March 30, 2011 — An insight into the future of flying – from the ‘wow’ factor to the practical and energy saving – will be on show next week during the world’s largest dedicated cabin interiors exhibition. Aircraft Interiors Expo takes place from 5 to 7 April at the Hamburg Messe in Germany and visitors are already anticipating seeing some ground-breaking new concepts in everything from seat design to inflight entertainment.

A futuristic seat concept, called Not For Wimps (NFW), has been created to give passengers an intense and stimulating in-flight gaming experience. Seat manufacturer Contour Aerospace teamed up with Factorydesign to produce this prototype, which is both technologically advanced but also reflects social changes in the way passengers want to spend their time during a flight. The design is currently at the concept stage but has been produced to prompt debate within the industry, according to Contour Aerospace.

Other concepts on show will include the Super Diamond luxury seating concept from B/E Aerospace and, for the economy cabin, the company’s Pinnacle seat with an integrated iPad on the back.

Designs to refurbish existing aircraft fleets will also be in evidence. Heath Tecna will be unveiling an interior upgrade system to retrofit existing Boeing B737s and B757s. This new look, on show for the first time anywhere, features contemporary styling, increased baggage capacity, improved bin loading, ease of access to seats and LED lighting.

Other innovative new products being demonstrated include a drinks trolley that could revolutionise the way beverages are served on board aeroplanes. The Sky-Tender has been developed by SkyMax and Air-Eltec Luftfahrtelektrik and can produce up to 30 different drinks including tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine and beer – at the touch of a button. The system has excellent green credentials because it will significantly reduce the amount of bottles and cans that are traditionally needed for each drinks service. Less waste means a saving on weight and also frees up storage space on board. It also means a speedier service – drinks are delivered quickly by the automated system – and airline staff no longer need to rummage around in trays looking for a passenger’s preference.

Don’t Forget: Aircraft Interiors Expo – Hamburg, Germany, April 5 – 7

We thought our readers might want a peek into some new IFE products at next week’s AIX, so we contacted a few friends and sponsors and asked -What’s new? Here are a few of the responses we got back:

1.Company Name: The IMS Company
2. Booth Number: 6B10
3. Product Lines: AVOD System, Portable Media Players, Wireless Data and Content Delivery System
4. Show Highlights: Certified InFlight Entertainment – RAVE is the latest innovation in Audio/Video On Demand, offering a simple system architecture and providing the highest reliability of any in-seat design. RAVE – We currently have five customer programs, of which two were recently announced for Air Berlin and SriLankan Airlines. More announcement are scheduled for release before and during the show. Portables – EDGE is the hottest portable media player on the market, featuring various size displays, sleek new designs and a 24-hour battery. Content and Data Services – Our 4th-generation Terminal Data Loader provides the latest technology for fast loading of digital IFE content and automatic bi-directional distribution of critical data.
5. Contact Information: Harry Gray, V.P. Sales & Marketing; +1(714) 854-8633;

1.Company Name: Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems
2. Booth Number: 6D30
3. Product Line(s): In-flight Entertainment Products
4. Description of AIX Show Highlights:
Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), the world leader of in-seat power systems, continues to experience increasing demand for its EmPower® products as more and more passengers carry onboard a multitude of powered devices. The continued growth and installations of Wi-Fi on aircraft has increased the demand even more. Most airlines installing new data services on their aircraft are also installing in-seat power and in most cases, in all classes of service. In support of this demand, Astronics has responded with their latest industry leading EmPower® in-seat power system which produces up to an industry leading 200VA for each passenger. This cutting edge system also includes a Universal Serial Bus (USB) power output for passenger devices such as smart phones, iPods, cameras, and other standard +5 Volt DC devices. This is all accomplished in a smaller form factor than previous generations of the industry leading EmPower® product line.
Astronics’ AES patented power management and control technologies are key to the success of providing passengers with PED power, IFE, and connectivity solutions scalable on any aircraft platform. Stop by booth 6D30 to view the full line of in-seat power and intelligent power solution products on display.
5. Contact Information for Appointments: LeAnn Hurst, (425) 702-4943 or

1. Company Name: Goodrich
Website: Goodrich Interiors
2. Booth Number: 6G84
3. Product Line(s): Head End Video and Audio File Servers
4. Description of AIX Show Highlights: None Provided
5. Contact Information for Appointments:

1. Company Name: THALES
2. Booth Number: 6B20
3. Product Line(s): Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Systems and Services
4. Description of AIX Show Highlights: Thales will unveil its next generation TopSeries System architecture, feature product installations in B/E, Weber, Recaro, and Contour seats, introduce a new App store for the award winning Touch Passenger Control Unit, and show the latest in connectivity solutions.
5. Contact Information for Appointments:

1. Company Name: VT Miltope
2. Booth Number: 6G35
3. Product Line(s): Aviation network products
4. Description of AIX Show Highlights: Miltope’s family of network products offer the required functionality necessary to create custom airborne networks similar to how office networks are created. Designed to be readily expanded, they may be configured to define a network that optimizes the combination of interfaces and computing resources to meet the operational, spatial, and functional requirements of simple to complex airborne networks at a minimum cost. Products include servers, Ethernet switches and routers, 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless access points, TWLU wireless bridging from an aircraft LAN to a ground LAN, ARINC 744 network printers and ARINC740 cockpit printer, cabin control panels, and data storage devices.
5. Contact Information for Appointments: Markus Gilges Tel: +44 7793 758755, Email:

1. Company Name: digEcor, Inc.
2. Booth Number: #6B1
3. Product Line(s): digEplayer L Series, digEplayer XT, handheld and overhead content, ancillary revenue services
4. Description of AIX Show Highlights: We will be showing the digEplayer L7, which has launched on seven airlines since it’s release last summer, and available support equipment, to include the streamlined, plug-n-play content update station. We will also be showcasing, for the first time, a completely redesigned and modernized user interface that takes advantage of the sensitive touch screen available on the L7.
5. Contact Information for Appointments: Adam Williams,, 1-801-489-2031

1. Company Name: Carlisle Interconnect Technologies
2. Booth Number: 6B40
3. Product Line(s): Carlisle Interconnect Technologies is one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of high-performance cable including fiber; RF/Microwave, specialty and filtered connectors; cable assemblies; complex harnesses; integrated installation kits and ARINC trays; racks and shelf assemblies, and offers engineering and certification services with DER, DAR, and DMIR personnel on staff.
4. Description of AIX Show Highlights: Carlisle Interconnect Technologies is proud to introduce our LITEflight™ Optical HD (high density) cable and assembly solution to support the next generation of bandwidth hungry applications. Visit our booth to see the a demo of how capable CarlisleIT’s fiber is handling in some of the most extreme routing and clamping tests from a company that terminates more fiber optic cable than anyone else in the world.
5. Contact Information for Appointments: Kris Samuelson 011 253 318 0768

1. Company Name: Lumexis
2. Booth Number: 6H40
3. Product Line(s): Fiber Optic IFE System
4. Description of AIX Show Highlights: Lumexis is introducing its new line of HD “sleek-look” seatback monitors for its Fiber to the Screen® IFE system. The family consists of 8.9”, 12.1”, and 15.4” LCDs that are all without bezel and flush with the seatback installation. All the sleek line monitors are LED-backlit, 16:9 format with true 720P HD at each seat simultaneously with Projected Capacitive touchscreens. The new monitors are available with an interface panel on the bottom with audio headset jack, USB port, credit card swipe and PSS buttons (for widebody aircraft), or the interfaces can be mounted separately per the airlines choice of location.
5. Contact Information for Appointments: Don Sathern or cell: 949 861 0733

1. Company Name: Panasonic Avionics
2. Booth Number: 6F15
3. Product Line(s): In-Flight Entertainment and Communications Solutions and Maintenance Services
4. Description of AIX Show Highlights: Panasonic Avionics is set to unveil its 10th generation IFEC solution at AIX. The company will also unveil its latest solutions that offer native amazing passenger experience, a lower total cost of ownership, broadband connectivity, a true business platform, open platform architectures, uncompromising industrial design, and an advanced media strategy.
5. Contact Information for Appointments: Please stop by the Panasonic Avionics booth to arrange for a booth tour.

PlaneBill, the Android App developer, will be in the Triagnosys Booth and Massimo sent along his brochure on Mobile Applications for Passengers. Yes that’s right, we expect to see passenger apps on IFE in the very near future.

Public Service Announcement: For our Wi-Fi equipped friends and show-goers, there is a free Internet zone on the exhibition floor and it is located in Hall B7 Stand A10.

Mark April 5 – 7, 2011 on your calendar and plan to be in Hamburg for Europe’s big Aircraft Interiors bash two weeks from today! You can get the full story here ( We asked for a couple IFE news teasers from the AIX folks to give you a very small peek into what awaits in Hamburg:

Intelligent Avionics
New IFE supplier Intelligent Avionics is making its Aircraft Interiors Expo debut and will be launching its production ready, seat-integrated AURA system, in an economy class configuration. The company says AURA is an integrated, multi-touch, gesture controlled entertainment and communication system, suitable for all cabin classes, and it is more than 2000 pounds lighter than other comparable audio-video on demand (AVOD) systems.

 IFE Services
Demonstrating the PlayStation Portable (PSP) as a handheld entertainment system at the exhibition, IFE Services is working in conjunction with Sony Computer Entertainment America. The company says there are currently seven airlines offering the PSP device to passengers either for renting during the flight or on a complimentary basis as part of the business class experience. 

Vision Systems
The VisiTouch system will be demonstrating their revolutionary seat display at AIX. Integrated into a setbacks, the company says their AVOD system is easy to install and maintain thanks to the design of the mounting plate, which installs onto the seat. Customization options include different colors for the screen frames so airlines can color coordinate with their livery. Further, passengers can adjust the tilt of the screen for optimum viewing Each screen has an embedded memory module that links to a central VisiBox. The designed to avoid data network bottlenecks during flights.”

About the location: Hamburg is one of the world’s most important locations for the civil aviation industry. Three key players, Airbus Deutschland, Lufthansa Technik and Hamburg Airport, along with more than 300 small and medium-sized enterprises, employing over 39,000 people between them, as well as, a variety of scientific and technological institutions… all contribute their know-how and expertise. The Hamburg Metropolitan Region is widely considered to be an international center of expertise in aircraft cabins and cabin systems. The city is also home to the annual Crystal Cabin Award, the prize for innovation in the field of aircraft cabins. Aircraft Interiors Expo, which is organized in co-operation with the Hamburg Messe & Congress (HMC), is being held for the tenth consecutive year at Hamburg’s premier events venue.

As we continue our documentation of the flydubai/Lumexis IFE system installation, we turn our attention to the the system operation. You might wonder about the necessity of entertainment on a single-aisle airplane but you must remember, these planes will be in the air for 5 1/2 hours on some legs and travel from Dubai to the Ukraine and Russia.

One of the most interesting parts of reporting on IFE systems is the lack of accessibility to the plane because installation crews don’t need any more bodies in the passenger cabin and quite often, sidewall panels and ports are not available for photography. We got lucky on this one and the whole team granted us access for photos and explanation in the middle of their 3 day install process. As we noted last issue, the flydubai/Lumexis/ATS team gave IFExpress a carte blanche reporting pass and we want our readers to get the same experience. In this installment, we will tour the plane and the hardware installation from a couple perspectives.

Firstly, we want to introduce the Lumexis components. Here is an image of the major, box hardware, less the setback displays and sidewall 28 Volt Power Units. The B737-800 has 191 seatback displays on each airplane with a couple used at purser stations as flight attendant panels. Interestingly, the system control units use the same hardware as the seatback units but differ only in application software and GUI.

The next view you might be interested in is more hardware oriented and was sent to us by Lumexis to better orient the reader to a hardware system view. We also thought it might help to show a rough layout of the components with photos of the installed hardware (or in the process of being installed), so we built a rough graphic to do just that. Be sure to click on the hyperlinks to reveal the pictures of the install process.

To envision the system operation in words let’s roughly follow the bit trail: Digital content is stored on solid state drives in the two Server Switch Units – the plane only needs one server to supply 191, B737-800 seat Video Display Units; however, the other is there for redundancy and increases the reliability of passenger satisfaction given a cable failure along the way, but more on that later. Each server sends out 12 fiber lines of information (remember, there are 2 servers), and each line is connected to a total of 24 seats, that is, daisy-chained from one to another. If you want to look at it another way, each Video Display Unit has a “fiber in” and “fiber out”. We weren’t allowed to say much more but by using the other server, redundant operation will keep everything running if there is a glitch in the network connections.

Being on a very large network, each seat system (VDU) has an address (our words, not Lumexis) and content data (movies, audio, etc.) is sent out to each seat via the “switch” inside the server and sent directly through a fiber optic cable line to each seatback unit. It should be noted that all hardware boxes in the cabin (except the power units) are on the data network – seat back units, data loaders, and purser station displays. This is great for system level tests and failure reporting. We should also mention that the seatback unit’s power (17 watts per VDU) and fiber connections are made via cabling in the seat rails (tracks) and continues into the sidewalls to the power units or up to the fiber optic cabling that ends up back at the server.

And speaking of seats, the Recaro seats are shipped to the ATS facility with the VDU ‘s installed in the seatbacks. The screens sit a bit lower and thus it is easier for passengers to interface with the credit card reader and the USB port – presently used for PED charging. The LCD display then tilts for user angle adjustment so the positioning on the seatback is about perfect. Rumors are that Recaro has found the Lumexis VDU easiest to install, which says a lot for the first full-up, fiber optic IFE system.

Presently, the spares provisioning does not entail much, if any, IFE spread out to dispersed bases. The flydubai rep told us, “We have had enough experience with the 6 aircraft flying that the system is working with almost perfect reliability and that confidence carries over to the spares planning.”

You might ask, what’s next for the growing Irvine company, and the answer is: Lumexis is not talking. We suspect a couple of new customers are on the docket and were told to watch AIX in Hamburg. Stay Tuned!

Another related story coming out of Irvine, California’s, Lumexis, is the recent hiring of Astronics alumnus, Eddie Hseih, as their new VP Engineering. “Eddie brings us a wealth of engineering talent to manage and grow our engineering organization”, noted a Lumexis spokesperson. IFExpress was told he will free up Rich Salter (CTO) to concentrate on future technologies and systems. You may contact Eddie via email at:

February 9, 2011 — Passenger demand is growing once again and passenger expectation levels also appear to be increasing. Both these factors have an impact on an airline’s cabin interior. The world’s largest event that encapsulates everything that is happening within the cabin environment, Aircraft Interiors Expo, is taking place at the Hamburg Messe in Germany, from 5 – 7 April.

Increased expectations of what the cabin interior should provide cover everything from more comfort and convenience to inflight entertainment. Picking up on the theme of comfort, one of the major product focus areas of Aircraft Interiors Expo is new seat designs. With business travellers starting to return to business class in healthier numbers it is anticipated that new business class designs will be on show at the event as airlines look around for innovative ideas to enable their growth plans in this area.

New designs for the economy cabin space will also be shown. Italian seat manufacturer Aviointeriors is using the exhibition as the launch platform for its UltraLight Plus economy, short range seating system. The system has been specifically designed and engineered for 28” pitch installations and is made up of a mixture of aluminium and composite panels allowing for increased passenger comfort and a larger living space at 28” pitch.

Inflight entertainment and connectivity is still a buzzing sector with today’s passengers hoping for IFEC systems on even relatively short flights. Aircraft Interiors Expo devotes a whole zone to this subject. Recent trends here include providers increasingly working in conjunction with seat designers and manufacturers to produce more integrated and lightweight products. New IFE supplier Intelligent Avionics is making its Aircraft Interiors Expo debut and will be launching its production ready, seat-integrated AURA system, in an economy class configuration. The company says AURA is an integrated, multi-touch, gesture controlled entertainment and communication system, suitable for all cabin classes, that is more than one tonne lighter than other comparable audio-video on demand (AVOD) systems.

Meanwhile French IFE supplier Vision Systems’ will be promoting its new VisiTouch system. Integrated into a seatback, this AVOD system claims to be easy to install and maintain thanks to the design of the plate which fixes it on the seat. Customisation options include different colours for the screen frames so airlines can choose what suits their onboard livery best, while passengers can adjust the tilt of the screen to the optimum viewing position for them. Each screen has an embedded memory module, which links to a central VisiBox unit, and is designed to avoid data network bottlenecks during flights.

Demonstrating the PlayStation Portable (PSP) as a handheld entertainment system at the exhibition, IFE Services is working in conjunction with Sony Computer Entertainment America. The company says there are currently seven airlines offering the PSP device to passengers either for renting during the flight or on a complimentary basis as part of the business class experience.

Katie Murphy, Exhibition Director of Aircraft Interiors Expo, says: “Time and again this exhibition has acted as the launch pad for many cabin interior programmes and innovative new products. We expect this year to be no different with our exhibitors displaying the designs of tomorrow to the world’s airline buyers. The beauty of the event is that we incorporate the breadth of products that cover the whole cabin experience.”