necessary for both High-Definition and Standard Definition video.”

The folks at Flight Display Systems were also quick to point out that the product was basically higher in quality, better in reliability, lower in cost, and that CMC Platinum was easier to install with fewer and smaller parts. Nick Gray, International Sales Director sent us the the cover image and we asked about it: “The aircraft is an MD-81 and is a private charter aircraft primarily used for sports teams (more photos available). Our dealer on the project was Pentastar Aviation. (Flight Display Systems sells through a dealer network of authorized avionics installation centers; we do not sell directly to end customers.) He went on to say: Flight Display Systems was very happy with the results from this project with Pentastar Aviation. Steve Lord, Regional Sales Manager for Flight Display Systems told us, “This was a very unique project that was extremely well planned out by the Pentastar Aviation engineering staff. The end result truly exceeded our expectations.” Nick went on to say; “One more point, and it’s something we’re really excited about — Select CMS Platinum now provides cabin control wirelessly through the Apple iPad (we have an app for that! iTunes store) and on Android tablets and phones too.” Nice touch!

Our next call went to Yukio Sugimoto, President of Aircraft Cabin Systems, knowing that the Redmond, WA company continually designs and builds the biggest (and according to Richie Sugimoto | CFO, “…the best!”) LCD Displays for biz jets. We initially learned of the giant 65″ LCD unit at the ACS offices, and ultimately discovered they are also the thinnest displays available. “So far we have one customer who selected the 65” for a B777 private jet and we have a couple of customers planning to purchase it for B747-8 and B777,” noted Mr. Sugimoto. “I have included our specification for your readers. Further, I believe this is the first 65″ monitor and, as far as I know, no one else has installed one of this size.” Intrigued, we asked Yukio if it was available for installation on commercial aircraft? “We are certainly happy to supply this product to the commercial aircraft marketplace. It may not fit in a normal passenger compartment; however, it may be a good fit in the lounge of large airplane like the A380!” We want one!

For more information about the above products contact Nick Gray at Flight Display Systems – or Yukio Sugimoto at ACS –
Noted Elsewhere Update: IFExpress received this note from OnAir regarding a hyperlink in last week’s publication – “We saw your article about Virgin launching its transatlantic GSM service. However, it isn’t the first airline to provide inflight mobile phone services on transatlantic routes: British Airways has been providing Mobile OnAir on its business-class flights from London City Airport to JFK since 2009. As you know, Singapore also provides Mobile OnAir on routes to the US, but across the Pacific in that case.”

REDMOND, WA. | May 23, 2012 – ACS announced today it has developed four
large LCD Video Monitors sized at 24”, 32”, 42” and 46” for use with the Honeywell
Ovation Select™ CMS.

The Monitors include a built-in Honeywell system Decoder which allows direct
connection to their very robust and open Ovation™ CMS Ethernet backbone. This
permits the HD ACS Ethernet Monitors to be used with any of the cabin video sources
available with the Honeywell CMS, including Blu-ray™ players that typically provide
the source of 1080p HD movies.

The HD ACS Monitors use LCD panels with native resolution of 1920 X 1080 pixels
and use LED lamps instead of florescent lamp backlighting. This allows the monitors
to be thinner, have less weight and use less power. ACS has worked very closely
with Honeywell to insure successful integration of the ACS Monitors with the CMS.
ACS has recently received FAA-PMA for the 46” and 42” sizes on BBJ B737-700.
Several other unannounced orders will be the basis for FAA-PMA for the 32” and 24”
sizes by third quarter 2012.

The four monitors are available for ordering now.

Greetings from Hamburg, Germany! Thanks to AYA-FIOLA-YOKUL – a few out-of-the-way airports, delayed flights, unexpected bus tours, missed connections, and schedule slides we managed to make it to Hamburg… better late than never! Next week’s issue of IFExpress will include the latest and greatest from AIX… assuming the volcano doesn’t get too obstreperous at the end of the week when we are to fly home via ICELAND again!

Now for the Hot Topic: Never satisfied with the status quo of inflight LCD displays, Yukio Sugimoto founder of Aircraft Cabin Systems (ACS) recently rolled out the biggest cabin display yet. The HDMI certified 65” LCD video monitor knocked us out when we saw it at their new Redmond, Washington facility. Sporting a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 (3x pixels), the mondo-monitor just breaks the 100-pound mark and is bound to be the “must have” for the biz jet set and the Head of State crowd. The unit will be on display in the ACS booth # 6C15 at the AIX in Hamburg. We understand one customer has already signed-up for the first unit off the production line and ACS anticipates a robust demand for this product. Here is more information on the 65” LCD Video Monitor.

Lastly, you know how show rumors persist and this year is no exception! Lumexis is purportedly going to release the name of their “new” customer at AIX on Tuesday in Germany. We hear that the airline is Fly Dubai. Don’t jump to conclusions readers!

When we saw the Aircraft Cabin Systems 52” LCD display, the only thought that came to mind was a saying attributed to US President, Calvin Cooledge, when he was asked to fund an air force – “Why don’t we buy one airplane and let the pilots take turns flying it.” Along the same train of thought, we asked why more airlines don’t install one big screen and let passengers watch it as they do in their own homes (Ok, almost)? For one thing, there are few, if any, aircraft certified IFE HD video players and displays available. Another is the availability of qualified networks to deliver the programming (watch Lumexis on this one). Goodrich (TEAC) showed a preproduction video player at the last WAEA Conference, it looks like Yukio Sugimoto’s ACS has the biggest, certified, video display available – 52 inches. We should note that US airlines like Delta use 32” screens as bulkhead monitors, but our focus today is big screen, HD, digital TV!

The screen on the ACS 47″ model is big, REALLY big! In use on Saudi Arabian Airlines B777 aircraft, the unit supplies overhead video to over 100 passengers in coach. In fact, as screens get this big, MPEG 1 signal sources are pushed to their limit. Standard Definition 480p images are really a baseline for good big screen television but as passengers watch HD 720p on digital televisions in their home, expect a demand for higher definition sources, higher bandwidth networks, and big screens. You can imagine how the owner of a $50 million bizjet feels when he has only small screen NTSC or PAL video. The problem is there are very few suppliers with aircraft certified Large Screen displays and none that push the 50” size…except ACS, that is. You can imagine the difficulty even finding a shake table to test the vibration specifications or vacuum chamber able to accommodate a decompression test for the 8,000 foot altitude pressure dump to 35,000 feet equivalent air pressure. These units are not cheap, but if you consider that a big screen can cost the equivalent of the expense of the IFE equipment outlay for less than that of an installed row of seats, it is a pretty good deal. Add in the weight savings for wiring, hardware and power and you have an interesting trade study. Just wait, this solution is on it’s way, first with bizjets and Very VIP aircraft and finally to the commercial aircraft space. And by the way, we have it on good authority that there is a 60″+ unit in the works! You can find ACS at

Rumor Central: Last week, if you remember, we broke the story about AeroMobile being in “administration”. We do know the administrators were shopping the assets around London. To refresh your memory, AeroMobile was originally a 50/50 joint venture of ARINC and Telenor. But since then Telenor has bought up more and more of ARINC’s interest and now owns 98.88%. ARINC holds 0.12% but has basically dropped out of the project. It is possible they could stand there and watch Telenor buy their own 99% and negotiate for better terms, but why wouldn’t Panasonic want to gain leverage? Remember, AeroMobile is connected at the hip to the Panasonic worldwide connectivity initiative. So doesn’t it seem logical that the IFE top dog should be in on the bidding war? We think so but the bidders are not talking. The product is very important to Panasonic. We would be surprised if they sat back and let OnAir walk away with it. It will be interesting. We guess we are saying one should not be surprised to find the Brunnerites in the airborne calling business!