• Tail-Mounted Antenna Expands FliteStream Connectivity Market
  • More BizAv Aircraft to Benefit from FliteStream’s Patented Technology

East Aurora, NY | October 21, 2014– Astronics Corporation announced that Astronics AeroSat, its wholly-owned subsidiary that designs and manufactures satellite connectivity solutions for aircraft, has launched FliteStream™ T-Series, a satellite broadband solution incorporating a new tail-mounted antenna design. Astronics (NASDAQ: ATRO) is a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace and defense industries.

FliteStream T-Series, like FliteStream F-Series for VVIP aircraft, is the aviation industry’s first dedicated, global connectivity solution for the worldwide business aviation/corporate jet fleet. Incorporating FliteStream’s patented ‘lens/horn’ technology, which provides the most efficient
Ku-band airborne connectivity available to business aviation, the FliteStream T-Series’ antenna system is ideally suited for specific models of Cessna, Bombardier, Embraer, and Gulfstream aircraft.

“We are excited to extend the benefits of our FliteStream solution to an even greater segment of the long-range business jet market,” said Dennis Ferguson, president of Astronics AeroSat. “Our new tail-mounted antenna, FliteStream T-Series offers exceptional, dedicated connectivity via the global Harris CapRock Ku-band satellite network, while positioning aircraft for upgrades to new airborne telecom technologies as they become available,” he added.

Like all FliteStream solutions, the T-Series is designed for performance, growth and customer convenience. It features AeroSat’s highly efficient, patented antenna technology, a defined upgrade path to Ka-band and a Certification Assistance Program™ that includes a full installation design and STC data package. Worldwide, 24/7 AOG support with a single point of contact is also a well-received feature of the full service solution.

FliteStream T-Series antenna systems will be sold and installed through avionics modification centers and OEM service centers, with deliveries beginning in the third quarter of 2015.

As always, the job of the IFExpress Team is to interview vendors at the popular IFEC Shows and report to our reader, and this year is no different. In three days (and in three consecutive issues) we hope to give our readers a view of what people said about their products and perhaps explain the “spin” in a useful way. We hope you find it interesting and worthwhile.


For years now, we have passed by the earphone folks at Linstol and so this year, we decided to stop and talk with Peter Woolhouse and Jakob Levinson about their new products. Besides colorful new products we got interested in their Noise Cancelling Headset (Model 250) and tested the unit with our iPod. We note that the unit has a couple of features we really liked. First when placed over our ears, the product almost completely canceled the show floor noise when turned OFF, which means a good mechanical fit. Amazingly, music still played through them when turned off! No battery worries here. Then we turned them on and the Model 250 increased fidelity (and presence) and cancelled even more noise! Secondly, it’s rechargeable through a mini-USB connector on the bottom of one headpiece – 5 volts. We remember up to 14 hours of continuous usage with one charge. Nice job Linstol! Airlines can get the Model 250’s with modified individual color and logo applications on up to 7 of the headphone parts, all for around $30 a pair. Check them out. (Editor’s Note: We note that even with 32 ohms impedance, the efficiency provided ample loudness.)

Two big stories accentuate the Panasonic presence at the show in Anaheim.

Ku-band narrow body antenna roll out: Oddly enough, Panasonic has teamed with Boeing Network & Space Systems (N&SS) for their new electronically steered phased array antenna designed (primarily) for narrow body aircraft (2. Image). The flat planed phased array antenna consists of a transmit and receive array situated next to each other in the horizontal reference plane. And you guessed it; the antenna design contributes to perhaps the lowest Ku-band antenna drag profile in the industry (2.7” or 6cm high). Also, it is important to note that the shroud around the antenna itself could be designed to fit: Boeing and Airbus narrow bodies, as well as, business jets. Also, we were told that the antenna is ARINC 791 compliant. The antenna will be available in 2016, and with their existing Ku-band mechanically scanned antennas they can cover any fleet of aircraft. Furthermore, if you are too young to remember Connexion by Boeing, it was launched and in service in the late 90’s to early 2000’s on Lufthansa but never gained in popularity – most likely due to cost at the time – but their engineers know how to design antennas and we suspect that’s why Panasonic chose them. With the burgeoning single-aisle market and the demand for more passenger connectivity, this market will grow! Watch this product.

NFC: EMV compliant Near Field Communication technology is being developed within Panasonic’s inflight entertainment systems. The system will be launched in 2015 because you will probably see NFC enabled smartphones and cards being used in flight. Here are some of the features of this service: high value transactions and purchases, personal data synchronization, frequent flyer status via NFC card/phone – gold card advantages, crew check-in is now available via NFC, Passenger specific information pushes are now available, and it will now work with the iPhone 6. With increased hacking and fraud issues, this is a must technology for aviation. One airline told us an unbelievable dollar scam they encounter each month but asked us not to reveal the amount or the airline. With NFC, scamming is now pushed down one notch and as a result, bigger purchases are doable. We expect this feature to end up on all Panasonic IFEC systems.

Cool Room Update:  You know how we like the Panasonic “Cool Room” and every year Steve Sizelove outdoes himself on getting the latest, and we mean LATEST technology, to show how it and innovation might affect the IFEC industry. Here’s a clue from this year’s room – Oculus Rift. You will have to wait till a future issue to get an update… the Panasonic Cool Room will be the subject of a future Hot Topic!


AeroMobile’s Kevin Rogers told us the following:

“Today 270+ aircraft are installed. The installation rate is 5 – 6 planes per month and this number is expected to grow over the next 12 months.”

“Panasonic is the sales arm for the AeroMobile service”, he noted.

“The Panasonic announcement about the single-aisle Ku-band antenna will have a significant impact on the market, primarily because of the narrowbody applications and the services required in China.”

“Panasonic’s Ku-band hardware allows the AeroMobile telecommunications operation, and in fact because of coverage and availability, AeroMobile should be considered a virtual country.”

“AeroMobile has 270 roaming agreements today, but all are handled/billed by the company.”

“Interestingly, the only 2 countries where there is a service gap are in the USA and China. China has their own frequency standards and the USA has other issues, as we are all aware of.”

“80% of users of phones in the aircraft don’t use voice – they just use text and data. This emulates the usage on the ground.”

“The service is very popular especially in business class, partly because it is so easy to use.”


Big news at Thales is the acquisition of LiveTV from JetBlue. The addition of two familiar faces, Glenn Latta and Mike Moeller (as well as others), appeared as part of the Thales team at APEX. While we suspected that the org chart was presently in flux and yet to be worked out, Dominique Giannoni and Glen Latta wanted to discuss strategy and how the LiveTV acquisition dovetails with the growth and support development of the entire IFEC package from Thales. The attached two charts (link) pretty much tell the story. Chart 1 has all the Gee Wiz information you need, from the point that Thales IFEC is 15 years in operation to the fact that they have 1,700 aircraft flying in all major platforms, including 200 with Ka-band connectivity.

Chart 2 is perhaps the most significant. Not only does it frame Thales based on functionality, it shows what the strategy for the company and is probably the most significant part from the company’s perspective. The $400 million purchase appears to be a hand-in-glove fit because of LiveTV’s in-depth connectivity capability matches perfectly with the Thales IFE offering. Glenn Latta is the President of LiveTV a wholly owned subsidiary of Thales USA reporting to and he and Dominique Giannoni, CEO IFE&C. Together, they are shaping what is becoming a significantly changed business. Perhaps the best quote comes from the team when they said, “Look at it this way, today Thales has 1,815 people focused on IFEC. Both sides, Irvine and Florida, are leveraging their strengths and are looking at each project customer by customer, so integration of the two companies is well under way.”

Additional observations about the merger of the two companies based upon our interview were:
1) The strategy behind the merger with LiveTV was three fold: the need for a strong connectivity add-on, a strong retrofit business, and entry into the low cost market.
2) LiveTV can now leverage the line-fit experience with the retrofit experience. This is a very broad offering to the airline.
3) The acquisition of LiveTV brought Thales: Wi-Fi in the cabin, a back office, a front office, transaction process, and a portal.
4) LiveTV brought Thales 700 aircraft flying of which 200 are flying with Ka-band connectivity and a backlog of 250 aircraft to be fitted with Ka.
5) 50% of the LiveTV engineering team is software, and as a result, the employees have the ability to adapt to either organization.
6) Both LiveTV and Thales brought content to the table. They are now looking at leveraging these groups and are looking at the offerings on a customer-by-customer basis.
7) Dominique Giannoni told us that key area of development is to improve airline operations through connectivity.
8) The philosophy behind Thales/LiveTV is that everything is based upon the strategy not necessarily the product as a result of this corporate blending.
9) In the words of Glenn Latta, “It is an opportunity rich environment.”


We met with Leo Mondale, President Inmarsat Aviation who will be a new focal point for Global Xpress, and a good one at that.

We thought it best to start off with a definition: Global Xpress is a super-fast, Ka-band broadband satellite network from Inmarsat that will provide worldwide (almost) coverage with three geosynchronous satellites.

During our interview we asked a few questions to give our readers a better view of the system. Here a few of the salient issues:
1) One satellite is up today and the other two will be deployed by mid-2015.
2) Aviation will experience up to 50 Mbps data rates.
3) The first satellite covers the coast of the UK to portions of Asia. See attached and is in orbit today. We note that it is a spot beam satellite that has 89 distinct beams, as all will have. Because the spot beams provide continuous coverage over its footprint, it is possible to manage the data traffic as the aircraft travels through the beams
4) Today’s current Inflight Connectivity does not emulate the ground experience; however, the newer generation of users will demand more from their airborne connectivity experience and Global Xpress hopes to fill that need.
5) Three ground stations (with redundant features) will deal with live, rain-fade issues.
6) The first customer for Global Xpress was Vietnam Airlines via Gogo, Thales and Honeywell.
7) When the third satellite is up and operating there will be very few commercial air transport routes that Inmarsat doesn’t cover.
8) Global Xpress Service was announced in June of 2010 and the first satellite build happened on time.
9) Leo Mondale stated that if it were not for launch slides Global Xpress would be in service today.
10) With the exception of the North Atlantic, maritime and aviation routes don’t tend to overlap.
11) The industry has accepted Ka-band and there are very few questions about its capabilities anymore. The first customer was the Military and they have been interested in Ka-band for the last 10 years.
12) “We are at the beginning of a massive capacity and infrastructure increase, all in alignment with our decision in 2010 to launch Global Xpress service. We are excited to be part of the wave!” Leo Mondale

Some Final Notes

Welcome to the first edition of SymontySez. I am Symonty and I hope to be able to present some views and ideas about connectivity and the IFE industry (now strangely being renamed the Passenger Experience Industry) from my 12-year journey in this field. My company, SymonTek, is responsible for the software and servers that support inflight connectivity and we work anonymously with some of the biggest names in this industry.

I am completely sure loads of you will disagree with me. That’s okay. The purpose of my commentary is to make you think and ask questions. Masticate on it for a bit, and if you bite, watch out for your uvula! And if you disagree, why not drop me an email at: wtf@symonty.org I appreciate healthy intellectual discussions.

“Why Size Doesn’t Matter”
A Satcom’s Tale of Time and Distance

This issue of satellites, aircraft, and data pipes comes live from the Utopian anarchy of the Internet connected world. We rejoice in our collective consciousness, as the laws of physics seem to melt away in an interconnected world no longer ravaged by the disparity of distance.

Now wake up silly pants, you are on a plane over the Pacific… so sit down and think about the problem…

Geostationary satellite-based Internet on an aircraft is difficult, in fact a single TCP/IP packet has to travel over the 44,000+ miles from an aircraft to your favorite web server and cannot achieve more than 64 Kbits/s no matter the size of the pipe. Let me explain how technologists are able to “fix” this limitation and why it is ultimately of no value.

Satellite data services, such as Inmarsat Swift, Ku, Ka, etc., have unique benefits over ground-based connection technologies — they require far less infrastructure. Only 3 or 4 satellites and ground stations are required to cover almost the whole planet (the poles remain an issue for all Geostationary satellites). Additionally, the technology is stable and mostly off-the-shelf; you can buy either direct data services from Inmarsat, for example, or rent spectrum from satellite service providers.

Now the hard part, lets face some facts about GEO satcom without getting too heavily into TCP Slow Start, MTU window management and the congestion algorithm in general.

Geo satcom start to be scary because the marriage with TCP is not a match made in heaven. This was first recognized in 1972 (RFC346). Since TCP and some payload management systems, like streaming video, use latency and packet loss to indicate congestion and or link speed. Some serious side effects come into play when the distance is taken into account. The problem is: each connection takes so long to get back and forth TCP thinks the link is either congested, slow or lossy and re-sizes each “window” into smaller and smaller chunks until the throughput, when multiplied by latency, seems to level out at around 64Kbits per second. Interestingly enough, the net effect is an efficient multiplexing that works very well with high numbers of users and very poorly with a single user.

To increase the single request throughput on a high bandwidth and highly latent link the use of Performance Enhancing Proxies (PEP) have seen widespread usage for some time, specifically in the fixed terminal world. While PEP works by fooling TCP with local packet acknowledgments (prior to the packets actually arriving at the other end successfully) it requires that the underlying link is virtually error free*. Also remember, this only increases the achievable single connection throughput, and it will still take up to a second for each new request to be answered by the other end.

So now there is an increase in the available throughput of large requests, for example streaming video, that passengers can watch while flying the pacific? Well yes and No. With streaming technologies, such as YouTube HD, available at 1280×720 H.264 at only 2mbits/s, which on Inmarsat (if you could bond the channels together to get it) will cost the passenger around $5 per second. Even if you are the satellite service provider and you have available satellite spectrum, that one YouTube viewer, on one plane is gobbling 8% of the total capacity of a transponder or… $2 per second. This is based on a $250K per month 30Mb/s transponder.

This is “Why Size Doesn’t Matter”

The underlying technology and the distance limits any effective throughput without costly compromises and poor customer experience. And the cost per MB means that any increase in usable capacity quickly becomes too expensive for most pax to use. Finally, the only real reason a larger pipe size would be of value would be for multiple users, and with the take up rates we have seen to date, this is not an issue.

I don’t think size matters for open Internet access, but may I suggest the “little blue pill for your pipe?” Tune in next time.

E-mail Comments: wtf@symonty.org

* A geo stationary satellite signal has to pass signals over twice the circumference of the earth before it is even routed to it’s final destination, so the space segment is round 250ms for a single hop and as much as 1 second from your airborne laptop to the web-server. To put this in perceptive try ping www.google.com and see how your connection fares against 1000ms.

* As error rates increase the extra traffic caused by the overlay of PEP and TCP are geometric and degrade far quicker with PEP than without in states of increasing error rates. To decrease error rates more of the bandwidth is allocated to the error correction protocols and delays due to computations, this looses bandwidth for end-to-end usage and also slows the initial connection to each new server, so you have to balance the benefits.

This story begins on the floor of the recent APEX Conference in Long Beach, CA where we were inundated with a Ka Band satellite buzz as the next new thing…’the Ku killer’ as one pundit noted. After digging a while we found out that there are conflicting views on that last quote; however, we are getting ahead of ourselves. The Ka Band lies at the high end of the IEEE Frequency Band. It is roughly twice the frequency of Ku.

We also note that our story on Ka Band in-flight connectivity will be at least in 2 parts – first the technology feasibility and the next reporting will include our coverage with the Ku vendors. In part one, we sought out a discussion with Liz Young, whose credentials include Inmarsat, Comsat, SITA and others. We asked Liz about the Ka feasibility and she told IFExpress the following:

“First, re: Ka Band coverage, yes, there are satellites available. (You can Google just the words “Ka Band satellites” and get even more info.), but (a) not clear they are optimized for mobile and/or aeronautical applications, and (b) as with the still existing Ku Band satellite problem, there is no global network of Ka Band satellites — or even enough of them to cover all the significant land masses. For example, no Ka Band satellites cover northern Europe (Scandinavian countries and Russia). So, if an interested airline flies on narrowly defined routes, e.g., just within the US, it may be possible for them to use Ka-band but ocean regions (or portions of them) are not covered and some land masses are not covered.”

We then asked about the physics challenges and she noted, “As we discussed, it’s relatively easy to get signals up from the earth-based ground stations to the satellite(s) and then down to the aircraft, BUT getting signals from the aircraft up to the satellite requires highly sophisticated antennas that can really focus their beams so that there is not interference with other beams/Ka Band satellites. This makes Ka Band OK for one-way transmissions TO the aircraft, e.g., non-safety services such as video, perhaps, but tricky for up linking from the plane. You need to talk with people manufacturing (or planning to manufacture) the antennas. The advantage when (if) Inmarsat develops Ka-band is that they WILL have a global system, covering everything except the Polar Regions — just as they do now with L Band.”

She closed with, “Even with Ku Band today, the vendors saying they offer Ku Band services (e.g., ARINC, Panasonic) have to piece together transponder leases from dozens of companies with Ku-band satellites. And Intelsat, which does have global Ku Band coverage, does not have enough power on their links to work with (necessarily) small aircraft antenna. Remember the formula: the more power on the satellite, the smaller the receiving/transmitting antenna can be on the mobile platform (aircraft). That’s why we always want to ask about the up/down power on these satellites — is it optimized for very small antennas and it is optimized for small antennas that need to BOTH transmit and receive!!”

At the show we sought a few experts on aircraft antenna design and were assured that the frequencies involved in Ka Band will challenge designers. The Tecom folks told us that one of the misconceptions was antenna size. It is common knowledge that as frequencies go up antenna size goes down (a generality, for sure), and airlines and aircraft manufactures want to reduce the Ku Band antenna footprints. Guess what, that is probably not going to happen, according to the experts. These manhole-sized antenna footprints are here to stay because the difficulty in delivering an antenna beam accurately (read: narrow beam) will require a bigger antenna aperture, not to mention the need to support the required gain for a greater bandwidth signal. The arguments go on – considerations for satellites transponder power, spot beam coverage, antenna slew rate/accuracy – from where we sit it is a ‘case closed’ for smaller antennas. Another issue that crops up is the FCC/ITU has not designated any Ka Band frequencies for use by aviation, are we looking at an ‘experimental’ designation? Also remember, as the signals are beamed down to the aircraft, they impinge on the land below. Interference here is a big factor affecting this allocation, not to mention rain fade. On the positive side, as one goes up in frequency, the effective bandwidth is increased (the amount of information to be sent). The pie-in-the-sky here is increased data rates – say from 1 to 2 Mbps to 16 to 20 Mbps. This is a big deal.

Finally, we asked another industry expert, who preferred to remain anonymous, and he kindly answered our questions.
1. Please comment on the possibility, reality, difficulties, features and/or benefits of Ka Band, pax connectivity.
Answer: “Ka Band will provide the airlines with significantly larger bandwidth to each aircraft at a greatly reduced cost per bit (service cost). This lower service cost will not be the significant driver to Ka Band acceptance. The large capital outlay for equipping an airline fleet with Ka Band will still remain and be the limiter to the uptake of Ka Band in the future. If the price of the Ka Band equipment is set in the range of SwiftBroadband – $150K – then there may be a larger take up. Ku Band equipment is now priced in the $250K+ range and this has severely curtailed the growth of this service.”

2. What commercial Ka Band “birds” are there today? What plans exist for a Ka Band future satcom design/dev and launching?
Answer: “I know of only two announced Ka Band systems that will provide access for aircraft: ViaSat with their ViaSat-1 satellite providing North American coverage only in 2011 and; Inmarsat with their global Ka Band system (Global Xpress), launching in 2014.”

3. Your assessment of the future Ka Aero availability?
Answer: “North America – ViaSat via ViaSat-1 Ka Band satellite in 2011. Inmarsat via Global Xpress in 2014. I know of no others. Needless to say, Inmarsat’s Global Xpress with its near global coverage will have a distinct advantage over any regional Ka Band satellites when being considered by commercial airlines.”

4. Any other statement you would like to provide, or observations that should be noted, for our readers, about Ka Band applicability pax/crew adaptability?
Answer: “If there is going to be take-up of Ka Band services on commercial airlines, it will be driven by Inmarsat entering the market and providing longevity of service and an industry-wide service (passenger and crew) and equipment participation. That stability is what the airlines will need to see before they take the plunge into Ka Band services. The lack of a strong, large and committed player is what has hampered the Ku Band commercial airlines market.”

Lastly, remember The New Technology Rule: For every in-place technical breakthrough there is another, eclipsing technology in the wings (no pun intended) and it usually takes another 3 – 5 years and billions of dollars to get there. This is especially true in aviation!

Here are some links for background, if you are not afraid of words like Kalman Filters, Markov models, etc – read with caution and a bit of skepticism!

Rain fade

Northrop Grumman Tests First Airborne Ka-Band Satellite Terminal

JetBlue and ViaSat Announce 21st Century Inflight Broadband Connectivity

Inmarsat Set To Provide High-Speed Internet

Ka-band VSATs: Blazing the Next Great Frontier

If you don’t remember our teaser from the last issue of IFExpress, we are about ready to roll-out the IFE version of opinion editorial pieces, and yes, we have found our speaker but we will keep his name quite for the moment. We were looking for a speaker who was not afraid to ask the difficult questions and propose answers to the IFE, airline, and aviation business in general. Here are a few of his submitted topics: “If IFE is easy, why have it at all”, “Learning from Homer Simpson and GM”, “Why size doesn’t matter”, the list goes on. “Education thru Confrontation” is his model and you know that you will have to read what he says… you will be amused, entertained, educated, and yes, you may also disagree.

This year we are going to do something different. The Hot Topic will summarize all we saw at Long Beach and then as the weeks roll on, we will dig deeper into the ones you need to hear about. Firstly, the thousand pound gorilla in the room was the Android operating system, the background chatter was Ka Band inflight connectivity, and the word on almost everybody’s lips was ‘iPad’ – not to mention that silly stand-up seat with the 23 inch pitch. Having said that, we will probably look into each topic separately, but for now, let’s press on. On the last day of the show, and after he left, John White announced his retirement from the Avion magazine. He exited without fanfare, we hear, to avoid all the “good bye’s”, so, here is a public one – Thanx John, for it was you who got us int this mess!

Next, our overall impression was, from a technical perspective, great. Some vendors were mumbling about the lack of visitors, but you can decide for yourself by looking at the show photo’s on Flickr. At almost every booth we visited, and we visited over 20, there was something we had not seen or heard about. We do this because there is a lot of innovation that gets overlooked or doesn’t warrant the benefit of a press release. Not to mention the newbies, characters, friends, and the just plain weirdos. After all, isn’t that why you read IFExpress? Lastly, we are sorry for those vendors we missed. Mostly, you were busy with customers and we understand that. If you feel that your product or service was slighted, send a note to ifenews@airfax.com and we will follow up with a telephone or email interview!

Astronics: Big with the power folks is a new set of USB seat power outlet concepts. They are also introducing a 225 VA ISPS with a USB power outlet at each of 3 seats as well as 110 AC.

ACS: Aircraft Cabin Systems rolled out their new thin line of LCD aircraft displays. Looks to be 33% slimmer than the standard size and ACS offers 4 sizes up to 42″.

AirCell: We got a good AirCell update from John Wade. Over 1,015 aircraft jets installed with paid sessions going up each month and no peak in sight. The bizjet market is smoking and the order from NetJets (approx 800 in fleet) is certainly a big deal!

Carlisle: Cable maker, Carlisle, displayed their usual offering of aircraft cable assemblies and we were interestingly challenged to pick out the ones made in their offshore factories. Their latest Ethernet product looked no different than their other products and we were a bit surprised to find out they were made in their Dong Guan (Shenzen) factory. The company controls the process, quality and sourced materials – their AS9100 certification is proof.

digEcor: Brent Wood and Adam Williams laid out their new inflight shopping portal “Mill Creek Shoppe” and demo-ed the L-7 player (Lafeel) with a great built-in mouse. Watch for new advertising co-op features that support independent advertising suppliers. Oh, and we thought their flying monkey was great fun!

Goodrich: Recent acquirer of TEAC, their show entry featured their V01HDD player that has a Blu-ray drive for more storage via DVD disk. We noted a terrific Electronic Flight Bag device on the table but it was a bit early to tag an IFE application with it. Alas, sad news for IFE as Al McGowen is now Mr. Military.

IMS: The RAVE system is now ready for prime time and the final product (powered hot-swap and all) has quite a few features that looked VERY airline friendly. Rumor has it that a few customers have stepped-up to the plate already. Joe Renton pulled us aside for a sneak peek that their new COTS re-purposed player, and yes, it is built by IMS. Check out Flickr.

Inflight Peripherals: The Geoff and Claire show was a hit again this year, and yes, they had a contest to assemble one of their inset headphone jacks. The ‘wall of shame’ told the whole story with one entrant blowing away the competition with a speed around 10 seconds.

Interact: Seldom do we cover content providers, however, this year, we hope to do a Hot Topic devoted to these folks. We like their focus on customer support and regional content in providing audio and video programming, creative content/content management, and encoding services.

Airbus KID-Systeme: Perhaps the biggest effort we saw at KID was their integrated seat power program with Recaro. We saw the production prototype and here is a picture of the inseat-power-supply-that-mounts-in-the-seat-beam.

Live TV: After looking at the Iridium satcom hardware for 2 days, we finally got the story on the LiveTV Aero OpenPort system. Using the 66 satellite constellation, they have found a way to deliver 128K continuously to the aircraft. Don’t scoff, this a PERFECT blackberry data solution, served in the airplane via Wi-Fi. Here’s the clincher, they can demonstrate offering it as a freebie! BTW, Mike Moeller gets our nod as the best pitchman at the show!

Lumexis: The F.O. IFE company out did last show record by bringing a COMPLETE wide-body IFE system, up and running to the show. Some 243 seats worth of IFE (fiber-to-the-seat), and 2 small servers (4 MCU each). This is the low calorie IFE winner, and frankly, we do not expect the hardware to return to Irvine!

Mezzo : Dave Sampson, CEO, shared his new COTS Personal Media Player with IFExpress.

SmartJog: Wow, did Christiane Ducasse and Jodynne Wood knock our socks off! Smartjog is THE purveyor of digital content between IFE entities. By placing a Smartjog server/hub at each end of a communication line, security and daft integrity is guaranteed. These folks are suck a household name that they have become a verb – “Just Smartjog it to the customer”. Hot Topic territory for sure.

Panasonic: The Cool Room is back! What more can we say? A lot, in fact. Too much to cover it here. Suffice it to say, we saw all the bells and whistles in the CR, got the lowdown on Ku and Ka Bands, sat in the integrated seats, played with the Android IFE system, watched a 3-D interactive product, and visited the Panasonic App store. We promise a Hot Topic on each of these topics as there is NO WAY we can do it here. As an afterthought, there is no one that can throw a party like Panasonic – thanx!

Thales: Winner of the Best Innovation Technology with their TouchPMU, the folks we met with were justifiably proud of their tethered handset-entertainment player-controller. A perfect product for single aisle player and on twin aisle planes, it is a great controller that can be used to control entertainment or games on a bigger screen. Oh yes, there was an app on that – the OS is Android. Thales demonstrated a very flexible integrated seat that is in an very mature state (orders on the way) and a novel LCD/mirror display. What a bizjet product!

Rockwell: New kids on the block, Joel Otto and John Darvell talked up the Digital Paves (D Paves) but would not talk to much about the Android OS that others were exploring. We think the next IFE show will bring some Rockwell surprises and they may first show up on the Bizjet side.

VT Miltope: What’s not to like with the ‘OEM supplier to the aviation industry’? As a platform agnostic, peripherals and system supplier, Bob Guidetti told IFExpress that they have been spec-ing and supplying connectivity products for B787, A350 and B777 aircraft and now have a MIMO Wi-Fi WAP.

Honorable Mention: We cannot let this opportunity to go by without mentioning 2 of the “little guys”. Sitting off in one corner was Plane Bill and in the other G.U.E. Tech. We loved both these companies for different reasons. Plane Bill, the Italian software innovator showed us a fistful of Android apps, specifically designed for airlines. After getting infused with Android platforms by all the big players, here sits Plane Bill, with some of the most innovative software we have seen. They even developed an app that an Android Smartphone equipped Muslim can use to find Mecca directions for prayer. On the other hand we really do not have a clue what G.U.E. Tech does. Having said that, we know that it has something to do with 3D rendering engines, game software, and generally computer graphics. Hey, any company that authors a video game called “Lurking Horror” cannot be all bad! What was so doggone impressive was the enthusiasm of it’s CEO, Max Lingua, and his complete love for what he does. Please visit their websites and send some business their way – they are gems!

TrueNorth’s popularity with VIP/HOS operators extends beyond North America to European Union government executive aircraft installed by RUAG

Ottawa, Canada (July 7, 2010) — TrueNorth’s new Simphone¯ OpenCabin has been selected as the cabin communications system for its first European Union head of state (HOS) executive aircraft, being installed aboard a Bombardier Challenger under an EASA certification. The initial order from a new TrueNorth dealer, RUAG Aerospace Services GMBH, the installation is being performed at RUAG’s Oberpfaffenhofen (Munich), Germany, facility. Ideally situated to support aircraft based in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, RUAG is a strong new strategic partner for TrueNorth as it continues to see worldwide growth and acceptance for its advanced Simphone¯ OpenCabin product line.

A revolutionary software-centric concept, the new Simphone¯ (pronounced ‘symphony’) OpenCabin system uses a suite of enterprise-level software applications (‘apps’) to bring advanced communications and data-handling capabilities to business aviation. Since current hardware-centric airborne telecom systems are heavy, complex, expensive to install and prone to obsolescence, TrueNorth developed this converged solution that turns a company’s aircraft into an extension of its corporate IT and communications networks. Benefits include robust performance, an unlimited lifespan, significant reduction in cost of ownership, and the ability to add a wide variety of features and functions by simply uploading software apps.

“Designed for open networking, long life span and ease of use, our new Simphone¯ OpenCabin system is finding tremendous acceptance with VIP and HOS operators, in particular,” said Mark van Berkel, TrueNorth’s president. “We recognize that passengers in all types of aircraft are frustrated by old-style communications systems that prevent them from using their own smartphones and laptops, offer poor quality voice and data service, and provide no sustainable growth path, and heads of state are also impressed with the reliability and enterprise-level security that Simphone¯ OpenCabin offers,” he added.

Popular completion program will feature Simphone¯ OpenCabin airborne telecommunications system for voice and data

Ottawa, Canada (July 7, 2010) —TrueNorth Avionics, Inc., working with authorized dealer Mid-Canada Mod Center (MC2), has been selected by Flying Colours to provide and install the revolutionary Simphone¯ OpenCabin airborne telecommunications system for that company’s Challenger 850 completion program. The industry’s first software-centric system, Simphone¯ OpenCabin uses a suite of enterprise-level applications (‘apps’) to bring advanced voice and data-management capabilities to business aviation, offering unlimited service life, built-in Wi-Fi and data routing, unmatched communications security and superior voice quality.

Sales, design and installation work for the Flying Colours Challenger 850 project is the responsibility of Mississauga, Ontario-based MC2, which has had a long and successful relationship with Flying Colours performing avionics updates, redesign and installation for cabin avionics/business communication systems. In addition, MC2 has been actively promoting True North’s products since 2009, when it completed the first certified installation of its Simphone¯ OpenCabin system in Canada. “TrueNorth technology is not only user-focused but also has proven itself from the standpoint of installation, integration ease and basically working as promised from day one. We have had great success with them and promote their products with confidence to our clients like Flying Colours,” stated Bill Arsenault, VP of MC2.

With facilities in Canada and St. Louis, MO, Flying Colours serves customers in North & South America, Europe, Russia, the Middle East and India, offering green completions, aircraft refurbishment and modification, executive conversions and maintenance, among other services.

“Meeting the needs of the discriminating operators who work with Flying Colours, Simphone¯ OpenCabin solves the problems of substandard voice and data management that plague many hardware-centric airborne phone systems,” said Mark van Berkel, TrueNorth’s president.