It’s a neck-and-neck race for the industry’s big names in the 2017 final of the Crystal Cabin Awards. The award ceremony is on 4 April in Hamburg.

Hamburg | March 7, 2017– 21 products and ideas are in the finals of the 2017 Crystal Cabin Awards, the world’s most renowned prize for innovation in aircraft interiors. From a parking guidance system for cabin baggage to a lavatory mirror that displays on-board video and information as if by magic, the finalists’ submissions include innovative ideas for pretty much every aspect of the cabin – revealing today how we will be flying in the world of tomorrow. In the field of “Cabin Concepts” in particular, the giants are lining up for a showdown: Bombardier, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are all hoping for a trophy in the same category. With 85 shortlist entrants from 21 nations, the 2017 Crystal Cabin Awards have been more popular and more international than ever before in their 11 years of history. The seven winners of the coveted Crystal Cabin Award trophies will be announced on the first evening of the Aircraft Interiors Expo (4 – 6 April, 2017) in Hamburg, Germany.

The final in the “Cabin Concepts” category this year might be more exciting than ever before: three international “heavyweights” are going head-to-head. Two of them are leading American airlines: Delta Air Lines is offering business class passengers enclosed cabin areas with privacy partitions in its “Delta One Suite” – a luxury which was until now reserved for first class passengers. The concept is initially being implemented in Delta’s A350s. The business passenger concept from United Airlines, “Polaris”, also promises a maximum of freedom. After enjoying the exclusive Polaris Lounge with dinner service and relaxation rooms, passengers experience a new cabin configuration with all-aisle access seats in a density neutral layout, not compromising space or comfort. Also in contention for the best cabin concept is Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier with the cabin for its C Series, the first completely new short and medium-haul airliner for 30 years.

Another completely new innovation in the market this year is the “K-Reflexion Mirror” from Krüger Aviation. This finalist in the “Material & Components” category is the first plastic mirror which, thanks to its semi-transparent structure, can display safety announcements, product information and tips for the destination – in the on-board lavatory. Studio Moderna Bologna concentrates its efforts primarily on long-haul aviation seating, and its innovative, elastic material units for the aircraft seat provide a solution for the optimal distribution of body weight – almost like cushioned on clouds, above the clouds. Flexibility is the order of the day for Diehl Aircabin, and the company is tackling the typical monotonous wall surfaces in the aircraft cabin: with the help of its direct printing method, individual colours and patterns can enliven the cabin wall without the troublesome effort of removing panels.

The innovations in the “Cabin Systems” category are more in the background, but no less relevant. The “Watchdog” from Airbus addresses a problem that at first sounds absurd but in fact generates enormous costs for the aviation industry every year: accidental activation of the emergency escape chutes on the ground when crew members open the aircraft doors. The Watchdog sensor warns whenever there is a movement near the door handle, which will enable it to reduce this expensive and dangerous source of error. Zodiac Aerospace has also come up with a sensor, but in an entirely different field: the first cabin baggage management system for overhead compartments. Similar to the green arrows in multi-storey car parks, lights above the overhead baggage lockers indicate free space for cabin baggage. The concept also includes larger space for cases, so that the finalist promises a reduction in “cabin baggage anxiety”. Diehl Aerospace, together with the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, combines data and electricity cables with their newly developed “Power Line Communication”. This “free-loading” of data flows using existing power cabling on board results in an immense saving of materials and thereby weight.

Efficiency and sustainability are, as would be expected, also at the forefront in the “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment” category. Amongst the finalists is “GermFalcon” from the US-based company of the same name. This cleaning device for cabins uses ultraviolet C light, which removes bacteria and viruses from seats and other surfaces without the use of chemical agents. The “Revolution Toilet” from Zodiac Aerospace also aims to fight bacteria. Not only does it consist of recycled composite fibre materials and save water, it is also merciless with germs on the toilet edge thanks to special vents. Airbus successfully pushed the ReTrolley all the way into the finals, a rubbish collection trolley allowing the crew to sort and compress waste while they pass through the cabin.

Bombardier is present at the Crystal Cabin Awards for the first time this year and already has a double entry in the finals. In the “Passenger Comfort Hardware” category, the Canadians present their concept of barrier-free toilets for their CRJ range of aircraft. They are facing off with Airbus, whose “Smart Cabin Reconfiguration” solution for moving aircraft seats on rails has also made it to the final. Past years have already seen ideas for efficient reconfiguration of seating depending on load. The Airbus approach now promises particularly minimal effort in both the initial installation and, most importantly, crew operation, so that the rail system may be operated without any prior mechanical knowledge. An idea creating a benefit with minimal effort for the crew is what brought Diehl Comfort Modules into the finals, too: the company’s bar module can be integrated into the gallery in just a few simple steps, magically transforming the grey and boring kitchenette into a bar or a duty-free sales counter within seconds.

Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity stays a major field of growth: More and more airlines are installing wireless connectivity solutions for passengers. The “Electronic Systems” category has two finalists which showcase this development: Lufthansa Technik’s “niceview mobile” product is offering passengers a way to follow their journey with interactive maps on their personal mobile devices. Global Eagle Entertainment has submitted a complete entertainment portal, allowing passengers to surf the internet, watch films and read magazines on their smartphones. Airbus apparently found the right frequency in communicating to the Award’s 29 international jury members this year, making it to the finals in this category also (and thus being a finalist in four categories in total) with radio-based wireless communication (WAIC – Wireless Avionics Intra-Communications). Smoke detectors, lighting and temperature regulation can be controlled with a patented radio frequency – no cables are required and it is easy for the airlines to install.

It’s back again in 2017 with creative student concepts: the “University” category. Repeating its success from last year, the Delft University of Technology has more than one idea in the final: “myseat” is the equivalent of a parking guidance system for passengers, accompanying them all the way from check-in to their seat using Bluetooth technology. The idea is to achieve a structured boarding process. Meanwhile, “The Revitalisation System” turns the cabin seating upholstery into a game controller, with body movements whilst sitting controlling the on-board entertainment system. Lengthy periods in the seat become a workout. Finalist Hamburg University of Applied Sciences has given thought to the other end of the spectrum: Independent travel for wheelchair users faces many hurdles – especially when it comes to using the on-board toilet. Thanks to its specially designed seat, the “Smart Onboard Wheelchair” from can be rolled directly over the toilet.

The seven winners of the Crystal Cabin Award 2017 will be announced during the Aircraft Interiors Expo trade fair at a gala event to be held on the evening of 4 April at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg. First, all of the finalists have to personally answer the critical and probing questions of the 29 international experts on the judging panel – airline representatives, professors, aircraft manufacturer representatives, and journalists – and present their projects in an “elevator pitch”.

Recently shortlisted finalist for the Crystal Cabin Awards and operative since the 16th of January in its first long haul flights, Immfly, branded as XL Cloud, has already welcomed more than 30.000 new users flying onboard XL’s A-330 fleet

Barcelona, Spain | February 13, 2017– “Connect to XL CLoud and Kiss Boredom Goodbye” – that’s how the new XL entertainment platform is introduced to its passengers. Since beginnings of 2017, Paris-based XL Airways is upgrading the inflight experience with Immfly’s wireless platform, available on routes to the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and the US. Passengers that fly with XL Cloud can access the platform using their personal electronic devices via the app – available to download for free prior to the flight – or web. Once in the platform, they can browse through a large selection of movies, TV Shows, newsfeeds, magazines, kids channels and travel guides, among others. The frequently renewed catalogue, which is available in English and French, includes free content and a Premium offer, available for 9.95€ per flight, or for 15€ when renting an ipad Mini onboard provided by a third company.

XL Airways is the first airline to launch Immfly’s entertainment digital solution on long haul flights.“The platform’ scalability played a major role in the decision process, it’s the power of the Cloud”, says Vincent Tomasoni, XL’s Product Marketing Manager. “Offering XL Cloud marks the completion of a major project destined to improve customer experience through breakthrough technologies. We chose Immfly’s pioneering solution as a key player to help us make this possible and reach the milestone of becoming the First French airline to offer streaming entertainment”.

Pablo Linz, cofounder of the Spanish based company, Immfly, stated that “Making our product ready for long- distance aircraft has encouraged a significant growth opportunity for our product. We are now exposed to a higher volume of passengers who have an average of 10 hours to enjoy our content, and as part of our ambition to continuously improve the passenger experience, we have developed new product features such as a games channel and an onboard chat. Certainly, the user metrics collected until now reaffirm the success of the project”.

Immfly, which will be exhibiting at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg and attending the Crystal Cabin Awards Ceremony, continues to get closer to its objective of becoming the travel industry’s favourite on-board monetization partner, reaching 100 million connected passengers by 2018.

 

This week, IFExpress has a lot of new product/services probably announced as Aircraft Interiors, Hamburg, 4 – 6 April, 2017 approaches. This ‘Big Deal IFEC’ show is the culmination of Passenger Experience Week in Hamburg 3 – 6 April. We will have more on the expo later but let’s return to the topics of this weeks IFExpress:


INMARSAT
Inmarsat has announced a key infrastructure milestone for its European Aviation Network (EAN), following the successful test and validation of the EAN Satellite Access Station (SAS). As the first solution in the world to integrate connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and a LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom, EAN will provide a true in-flight broadband experience for millions of airlines passengers traveling throughout Europe. The SAS is located in the Greek town of Nemea and operated under an agreement with OTE, the largest telecommunications provider in Greece and member of the Deutsche Telekom Group. Engineers undertook rigorous performance and stability tests to verify the SAS’s capabilities to serve as a reliable and robust gateway between Inmarsat’s S-band satellite and the internet. The SAS consists of a 13-meter antenna that provides feeder links to the satellite, a radio frequency sub-system and a radio access network provided by Inmarsat partner Cobham SATCOM. And if you want to see a video that does a good job of explaining the program, check out the video on  youTube


IFPL
Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest power solutions at AIX 2017 in Hamburg. With new consumer devices adopting USB-C as standard, IFPL has actively engaged its customers on how this technology can be applied to IFEC and how to transition from USB-A. Along with its baseline USB-C outlet, IFPL is currently developing a range of USB–C 3.1 peripherals and solutions. Visitors to stand 2C10, we are told, can see their USB-C outlet and discuss industry adoption of this technology.

In previous shows IFPL demonstrated their high power and data USB-A 2.0 and we covered it IFExpress. These are now in-service along with IFPL’s clever reversible option. Recently, IFPL has worked closely with GORE to develop the new USB-A 3.0 module, that combined IFPL USB 3.0 with GORE Aerospace USB 3.0 cables and provides the ideal solution for delivering high power (2A, 5V DC) and data transfer (up to 5Gbps) as per USB 3.0 requirements. This gives passengers the ability to maximize the benefits of both charging their Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) and interfacing with the Inflight Entertainment (IFE) system.

IFPL has also enhanced the capability of its existing 1225 unit, the 110V AC Universal Remote Power Outlet, with the addition of a high power USB-A socket and will be demonstrating the new 2011 unit on the stand. In addition, IFPL has been working with key industry partners to develop a new range of power solutions that focus on ensure ergonomic and aesthetic seat integration. The combined approach delivered a system that maximizes the use of the physical space of the seat and seamlessly design the USB outlet into the actual seat arm. The result is an attractive installation of a fully integrated system that has no impact on passenger legroom. As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that visitors to AIX 2017 may have.

Editor’s Note: IFPL is based on the Isle of Wight, just off the South Coast of England. Founded 20 years ago by CEO Geoff Underwood, IFPL today enjoys one of the largest portfolio of proven IFEC products and services in its sector.


SITAONAIR
Airline passengers flying to and from the Ivory Coast can now expect a connected experience, as national airline, Air Cote d’Ivoire (VRE), signs up for inflight passenger connectivity services from world-leading provider SITAONAIR. The new deal will deliver connectivity solutions to VRE’s brand new A320s, in the form of SITAONAIR’s Internet ONAIR and Mobile ONAIR products. With Internet ONAIR onboard, airlines can offer passengers seamless inflight internet access, connecting their personal devices by opening a browser – just as they would with a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Airlines can use Internet ONAIR to personalize their passenger relationships by developing a portal that can offer an interactive and engaging experience for the passenger. It also offers opportunities for airlines to grow their ancillary revenues. Mobile ONAIR, meanwhile, offers passengers an airborne mobile phone service that enables them to make phone calls, send texts and use their mobile phone data inflight, through an extensive number of roaming partners in Africa and across the world. In June 2017, SITAONAIR’s teams will begin activating Internet ONAIR and Mobile ONAIR on five new Air Côte d’Ivoire A320s equipped with Airbus’ Airline Network Architecture (ALNA) server platform. The services will make use of SwiftBroadband, an IP-based data service from Inmarsat that SITAONAIR, as distributor, will operate as service provider.


AirSatOne
Aviation Satcom provider, AirSatOne, announces lower rates for its SwiftBroadband connectivity. Taking care of customers is a top priority at AirSatOne and one reason why the company maintains a 99% customer retention rate. So when Inmarsat, the leader in global satellite communications, lowered its prices AirSatOne was quick to pass the savings on to its customers. Customers using AirSatOne as their service provider have access to its custom global network for the same price as the generic network used by the competition. AirSatOne’s custom network includes worldwide teleports and IP PoP (Internet Point of Presence) with advanced network security and our globally deployed Flightstream SA which provides web filtering, compression, consumption tracking and firewall customized for mobile communications.


AIRBUS
When Lufthansa’s new long-haul Airbus A350-900 enters service this coming Friday, passengers will experience a cabin lighting concept tailored to the human biorhythm for the first time – 24 different lighting scenarios on board ensure that passengers reach their destination well-rested and with less jetlag than is typical for a long-haul flight. The scientific concept for the new lighting technique originates with the “jetlite” startup, anchored in the aviation cluster, and was brought to market-readiness assisted by the six-month Airbus BizLab accelerator program.


PANASONIC AVIONICS
Effective immediately, Hideo Nakano will serve as CEO of Panasonic Avionics, succeeding Paul Margis, who has left the company. Mr. Nakano is an avionics industry veteran and was most recently the Deputy CEO of Panasonic Avionics. His previous experience at Panasonic includes serving as CFO of Panasonic’s Automotive & Industrial Systems Company, the largest of Panasonic Corp.’s four internal companies, as well as CFO of Panasonic Corporation of North America. Panasonic Avionics has also appointed Mark Jennings to serve in the new position of Chief Operating Officer. In this role, Mr. Jennings will be responsible for duties related to operations, engineering, sales and marketing. Mr. Jennings joined Panasonic Avionics in 1998 as Regional Director based in Dubai and most recently served as Vice President of Operations. Additionally, Seigo Tada has been named Chief Financial Officer of PAC. He succeeds Paul Bottiaux, who has left the company. Mr. Tada will maintain his position as VP of Finance and Controller of Panasonic Corporation of North America. Mr. Tada joined Panasonic in 1985 and has held roles of increasing responsibility within the finance function throughout his time with the company, including ten years in the United States. You can read more here.


LUFTHANSA TECHNIC
LT just completed Ka Band connectivity on it’s first VIP A330 and installing similar technology on some 32 Lufthansa A320 planes PER MONTH!


GLOBAL CONNECTED AIRCRAFT SUMMIT
Here is the agenda. The summit happens Wednesday, June 7, through Friday, June 9. this year.


MORE

  • The submissions phase for the 11th Crystal Cabin Award begins today. The industry award will have an extended jury for 2017.

Hamburg, Germany | October 10, 2016– For the eleventh time already, the Crystal Cabin Award Association is searching for the most innovative ideas in the aircraft interiors market. Submissions for the Crystal Cabin Award 2017 may be lodged until 4 November at www.crystal-cabin-award.com. The winners will be crowned, as always, as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo (4 – 6 April, 2017) in Hamburg. The prize, created and presented in Hamburg, has become the most highly regarded honour in the industry. Last year, the award was more successful than ever before, with 78 submissions making the shortlist. The winners for 2016 include cabin innovations and on-board products from major players like B/E Aerospace and Boeing but also from newcomers such as the British aircraft seat startup, Rebel.Aero. There will be an addition to the Judging Panel for next year, when the specialist journalist Mary Kirby joins as a new member. She is the editor of the online magazine “Runway Girl Network”. Next year’s prize will once again be sponsored by well-known companies.

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, summarised the growing importance of the industry prize at the 10th anniversary awards dinner for the Crystal Cabin Award in April 2016: “The Crystal Cabin Award is kind of a culmination of what defines the industry. It needed focus, it needed to bring all the entities together to a cohesive group where there would be a lot of cross- fertilisation of ideas. And when they started it ten years ago it was an interesting development, something that nobody else had done before. They made it to what it is today and we’ll go on for the next few years I hope.”

An overview of the 8 Crystal Cabin Award categories:

Cabin Concepts
This category is provided for full cabin concepts that are already existent or at a market-ready stage. The Cabin Concepts category is tailored for airlines as well as manufacturers and design companies.

Cabin Systems
The Cabin Systems category comprises all innovative products that will bring airlines a major benefit in operations and efficiency. Such products could include galleys, lavatories, trolleys, air conditioning systems and seat concepts, with a focus on operating efficiency (e.g. lightweight structures, easy installation, better use of cabin space etc.)

Electronic Systems
The Electronic Systems category caters for the fastest growing product range in the aviation industry and includes inflight entertainment as well as on-board connectivity and communications solutions.

Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment
This category combines different classes of innovations. An entry for this category must either reduce negative effects on the environment, or minimize health & safety hazards and security problems for passengers, staff, or live cargo.

Material & Components
In this category, the CCA jury is looking for new materials or new material applications for cabin systems that cut production costs and maximize usability.

Passenger Comfort Hardware
Entries to this category must improve passenger comfort within the cabin, either for all passengers or for specific groups of passengers. The category includes all hardware directly noticeable for the passenger, including seats and seat-related products such as tray tables, partitions, lavatories, premium class and VIP products.

University
This category provides room for college and university students to present their visions for innovative products and concepts for aircraft interiors.

Visionary Concepts
Visionary Concepts can give us an impression of aircraft cabins of tomorrow, through technical concepts, ergonomic ideas, and aesthetic design. The category relates to engineering concepts and design studies that have not yet been implemented.

A detailed explanation of all categories as well as the Entry Form for the Crystal Cabin Award is available online from the official website, completely redesigned for the jubilee year: www.crystal-cabin-award.com. Submissions may be lodged until 4 November.

Products in the area of in-flight entertainment (IFE), in particular, are receiving more and more attention in the cabin industry. This includes innovations for the passenger screens but also, and most importantly, in terms of connectivity in the air. The space dedicated by the Aircraft Interiors Expo to the subject of IFEC keeps on growing. Now the Crystal Cabin Award expert Judging Panel is also growing in this respect. The specialist American journalist Mary Kirby (www.runwaygirlnetwork.com) is now joining the team. In 2016, Kirby hosted the Crystal Cabin Award Gala for the second time.

Global attention for the Crystal Cabin Award

The eyes of the world were on the Crystal Cabin Award especially in 2016 as it celebrated its 10th anniversary. To date, more than 600 online publications in 50 nations have reported on the awards ceremony in April. Being chosen by the 25 expert members of the Judging Panel to be amongst the three finalists in each category means having the opportunity to present the concept to leading figures of the industry in person at the Final Viewing. A victory at the Crystal Cabin Award, presented each year at a gala dinner as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, is recongised as a clear and unmistakeable accolade from the international trade community. The appeal here is not limited to newcomers in the annual University category. The victors in 2016 included Boeing, with a self-cleaning aircraft toilet; flexible folding Economy Class seats from Rebel.Aero; and the “Lifestyle Cabin” from Zodiac Aerospaces, which breaks out of the conventional cabin categories. An overview of the 2016 winners can be found at www.crystal-cabin-award.com.

A detailed explanation of all categories and the Entry Form for the Crystal Cabin Award is available online from the official website: www.crystal-cabin-award.com. Submissions may be lodged until 4 November.

  • At the world’s leading industry show, the Aircraft Interiors Expo, the trends in international aviation will once again be presented in Hamburg from 5 – 7 April.

Hamburg | March 30, 2016– Touchscreen monitors in television format – even for economy passengers. Lighting concepts that minimise jetlag and can project complex imagery on the cabin ceiling. Armrests for business class where simply putting your smartphone down is enough for it to automatically be recharged. And an app that allows you to follow the progress of your flight on your own mobile device. Aircraft Interiors Expo, the cabin industry trade fair in Hamburg (5 – 7 April), is a fixed date that the world’s major airlines cannot afford to miss. And not just them, either: The event defines international trends for the entire civil aviation sector, from economy class all the way up to private jets. As part of the trade fair, the “Oscars” of the aircraft cabin industry are also presented – the Crystal Cabin Award, launched by Hamburg Aviation and celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.

The Aircraft Interiors Expo is being held at Hamburg’s Messehallen Trade Fair for the 15th time this year. Over the years, it has become established as a major event in the city’s trade fair calendar, and it is growing year by year. This year will see more than 530 exhibitors from some 30 nations presenting to over 10,000 visitors from the industry – with an exhibition space equivalent to almost 130 tennis courts. Three of the seven exhibition halls are dedicated to the field with the strongest growth: on-board entertainment and connectivity. Once again, the affiliated World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo is being held in parallel at the Trade Fair site. The exhibition week begins on Monday, 4 April when high-ranking figures from the industry gather at Congress Center Hamburg (CCH) for presentations and discussions in the Passenger Experience Conference.

Hamburg the world’s largest competency center for aircraft cabins

Many of the exhibitors at Aircraft Interiors Expo are already based in Hamburg. The metropolitan region is the world’s largest competency center in the field of aircraft cabins, one of the aviation industries most important growth areas. The global cabin research operations of Hamburg’s biggest employer, Airbus, are located at the company’s site in Finkenwerder, Hamburg, and the manufacturer is one of the largest exhibitors at the trade fair. Just recently, the company presented its “Airspace by Airbus” long-haul cabin concept, focussed on a combination of design and a comfortable environment. Lufthansa Technik, another heavyweight amongst the exhibitors at the trade fair, is presenting new entertainment products, seating concepts, or innovations for galleys such as an inductive cooking platform. And there are also innovations to be seen from Diehl Aerosystems, the third-biggest industrial employer in Hamburg’s aviation sector. The company is presenting various products and ideas, including a novel lighting concept for the aircraft cabin and an innovative fire extinguishing system for the cargo hold. The largest booth at the Expo in 2016, however, will once again be the Hanse Pavillion of Hamburg’s supplier association, Hanse-Aerospace, where more than 70 companies, mostly SMEs, will display their products and services – among them P3 engineering with the first halon-free fire extinguisher for aviation. Here, too, is Hamburg Aviation, along with the all new ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research, formally opened on 7 March, a beacon for cabin-related research worldwide (6B90 12.4).

Hamburg Minister for the Economy, Senator Horch, & State Secretary Zypries attending

“The Aircraft Interiors Expo has long been an indispensable event in the industry’s calendar. Hamburg is on show here – not just as host and at the same time home to important players in the field of cabins and on-board products, but also and above all as a global innovation center. What you see on display here today will be experienced by airline passengers tomorrow,” says Hamburg’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Transport and Innovation, Senator Frank Horch who will tour the trade fair on 6 April to see for himself the full spectrum of cabin trends, accompanied by the Parliamentary State Secretary for aerospace policy, Brigitte Zypries.

Crystal Cabin Award, aviation innovation prize, to be presented for 10th time

This year in particular, all eyes will be on the Crystal Cabin Award, a prize launched by Hamburg Aviation that is celebrating its 10th anniversary at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in 2016. The winners in the eight different categories of this year’s international “Cabin Oscars” will be announced at a formal ceremony on the evening of 5 April at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski on the banks of the Alster. An overview of the 2016 finalists is available throughout the Aircraft Interiors Expo in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery in Hall B1 Upper. Here, too, the winners will present their concepts to visitors and the press in person on 6 April at 12:30 p.m.

  • Groundbreaking new IFEC, seating and cabin interiors products on display

London, UK | March 29, 2016– With less than a week to go until Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) 2016, many of the 530+ companies exhibiting at this global event for the passenger experience industry are providing a taste of what they’ll be showcasing.

This year’s show will welcome 145 new exhibiting companies such as Mirus Aircraft Seating, Ballore Logistics Germany GmbH and General Dynamics, who will be attending with longstanding exhibitors that include Airbus, B/E Aerospace, Boeing and Panasonic Avionics.

This year’s 17th edition of AIX is expected to be a record event with more than1,000 airline executives from 188 Airlines such as; Emirates, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Delta to name a few, with 16,000 attendees due to visit the Hamburg Messe between 5th and 7th April 2016.

The event kicks off with the annual Passenger Experience Conference, taking place on the 4th of April. The fourth edition of this one-day conference will bring together a wide range of thought leaders and key decision makers from the interiors industry. The main theme for this year’s agenda is collaborating on the connected journey. In an increasingly connected world, how do we create seamless and positive passenger experiences across the touch points of the customer’s journey? How will innovative technology, connectivity and service combine to create comfortable and personal experiences from home to gate to cabin and to destination? The sessions will be a mix of visionary thinking and in-depth explorations of the issues for the cabin and inflight entertainment and connectivity sectors.

Polly Magraw, Show Manager of Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), says: “AIX is now firmly established as the global event dedicated to the passenger experience industry, and this year’s show will provide visitors with rich insights into ground-breaking advances in the passenger experience.”

In partnership with Flightglobal, knowledge sharing continues beyond the PEC. This opportunity for attendees to debate and exchange information will see discussions centre around the increase in aircraft production rates and the future of inflight entertainment. The sessions are free to attend and will take place in the CabinSpace Live Seminar Theatre upper level of hall B1 next to the Airline Club Lounge

The Crystal Cabin Awards Gallery will also be in B1 Upper. Now in its 10th year, the competition initiated by Hamburg Aviation, received a record 95 entries from 18 countries for the 2016 event. Innovations across 8 categories will be on display in the Gallery. I invite you to attend the AIX hosted awards reception on the 6th of April in B1 upper at 12:30pm where all winners will provide a brief talk about their winning entry.

IFEC
One of the companies recreating the HD experience in the air is Lumexis. They’ll be launching their iPAX system, an ultra-low cost embedded IFE system which weighs only 8.9 ounces whilst delivering a 1080p HD picture.

As more and more passengers bring their own devices to travel with, more suppliers are developing products to cater for this – one of which is Skycast Solutions, introducing their “TabCaddy Clip” that allows passengers to secure their remote devices to tray tables.

Also on display at the show will be Bluebox Wow, a wireless unit the size of a lunchbox with the capability of supporting streamed video and audio content, games, digital publications and Bluebox’s new Seat2Seat networked messaging application. The portable box can be taken onboard fully loaded, fully charged and ready to go, making it easy for airlines to switch between aircraft as needed.

Technology design and manufacturing company Telefonix is displaying the expansion and evolution of its Summit line of IFEC equipment. Having previously launched the line at last year’s show, which included CabinACe Wireless Access Point (WAP), this has now been expanded to include both a retro-fit and line-fit option for the access point. The line now features a brand new content loader, CabinEdge.

Seating
Another integral element of the passenger experience is seating, and first time exhibitor Mirus Aircraft Seating is launching a brand new light-weight economy seat. With production not set to commence until mid-2016, the show will be the first opportunity to view the new seat which blends stylish design, improved ergonomics and quality.

Rebel.Aero is unveiling its STwo seat, a unique patented folding “booster” seat offering each passenger the ability to change seating positions during flight where the seat surface can be folded upwards. This new design of seat will challenge previous seat designs and allow passengers to move around comfortably in their seat and relax in different positions, whilst minimising the impact to other passengers and crew around them.

The Waterfront Teague concept seat brings the comfort and technology of a living room and bedroom into the cabin. This partnership between Teague, Panasonic Avionics, B/E Aerospace and Formation Design Group incorporates a 24 inch 4K display screen, device charging and personal mood lighting, all seamlessly connected around the seat.

Another name taking inflight comfort to new levels is Supracor, who will be showing attendees their new economy cushions made with Stimulite and to be featured on Swiss International Airlines. The cushions, made from Elastollan thermoplastic urethane (TPU), will provide passengers with sustained comfort on long haul flights. The material is naturally antimicrobial with excellent hydrolytic stability and because there are no adhesives used to fabricate the cushions, they are also washable.

Cabin Interiors
Forward thinking technology can improve every aspect of the passenger experience, and this is recognised at the Crystal Cabin Awards. Amongst the finalists is Boeing with a self-cleaning lavatory, which utilises ultraviolet (UV) light to kill 99.99 percent of germs. By combining this cleaning system which can disinfect all surfaces after every use in just three seconds with touchless features will dramatically improve the passenger experience on commercial flights.

Vision Systems has developed SPD-Smart electronically dimmable windows, which dramatically enhance the passenger experience. These windows not only provide cabin-wide light and glare control, a quieter cabin while in flight, and a cooler cabin while boarding and taxiing, they go a step further to integrate a colour video touchscreen into an electronically dimmable aircraft window.

Also targeting light control within the cabin are new exhibitors National Research Council Canada. They have developed sound and light panels to simulate accurately the light and sound levels passengers’ experience during their flight. Passengers can also benefit from elevated window share, lighting and acoustic technologies.

Critical to the passenger experience is staying connected, and the need for passengers to charge their own devices is central to this. Imagik will be introducing the smallest USB charging unit on the market – the QUATRO PLUS. The unit brings high power, 1.2 AMP charging to every seat and is low power to run, and brings significant economies to airlines looking to install new charging facilities.

(Editor’s Note: Looking for an innovative company in the IFEC space? Try IFPL – InFlight Peripherals. The Queen-awarded product offerings are the result of CEO Geoff Underwood (front row, 2nd from the left) and his team’s interface product creativity and ingenuity. IFExpress wanted to let our readers see them in front of their offices on the Isle of Wight!)

One of the biggest issues when traveling on an airplane is interfacing with it. By that we mean, controlling or interfacing with the devices and power that entertains and provides power for travelers on a plane – like NFC payment interface devices that allow us to buy goods or services or USB connections that provide entertainment, data, or power. If you ever wondered who makes the interface hardware, look no further that this Hot Topic as we want to introduce you to InFlight Peripherals Limited, or IFPL, as they are know by most. The Queens Award winning company (three times to be exact) and their website (ifpl.com) says it all, but we wanted to dig a little deeper into Geoff Underwood’s company, so we contacted them and asked then to enlighten our readers about a few of their primary products: specifically NFC Payment Capability, the Reversible USB Plug, new USB 3.0 Data and Power Plug, and their new Dual Breakaway/Triple Breakaway Audio Jacks.

Before we get into the technology, a little about the company: IFPL is a Queens Award winning international product development company based on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. They specialize in tailored engineering solutions for the Global Inflight Entertainment (IFE) Industry. The company was founded by Managing Director Geoff Underwood in 1996 and Initial production took place in Geoff’s garage at home, before progressing to a modern design and production facility in Newport on Isle of Wight. In the summer 2011 IFPL relocated five miles west to larger offices in Calbourne where 53 staff are now employed. IFPL first introduced its Long Life Audio Jack in 1999. This reliable jack has been tested to 100,000 headset insertions. From this beginning, the company now boasts a range of over 35 innovative passenger interface products including IFPL’s Rapid Fit range of quick change audio jacks, as well as Passenger Control Units (PCUs), USB, Ethernet, and INCAM noise cancellation headset connectors. In recent years the company has diversified into the design and manufacture of multimedia docking stations and video deployment arms. customer requirements. We should also note the range of their products and they include: Contactless Retail Systems, Breakaway Jack, USB Reversible Jacks, USB Power Jacks, Self Testing Audio Jacks, a Microphone Compatible Jack, Stacking PCU’s, Audio Jacks, Passenger Call Units, Remote Power Outlets, and other products for aircraft and rail markets. We asked CEO Geoff Underwood to tell us a little about their company and their products and he sent the following:

“IFPL is rightly proud to supply some of the world’s leading IFEC manufacturers and airlines who have come to rely on us to provide inspiration to the enhancement of their passenger experience. This has been achieved by our proven reputation for reliability and innovative product design. After recently supplying our one-millionth product to Panasonic, we look forward to a 2016 full of exciting product developments within the IFE industry.”

1. NFC Payment Terminal

“The total value of Near Field Communication (NFC) payments in the US is expected to *grow by 210% in 2016. The IFE industry is not exempt from this growing trend with the possibility of IFE NFC integration. IFPL’s payment terminal facilitates this demand enabling passengers to purchase items from compatible devices and cards without the presence of cabin crew. This enhances airline passenger’s personalization and convenience and enables the passenger to shop, order and pay at their own convenience. Not only does the terminal support contactless bankcards, Apple Pay and mobile wallets, it enables other data to be transferred to enable personalization through Personal Electronic Devices (PED) applications and NFC enabled loyalty cards. From a design viewpoint, our payment terminals contain no mechanical moving parts and use durable and cost effective materials to provide a lifetime of use. IFPL is currently in detailed negotiations with a leading IFEC supplier, so expect this product to be on your flight soon.”

He went on: “The company recognized over three years ago the need to make payment onboard simple and straight forward and launched our CRS concept. This concept showed how simple payment on board could be using NFC. In addition, we recognized that the payment industry requirements would change in 2015, moving away from the traditional magnetic strip to NFC or Chip and Pin. IFPL identified that NFC could be used for both payment and transmitting other small amounts of data which could be used to confirm the person in the seat and personalize the IFEC experience. IFPL has worked with Thales to bring this technology onboard. Both the airlines and IFEC vendors see the advantage of making payment simple and personalizing the IFE as well as maximizing the retail experience.”

2. Reversible USB-A1337

“IFPL’s latest reversible USB leverages itself off our successful 1281 USB jack. It provides a single unit integrating both power and data, ensuring passengers can charge their Personal Electronic Devices (PED) at ease. Feedback from airlines suggested that there was a tendency for Customer Induced damage (CID) in standard USB ports. IFPL has addressed this issue by enabling passengers to insert their USB plug either way around. This has created a robust and reliable USB solution to CID while enhancing passenger experience. It boasts a reliability of 10 times the industry standard and has been tested to 60,000 cycles enabling airlines to achieve significant long-term savings. Furthermore, both the light guide color and decal print are customizable to support airline branding and cabin aesthetics.

With the proliferation of PED’s, limited battery life and the ability for PED’s to become a second screen, IFPL recognized passengers need to charge their PED (up to 2.0A and 5V) and for the PED to be able to interface with the IFE system. IFPL have worked with both airlines and IFE companies to make this available.

In addition IFPL recognized that CID and reliability is a key design weakness of a traditional USB A socket, which may typically only provide 6,000 insertions/extractions before failure. In addition, as the passenger can only place their plug in one way it can cause the passenger to apply excess force in frustration and break their USB plug or the IFE systems USB socket resulting in high CID. IFPL’s bi-directional insertion and clever design eliminates the problem of CID and massively improves availability.”

3. USB 3.0 1342 – Delivering data and power to a new standard

An exciting new development at IFPL is our latest addition to the USB unit family.

At IFPL, we appreciate the importance of PEDs in today’s IFE environment and feel it’s vital to allow passengers to stay connected to their devices. With more demanding PED’s being used in flight year-on-year, higher transfer speeds are required to meet viewing demands. IFPL’s USB 3.0 provides a solution to this and coincides with IFPL’s commitment to innovation. It boasts transfer speeds of up to 5Gbits/s, 10 times faster than products centralized around the USB 2.0. This allows passengers to continue viewing media from their devices at ease while simultaneously charging them.

As well as supporting high PED power USB 3.0, IFPL offers a step change for data via a USB port as it supports up to 5Gbits/s enough to stream data to or from and IFE system using an attached device.

4. New Dual Breakaway and Triple Breakaway

“New are IFPL’s Dual and Triple Breakaway solution which addresses the issue of broken jacks, including: Containing *MagSignal technology which virtually eliminates customer induced damage, commercially attractive cost neutral solution for both the headset and the jack and two Long Life™ jacks, enabling the use of single or dual IFE headsets.”

In closing David Thomas, Business Development told IFExpress: “IFPL has recently supplied its one-millionth part to Panasonic and is expecting to deliver its two millionth product to the industry towards the end of Q1 2016.”

If you need more information on any IFPL product please call David at: + 44 (0) 1983 555900 or he can be emailed at innovate@ifpl.com .

Also, please note that IFPL will be exhibiting at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, 5-7 April 2016 at stand 2C40. For further information on the featured products or more of their industry leading solutions, please contact:

David Thomas Head of Business Development at IFPL
e.mail david.thomas@ifpl.com
tel +44 (0) 1983 555900
web www.ifpl.com

Reversible USB Release
NFC Release

IFExpress would like to thank Geoff Underwood and Jason Davies for their help in developing this Hot Topic. We now see why the company is so successful – Thank You!


NEWS:

  • PANASONIC AVIONICS was selected by Air Europa to provide eXConnect onboard Wi- Fi connectivity for retrofit on two A330-200s and one A330-300, plus its new 787s. The installation of Wi-Fi service on-board Air Europa aircraft, that aims to improve in-flight entertainment, ensuring a great comfort and amenities; is a new step in the modernization that the airline is immersed in and that aims to establish itself as one of the best and most modern airlines in the world.
  • Gogo announced today that it has signed a term sheet with Beijing based Shareco Technologies to install its 2Ku in-flight connectivity technology on 50 commercial aircraft for Shareco’s airline partners, including Hainan Airlines and Beijing Capital Airlines. This is the largest announced in-flight connectivity deal in China and the first airline deal for Gogo in China.  In addition to in-flight connectivity, Gogo will also provide its wireless in-flight entertainment solution – Gogo Vision – for Shareco to install on these aircraft. Beijing Shareco Technologies Co., Ltd. is a leader at providing in-flight entertainment and connectivity related services to Chinese and international commercial airlines. Gogo and Shareco will work together on necessary regulatory approvals to install the technology on these aircraft.  The goal is to install all 50 aircraftwithin two years following execution of a definitive agreement. Shareco is a high-tech company dedicated to building an ecosystem in the cabin that will create unique in-flight experiences which will benefit both airlines and passengers,” said Pan Yunbin, CEO of Shareco.  “We have been looking for great partners to find the best that can customize in-flight connectivity and in-flight entertainment solutions, as well as other things the passengers may be interested in. We believe that Gogo, as a pioneer in this field, is one of the best at providing these services.”
  • Philippine Airlines (PAL) has launched a freemium Wi-Fi service for all passengers as part of its 75th anniversary celebration. PAL is using SITAONAIR’s Internet Onair technology to deliver the service, rebranded as myPAL Wi-Fi.  Jaime J. Bautista, PAL president and COO said: “This myPAL Wi-fi freemium offering is a key part of our commitment to give the best possible service to our passengers. With 30 minutes each across all travel classes, this is the APAC region’s best free inflight internet offering, at least doubling almost every other airline.” The airline launched the freemium service to passengers on the first of March and this offering will continue to run for one year. The airline has 21 aircraft equipped with connectivity, including six B777-300ER and 15 A330-300s.
  • You had better be aware that the IoAT (Internet of Aircraft Things) is real and that data requirements from new engines alone will boggle your mind – check out this article.

 

  • Crystal Cabin Award, the aircraft cabin “Oscars”, celebrating 10th anniversary and reporting record submissions: 95 entries from 18 countries

Hamburg, Germany | January 21, 2016– The world’s most famous prize for aircraft cabins and on- board products, the Crystal Cabin Award, can boast of a new record number of entries for its tenth anniversary. 78 ideas and innovations for aircraft cabins have made it onto the shortlist for the 2016 “Oscars” of the international cabin industry. This reinforces a fundamental trend: around the world, efficient cabin usage and appealing passenger experience are becoming ever more important features of air travel for both airlines and passengers. Thematically, the focus this year is on the integration of passengers’ own electronic devices with in-flight entertainment systems along with innovative lighting concepts. In 2016, the Crystal Cabin Award, initiated by the cluster Hamburg Aviation, will be awarded in eight categories for the first time. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 5 April in Hamburg within the framework of the Aircraft Interiors Expo. Speakers at the dinner will include Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, and Brigitte Zypries, Germany’s Federal Parliamentary State Secretary for Aerospace.

Surfing, streaming, texting: more and more passengers expect the same communications possibilities in flight that they have on the ground. It’s no surprise, really, because almost every passenger brings a smartphone or tablet on board these days. Manufacturers and airlines are responding, on the one hand, with a massive expansion of connectivity technology. In the future, US company Gogo, for example, will be fitting its 2Ku system to aircraft, equipping them with a dual antenna that allows every passenger to enjoy uninterrupted broadband connectivity for the entire flight. Journalists on a test flight already streamed their experience above the clouds live via smartphone.

On the other hand, there is also connectivity within the cabin. Whether it’s the integration of content from passengers’ own equipment in the in-flight entertainment system, the use of passengers’ own iPads as monitors in the backrest on short-haul flights, or the possibility of charging a smartphone simply by placing it on the armrest – many manufacturers already have solutions on offer. Conventional in-flight entertainment systems are moving forward, too, as can be seen with “Digital Sky” from Thales, where the screen covers almost the entire backrest of the seat in front. The Skylights company is pursuing a different path, offering the in-flight program via 3D data glasses for distraction-free cinematic pleasure.

Alongside the growth in entertainment and connectivity, the “feel good atmosphere” is also becoming more and more important on board. Modern LED technology is making it possible to illuminate the cabin independently of flight phase and time of day, so that, for example, a sunrise can be simulated on long flights to minimise jet lag. German cabin fitting specialist Diehl Aerosystems is going one step further with its “Dandelion” concept, allowing coloured patterns and photographic images – passing clouds, for example – to be projected onto the cabin ceiling and overhead lockers.

Physically tangible innovations are not hard to find in the Crystal Cabin Award shortlist, either. There’s the first airborne timber floor, developed by LIST from Austria, for example, and the first bionic-based 3D-printed cabin partitioning wall from Autodesk and Airbus, stable and at the same time extremely lightweight. One especially ingenious idea comes from the young company Soarigami: an economy-class armrest that can be folded out into separate sections, consigning the eternal battle with the neighbouring passenger for the last two centimeters of elbow-room to the history books.

Once again, the shortlist also includes bold visions for the cabin of the future. The spectrum ranges from an innovative way of dividing the cabin into seating and sleeping areas, as presented in the Zodiac Lifestyle Cabin, to an “Airline of the Future” concept developed by the TEAGUE design studio from America. The team’s “Poppi” case study extends the airline business model with new elements. Companies could sponsor the unpopular middle seat, for example, using it to offer passengers free products and additional services. “Poppi” may still be a creative and remote idea, but the participation of numerous reputable airlines such as Swiss, Turkish, and Virgin Australia in the Crystal Cabin Award 2016 underlines the fact that this is now much more than just a small event for a small community of specialists.

On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, the Crystal Cabin Award has been expanded to eight categories for 2016. From now on, the distinctive trophies will be awarded in the fields of “Cabin Concepts”, “Cabin Systems”, “Electronic Systems”, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Material & Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University”, and “Visionary Concepts”. Entrants whose submissions are amongst the three finalists for each category, chosen by the 27 expert members of the international judging panel, will have the opportunity to present their concepts at the world’s largest cabin industry trade fair, the Aircraft Interiors Expo, to be held in Hamburg (5 – 7 April).

The winners of the Crystal Cabin Awards 2016 will be formally announced on the evening of 5 April at a grand tenth anniversary gala in the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg. Speakers at the dinner will include Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, and Brigitte Zypries, Germany’s Federal Parliamentary State Secretary for Aerospace.

A detailed shortlist with English press material, press contacts for the individual entrants, and photographic material, is available upon request: lukas.kirchner@hamburg- aviation.com.

The Crystal Cabin Award stands for the idea of an independent platform for the industry to promote and honour innovation in aviation worldwide, and is supported by the following sponsors and media partners: Airbus, Aircraft Cabin Management, Aircraft Interiors Expo (Reed Exhibitions), Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, APEX, B/E Aerospace, Bishop GmbH Aeronautical Engineers, DIEHL Aerosystems Holding, Emirates Airline, FERCHAU AVIATION Division, Flightchic, HAECO Cabin Solutions, Inflight Magazine, Jetliner Cabins, Lufthansa Technik AG, Runway Girl Network and SEKISUI SPI.

You too can become a supporter of the Crystal Cabin Award. Information on sponsorship opportunities and packages is available from Carmen Krause (carmen.krause@crystal-cabin-award.com).

This week we continue to review the Portland Parade of IFEC that we introduced last time to cover some folks we didn’t mention previously. Over the next few weeks we will try to cover all we talked with and give our readers a brief review. If you had not heard, El Al won the Best Achievement in Passenger Experience Award at APEX this year for “Cockpit”, and high Tech innovation hub – a way for the airline to help fund and develop new technology products and services that will contribute eventually to revenues. It works like this: “Today reality in the aviation world challenged El Al to create additional sources of revenue apart from flight tickets – by developing new businesses on the existing platform from the realization that innovation is to the aviation world like breathing is to life.” By finding and supporting new innovations from the world of ideas and making them successful businesses is an interesting idea for airline revenue enhancement. Congratulations to Rinat Cohen and his team! And speaking of APEX, we got a bit confused about all the planned APEX events till we saw their Forthcoming Events display – It might help you as well!

AirFi
AirFi are the ‘portable’ Wi-Fi folks from the Netherlands and we talked with Martjin Moret and Job Heimrikx about their Wi-Fi product and they told us that their “little white server/router box” has been flying since January of this year, have 100 in service and 245 by the end of the year… all in more than 100 airplanes soon. The “portable’ white box streams to 50 passengers for 15 hours with 50 users. We understand is on a B787 delivering second screen entertainment. Also, expect a new version to be shown at AIX that will deliver stronger signals, faster data rates, and serve more people with more movies. We anticipate a new moving map display and customizable points of interest. Martijn told IFExpress that there is no STC involved so the units are usually stored in a bin and they have patents pending on the device.

Rockwell Collins
Rockwell showcased a portfolio of cabin solutions in Portland featuring in-flight entertainment, connectivity and content services – all aimed at demonstrating technologies that will engage, entertain and empower airline passengers. “We’re investing heavily in flexible IFEC solutions and applications that, when coupled with our Ka-band global connectivity offering, bring a very compelling value proposition to airlines,” noted Craig Elliott, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Air Transport Cabin Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “Airlines will be able to personalize the experience for their passengers, resulting in increased brand loyalty and additional revenue.” We noted Inflight Internet and satcom services using Global Xpress that featured crew connectivity, real-time credit card authorization and wireless IFE, On-Demand seat centric IFE using a cool and intuitive touchscreen seatback interface, Broadcast entertainment, and an Airshow App – very nice. Rockwell Paves On-Demand in-flight entertainment (IFE) system is now offered for the 737 MAX. The seat-centric IFE solution has been added to the 737 MAX catalog. With the PAVES On-demand seat-centric design, each in-seat system is independent, so if one unit has an issue, no other in-seat systems are affected. Additionally, PAVES On-demand is equipped with a quick-release mechanism to quickly remove and replace in-seat displays. Security-wise. Also we note that Rockwell Collins has been selected by Boeing to provide the Avionics Gateway secure server on new 777X airplanes. The Avionics Gateway will feature the newest generation of Rockwell Collins’ Secure Server Router (SSR) that enables the safe transfer of data between the flight-deck, cabin crew and airline operations on the ground. Next-generation aircraft will offer incredible on-board networking capabilities and aircraft makers like Boeing are investing in sophisticated, secure solutions to ensure the networks are protected from malicious threats. Stay Tuned, or should we say, Watch Out! 

KID-SYSTEME
KID rolled out their cabin and cargo surveillance system and you can check out the easy-to-understand presentation here.  The system comprises a myriad of aircraft applications including, Cockpit Door Surveillance, Cabin Video Monitoring and Cargo Surveillance in one common system. It is designed to be aircraft program / manufacturer independent to enable a fleet-wide deployment of a common video surveillance solution for airline customers. Click on the Video Surveillance link in the above website to get an excellent slide presentation of the system. We note that it is capable of monitoring some 20 cameras in the cabin and cargo areas and the system has a modular architecture that adds video recording, watermarking, connectivity and more (link). This system is one of the most flexible and least obtrusive in the cabin. Interestingly, the 5 megapixel cameras only consume 2.8 watts and look more like small access panels. Further, the watermarked live video streams enables video recording as evidence.

Latitude Aero
We had an unscheduled meeting with nice guy, Kelvin Boyette, President and CEO, from Latitude Aero, a newer entrant in the seat refurbishment business. In the Rockwell Collins booth, Latitude had an example of their work. Noted Mr. Boyette: “The overall goal was to provide a proof of concept of turning an older, mid-90’s first class seat into a newer slimline seat with in seat video as opposed to in-arm. The Sicma seats were manufactured in 1996 and modified again in 2001. Other than that they remained untouched until we acquired them in August. In addition, we were also able to introduce their new 12” monitor into the seats as well.” He also noted, “We were able to complete the seats in 22 days, also proving our R&D and conceptual abilities that will allow the IFE/ISPS providers and seat OEMs the ability to use us for their outsourced R&D prototyping. Typical proof of concept seats have taken as long as 7-8 weeks at other facilities to go from design to shipment. I have uploaded quite a few pics from the show onto our Facebook page.”  Check them out as they look very capable.

“Overall for the airline,” noted Kelvin, “getting a ‘new look’ seat with modern amenities and current generation IFE for around half the price of a new seat is quite a deal.” We agree.


For AIX followers, for the tenth time now, the Crystal Cabin Award Association is calling for submissions their international prize in aircraft interiors. The search is on for the most innovative ideas and products related to traveling above the clouds. Entries will be accepted at www.crystal-cabin-award.com until 4 November, and the winners will be announced, as always, as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo (5 – 7 April, 2016) in Hamburg. The talented few who manage to win the hearts and minds of the 24 members of the expert jury will join the elite ranks of an impressive gallery of winners. This year alone saw such big names as B/E Aerospace, ViaSat, Embraer, and Etihad Airways taking home the trophies. And to make the Award even more attractive in its jubilee year, an eighth category has been added: “Cabin Concepts”. Meanwhile, the “Cabin Systems”, “Electronic Systems”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, and “Visionary Concepts” categories have been refined to further sharpen the focus in these fields.


The folks at BAE Systems just published a bit about their in-seat power system development.


CIT Aerospace notes that the top four US airlines account for 83% of US traffic; in Europe, it takes 40 airlines to account for 83% there – just thought you wanted to know.


Rumor has it that the new ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital (FEH) had two recent successful flight tests. Check it out here.


And lastly, Ron Chapman is back… and he told IFExpress that we “might go Ape” over his new connectivity solution.

  • The Crystal Cabin Award 2015 goes to B/E Aerospace, Embraer, SABIC Innovative Plastics, SII Deutschland, ViaSat, Etihad Airways and Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.

AIX, Hamburg | April 14, 2015– This year’s winners of the globe’s most prestigious prize for aircraft cabins received their shining white trophies this evening. The thrill of winning the Crystal Cabin Award 2015 was shared by B/E Aerospace, Embraer, SABIC Innovative Plastics, SII Deutschland, ViaSat, Etihad Airways and Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. A record total of 68 submissions from 18 nations made it onto the shortlist this year. On Monday, each of the 21 finalists appeared in person before the 24 international experts of the Judging Panel for final questions. The “Cabin Oscars” were initiated by the cluster Hamburg Aviation in 2007 and presented this year for the ninth time – as always, at a formal ceremony at the Hotel Atlantic in Hamburg as a feature of the programme for the “Aircraft Interiors Expo”.

The winners and their products will be presented in person tomorrow (Wednesday, 15 April) at 11:00 a.m. in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery at Stand 6C10 in Hall B6.

“Selecting the Crystal Cabin Award winners was a tough decision this year, as all finalists were of very high quality – ranging from renowned manufacturers to inspiring university concepts, which we will hopefully see flying soon”, says Melissa Raudebaugh, General Manager Aircraft Experience at Delta Air Lines and Chairwoman of the Judging Panel. “To see the Crystal Cabin Award continuing to evolve at such a high level is rewarding for us jury members as well. We are looking forward to the next season!”

The first Crystal Cabin Award of the evening was presented by Peter Bishop of Bishop Aeronautical Engineers, to B/E Aerospace for the “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment” category. The US manufacturer developed the “Solar Eclipse” concept. A thin solar cell film is installed in the sun visor of the cabin window, providing passengers with electricity to charge their electronic devices during flight. Although the system is still under development, the manufacturer is already working on achieving production approval soon.

Dr. Philip von Schroeter of Lufthansa Technik presented the second trophy to Embraer. The Brazilian manufacturer won over the jury in the “Industrial Design & Visionary Concepts” category with the cabin for its E2 generation of regional jets, characterised by an innovative, easy maintenance design. The use of space is especially well thought-out. Special baggage lockers, for example, and a staggered seating concept, provide more space in the aircraft.

Dr. Holger Friehmelt of AAT Composites announced the winner in the “Material & Components” category. The honour went to SABIC Innovative Plastics. The “LEXAN XHR2000” film has a transparency level of 80 percent, currently the highest possible level. Application possibilities range from windows to surface elements within the cabin, providing interior designers in particular with completely new possibilities.

The Crystal Cabin Award for “Passenger Comfort Hardware” was presented by Tony Dixon of Airliner World Magazine. This category saw SII Deutschland overcome the competition. The “SANTO Seat” (Special Accommodation Needs for Toddlers and Overweight Passengers) is beneficial for both passengers and airlines. The normally wasted space at the rear of the aircraft cabin, where the fuselage narrows, is used by a special seat, one-and-a-half times the width of a normal seat. The seat is ideal for overweight passengers and for passengers with small children. For these passengers, the seat is safer than a standard seat.

The accolade in the “Passenger Comfort Systems” category was announced by Katie Murphy of Reed Exhibitions, organiser of Aircraft Interiors Expo, who presented the prize to ViaSat. The US company’s satellite-powered “Exede in the Air” solution brings a 12 Mbps internet connection to every seat, allowing passengers to stream films or shop online above the clouds without difficulty.

One highlight this year was in the “Premium Class & VIP”, where the prize was presented by Ian Harbison of the British trade journal, Aircraft Cabin Management. In a head-to-head A380- First Class race between airlines, Etihad Airways won by a nose with its “A380 Upper Deck”. Etihad is the first airline in the world to install a three room apartment in a commercial airliner, the “Residence by Etihad”. Behind the Residence is the First Class Cabin with nine compartments and 70 Business Class seats.

The future lies with the next generation, and the final Crystal Cabin Award for the evening was presented by Jury chairwoman Melissa Raudebaugh of Delta Air Lines for the “University” category. The coveted trophy went to Marc Spille from the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. The student of aviation studies, in collaboration with Airbus, developed a mobile trash container which uses the vacuum technology of the on-board lavatory to compress trash bags into a space-saving format within seconds. Spille already took home the Hamburg Aviation Young Professionals Award in late 2014.

All of the winners and finalists, with their innovative products and concepts, will be presented in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery (Hall B6, Stand 6C10) at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg (14 – 16 April, 2015). And on the second day of the trade fair (Wednesday, 15 April, 11 a.m.), the winners will personally present their concepts to the public.

The Crystal Cabin Award 2015 is supported by the following sponsors:
Airbus, Aircraft Cabin Management, Aircraft Interiors Expo (Reed Exhibitions), Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME), APEX, B/E Aerospace, Bishop GmbH Aeronautical Engineers, DIEHL Aerosystems Holding, Embraer, Emirates Airline, FERCHAU AVIATION Division, HAECO Cabin Solutions, Inflight Magazine, Jetliner Cabins, Lufthansa Technik AG and SEKISUI SPI.

“I think 2015 was the best AIX Hamburg in years.  Creative connectivity solutions are expanding.  The off-aircraft connectivity space is growing with the big players recognizing content and strategic alliances are the fastest way to market.  As for inside-the-aircraft connectivity, I saw at least 6 new suppliers or added offerings from traditional IFEC players.  This is exciting.  The winning strategy is to get on as many aircraft as possible and let the competition scramble for the rest.” John Courtright

Another year in Hamburg complete and quite a show it was. Without a doubt, this was the biggest ever – we saw online numbers like 800 airline buyers, 500 + suppliers and 13, 897 expected visitors (probably more)… This is the IFEC industry “Big Dog” and you can find out more on Facebook (Aircraft Interiors Expo) and YouTube. Social Media and IFEC seem to be good friends so check out those sources as well.

“For the first time at a major expo such as AIX, airlines have asked us if our solution could also be integrated in their mobile App, which actually was anticipated by our teams. It seems that the seamless journey pre-, during and post-flight is rising very quickly thanks to wide personal device adoption and better IT integration.  This will encompasses the meal menus, video and music selection before the flights for example, the duty free sales and tickets booking during the flight, the interactive airport info and city guides for post-flight. IFE is widely entering the digital age. Let’s take just the best of it, and preserving the magic of a unique inflight PaxEx.” Cyril Jean

Of course, IFExpress was there and we interviewed a different supplier almost every half hour, and in the next few weeks, we hope to give our readers some inside info about what we saw in the way of industry innovations and what it means for all of us. In that context, we thought you might see value in some trends that we observed, or surmised, after talking to hundreds of attendees and vendors.  Bullet-ed below are our two cents worth… not in any particular order.

“We will see more crowd sourced start-ups bring new technology to the market which, in turn, will push the dominant tech companies in our industry to respond in kind.  Expansion from IFEC to passenger health through seat or cabin based biometrics and wearable technologies will lead the way.” Hratch Astarjian

• There is a lot of vertical and horizontal product integration happening in this industry.

Larger Pipe connectivity will facilitate more innovation in the cabin and the aircraft in general, not to mention the possibility of more revenue generation for the airline and the vendors alike.

New hardware technologies in conjunction with in-cabin wireless connectivity are providing value-added solutions to IFE, especially at the lower end, and engendering new IFE solutions for low cost and single-aisle aircraft.

• The next generation of wireless access points with features like cognitive hotspot technology and the smart signal cancellation are providing a better passenger Wi-Fi experience.

• IFE customizable GUI’s are providing airlines with interfaces that they can tailor themselves, reducing costs and allowing individuality to stand out. Further, the same suppliers are providing aircraft real-time operational data about IFE and content usage that gives the airlines more time to evaluate and track operations and equipment inflight, as well as, passenger utilization.

Device charging technologies were seen at many booths, whether it was on a seatback or used in conjunction with a PED holder. Also, there was a lot of interest beyond USB charging, the most common was Qi Wireless Power Charging Technology.

Moving maps have grown up and some were offering the opportunity for ancillary revenue. Beyond that, second-generation map software was selectable by passengers and contained even more information and control.

New technology circuit designs and component technology are enabling smaller inseat power box footprints with the ability to serve more seats.

• More low-cost, limited color, cabin lighting solutions were on exhibit. Further, cabin LED mood lighting systems are being sold for retrofit applications with simpler control boxes than those on new aircraft.

NFC is now becoming a small purchase payment solution as part of cashless retail systems… no doubt influenced by such developments as Apple Pay and others.

Antenna technologies are bringing smaller devices to the forefront as transmission frequencies go up and technologies like meta-materials invade the arena. Coincidentally, the resultant radomes for some new solid state, flat plane types promise to deliver radome height measured in centimeters.

Manufacturer combined teams are now in vogue as product specialists contribute to common goal designs for items like seat and IFE/power combinations.

App technology is increasing for on-ground and in-air product and service solutions, reflecting the strong usage and patronization of passenger portable devices. Accordingly, passenger usage of them is increasing on the ground and in the air… both increasing the possibility of more revenue generation.

• The subject of content provision is generating stranger, but bigger, bedfellows. As of now, the top three are all anyone talks about anymore, thus the future may be a real challenge for the small player.

• There is a lot of action in the COTS semi-imbedded tablet arena and a number of suppliers are touting ancillary hardware and seat modifications, which leads us to believe Samsung and Apple devices could some day replace some big vendor screens – they are thinner, lighter, battery backed, and very pixel oriented and rugged. The challenge will be in environmental, vibration, RFI and power. However, some system vendors are using only off the shelf tablet solutions with some modifications.

• In a perceived sense, there were more first time cabin product vendors at AIX 2015 than in recent years.

Demand for bigger pipes in the air is now obvious.  This includes more smart, flexible spotbeam equipped satellites. There are more smart spot-beam satcom birds planned than ever. Who could have imagined such a large competition for connectivity solutions 5 years ago?

“iPAX’ wireless to the in-seat screen is the architecture of the future for narrowbody aircraft that currently have only overhead video – iPAX will replace overhead monitors with its incredibly light weight and low cost AVOD – giving passengers first–run movies that they cannot get on their PEDs, and giving airlines a revenue-generating kiosk at every seat.” Rich Salter

The next few issues of IFExpress will be devoted to some of the folks we saw at AIX and we hope you Stay Tuned!

“We didn’t see big announcements – new products, acquisitions and so on – in Hamburg this year. Instead, it was all about delivery. By next year, we’ll see a step-change in the connectivity products and solutions available for airlines, in part driven by the new high bandwidth capacity which is coming on stream.” Charlie Pryor


On another note and after 18 years with Sony followed by 15 years at Thales, Lori Krans has left her VP position and is now a consultant focused on b2b marketing communications and business transformation for companies of any size – lmkrans@pacbell.net

Hamburg, Germany | April 8, 2015– With under a week to go, Aircraft Interiors Expo is ready to open its doors at the Hamburg Messe in Germany from 14 -16 April 2015. Organised by Reed Exhibitions, the 16th edition of Aircraft Interiors Expo will be the largest ever staged with over 530 exhibiting companies from 30 different countries spread over seven halls compared to five in 2014, including a record size IFE Zone which has grown by 31%.

According to a recent report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global passenger traffic results for February 2015 showed a strengthening in demand growth compared to February 2014. Total revenue passenger kilometres rose 6.2%, which was an improvement on the January year-over-year increase of 4.5%. Available seat kilometres capacity in February 2015 increased by 5.6% with the load factor rising 0.5 percentage points to 78.5%.

Aircraft Interiors Expo 2015 is a global event that showcases the entire range of interiors systems and services and over 58 new exhibiting companies will be promoting ground-breaking new products and innovative technologies. Over 800 airline buyers as well as more than 530 suppliers and 13,800 attendees are expected to attend this year’s “must attend” event in the aircraft interiors calendar.

Making its debut, Bangkok Metropolis Motor Company (BKF) is one of very few companies in Thailand that has achieved the AS9001 quality standard for manufacturing aircraft interiors. In addition to supplying automotive, motor cycle and consumer electronics markets, BKF manufactures complete tray tables and can also supply sub-components to support manufacturers – these include washers, spacers, hinges and flame retardant foam.

“BKF has a long and successful history in plastic injection, die casting and rubber moulding. We are now diversifying into the aircraft interiors market with our quality standard through the manufacture and assembly of seat-back food trays. We are very excited to be at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2015 and look forward to meeting potential new partners which will allow us to further develop our capabilities in this important market,” said Dermot Rees, Business Development Manager – Marketing at BKF.

IFEC and seating play prominent roles in enhancing the passenger experience and at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2015, the latest innovative technologies will be displayed by 78 companies in the largest ever IFE Zone which has grown by 31% in size compared to 2014. Examples of companies include Astronics, Blue Box Avionics, Gogo, Lumexis, Molex, Panasonic Avionics, TE Connectivity, Thales, Viasat and Zodiac as well as first-time exhibitors such as Axinom, Dicentia, DMD, In-Flight Dublin, TEAC and Wisscom Aerospace– to name a few.

With over 185 companies on the show floor from around the world displaying the latest in seating products and services, many visitors will be able to view a wide range of new seat launches on display incorporating the latest technological developments, e.g. Acro Aircraft Seating. “At Hamburg this year, Acro will be exhibiting its new Premium Economy product as well as a completely redesigned fixed back seat, both due for delivery in 2016,” confirmed Chris Brady, Managing Director at Acro Aircraft Seating.

This year a new and exclusively designed USA Pavilion will provide an ideal platform for a range of smaller and medium size companies to promote their products and services – many of which are new exhibitors. These include Hanaya Inc. which designs and manufactures friction hinges for the aircraft interiors industry.

“Our hinges’ life cycles exceed 35,000 in some cases and torque tolerance has been lowered to 10 -15%. Between our design department and the production facilities that we utilize, we have accumulated a wealth of expertise, and proven capabilities within a wide range of industries. We effectively address unique requirements and challenges for motion mechanisms in a wide range of applications,” said Jose Cortes, VP Sales at Hanaya Inc. The US Pavilion will also feature the U.S. Commercial Service Germany at the American Embassy in Berlin which, together with three Consulates General, provide a range of services and programmes to help American companies export goods and services to Germany.

Another new feature at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2015 is CabinSpace LIVE, a face-to-face platform which will offer a dedicated area for the exchange of information and best practices with direct access to airlines, operators, buyers and specifiers from the industry. Located in Hall B6, all sessions will be free to attend and companies confirmed to participate include Imeco, Lufthansa Technik, Recticel/Soundcoat, Schott, Silentium, Solvay and STG Aerospace.

“With IATA’s report confirming the rising trend in higher passenger numbers, the topic of passenger experience has never been higher on the agenda for the aircraft interiors industry. For attending visitors and airline representatives, Aircraft Interiors Expo 2015 will be the largest edition ever staged, covering all aspects of the interiors spectrum on the show floor. We look forward to welcoming all our exhibiting companies and visitors from around the world to what will undoubtedly be a busy but important week at this year’s “must attend” event for this innovative and vibrant industry,” said Katie Murphy, Senior Event Director of Aircraft Interiors Expo.

Now in its fourth year, the premier conference and networking forum to discuss the vital strategic issues surrounding cabin innovation, consumer expectations and strategies for profitability within the cabin returns to Hamburg, Germany on 13th April 2015, hosted by the Aircraft Interiors and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expos.

It’s no secret, Aircraft Interiors (AIX) is one of the best and biggest international IFEC & Catering shows in the world and we want to get a few updates to our readers who are not up to speed on it yet. We wanted to make this Hot Topic a “one stop update” for our readers and we note that most have already set in motion their trip. However, for the late-goers, we hope this issue will convince you to make the journey to Germany.

One word a reader used about AIX really stood out. “Un-missable,” she said, but you be the judge, at least based on the information we have included in this IFExpress. We also note that our own industry experiences at the AIX have caused us to call it “un-missable” too. From new product rollouts, to meeting new industry players, to the one-on-one meetings and get-togethers… it all adds up to the kind of show that IFEC is all about. In accordance with being be a bit biased, we asked a few readers to give IFExpress a short sentence or two on their view of AIX and we have included their thoughts in this Hot Topic as well.

“The AIX Hamburg Conference is a tremendous event as it is well attended from both visitor and exhibitor perspectives and is surrounded by other strong activities the day before such as the Passenger Experience Conference and the Crystal Cabin Awards.” Lori M. Krans

To get a better view, we talked to Katie Murphy, Senior Exhibition Director for Aircraft Interiors Expo and asked a few questions that might help readers decide to go. She told IFExpress: “Aircraft Interiors Expo has long been recognized as the premier forum for new ideas to meet the needs of this vibrant and dynamic industry. We are confident that visitors to our 2015 show will find a wealth of innovation in key areas such as IFE, seating and cabin design. The opening and closing plenary sessions at this year’s Passenger Experience Conference will be a major highlight for delegates as it includes stimulating and thought-provoking discussion from Virgin Atlantic, Air Baltic and Seymourpowell. There is no doubt the lineup to-date is already impressive and will be an occasion not to be missed.”

Q. Why should our readers go to AIX in Hamburg (April 13 through 16) and what will they see?

A: This will be the 16th edition and it will be the largest passenger experience event as Aircraft Interiors Expo has now expanded from five halls to seven which means that the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo will be taking place in the A halls at the Hamburg Messe.

The Passenger Experience Conference, now in its fourth year, takes place on 13th April and will feature two new motivating plenary sessions, one from Richard Seymour, Founder of Seymourpowell and one from Reuben Arnold, Brand and Customer Engagement Director at Virgin Atlantic Airways. Richard Seymour’s “Blue Sky” presentation entitled ‘Clippers in the Clouds – Rediscovering Romance in the 21st Century,’ will investigate the theory of “Emotional Ergonomics” in the air and reflect on how much can actually be achieved within the technical confines of a modern airliner in the decades to come.

Of course IFE is key for many airlines when it comes to enhancing the passenger experience and Hamburg will be the place to be as the largest ever IFE Zone – some 25% larger – will showcase 71 exhibitors including 13 new companies. The latest and most innovative IFE technologies will be displayed by a range of companies such as Astronics, Blue Box Avionics, Lumexis, Molex, Panasonic Avionics, Thales, Turkish Technic, ViaSat and Zodiac – to name a few. 67% of visitors at last year’s event confirmed their interest in IFE-related products so there is no doubt that the IFE Zone will again be a significant attraction at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2015.

Q. What changes can regular visitors expect this year – what’s new?

A: There will be a new and exclusively designed US Pavilion in Hall B1 as well as a new feature called CabinSpace LIVE in Hall B6, a face-to-face platform with direct access to airlines, operators, buyers and specifiers from the industry – it will offer a dedicated area for the exchange of information and best practices and all sessions are free to attend. In co-operation with COMPOSITES EUROPE, we’re also delighted to introduce the Composites Zone located within Hall B1 this year where decision makers, buyers and designers from the most important application industries will find the very latest material solutions and technologies.

Q Besides IFE, what else is featured at AIX and a good reason to go?

A: To help visitors unwind during a busy day, the Relaxation Zone in Hall B1 will be offering free massages every day from 1100 to 1500 and you can ‘Meet at the Bar’ also in Hall B1 and have a seat and use the free WI-FI in the seating area in Hal B6.

Networking is an essential part of everyone’s time in Hamburg. The Industry Networking Party follows the Passenger Experience Conference and will be an opportunity to meet new contacts, strengthen existing relationships and meet peers and other industry professionals in a relaxed atmosphere. In addition, all exhibitors and visitors are invited to attend the hospitality evenings in the exhibition halls on the 14th and 15th from 1700 to -1900. We would also encourage everyone to visit the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery in Hall B6, which is sponsored by Aircraft Interiors Expo. In its ninth year, the competition, initiated by Hamburg Aviation, received a record 68 entries from 18 countries that secured a place on the prestigious shortlist. Innovations across seven categories will be on display in the Gallery and the winners will be presented with their trophies on 15th April at 11am.

Q. Are there any deals you can or are able to mention about close/reasonable accommodations?

A: We suggest that anyone wanting to book hotels should contact our official house partner via the website – INTERPLAN AG Hamburg – as they can offer a special rate to attendees at Aircraft Interiors EXPO 2015.

Q. How many square feet of IFE space – how many vendors do you expect?

A: This year there will be 71 exhibiting companies in the IFE Zone covering Halls B2, B3 and B4 at a total growth of approx. 25%

Q. How about the Pax Experience Event (April, 13th) – any thoughts for our readers?

A: One particular session we’d like to highlight is the “IFEC Debate: The Future For Inflight Content” which will feature an impressive platform of panellists to include Don Buchman, Vice President, ViaSat; Robin Cole, Vice President Global Business Development, Global Eagle Entertainment; Al St. Germain, Senior Vice President USA, Spafax and Dimiter Zahariev, Development Manager, Passenger Department, International Air Transport Association. Here is a link to the PEX Schedule – download it and take it with you: PEX Schedule/attached

Q. What does it cost to attend as a visitor? Do they need to register ahead and how if needed?

A: We advise to register before the event to avoid queuing on the opening days

Free of Charge to attend the exhibition
14 – 16 April
Hamburg Messe

Passenger Experience Conference and Industry Networking Party the prices are:

Passenger Experience Conference
Book by 12 April: €449 + VAT
Book after 12 April: €600 inc VAT

Industry Networking Party
Book by 10 April: €99 inc VAT
Book after 10 April: €120 inc VAT

Exhibitors
Book by 10 April: €85 inc VAT
Book after 10 April: €100 inc VAT

FREE to attend for Conference Delegates and Airline VIPs

Q. How can readers get more info?

A: Our website has a lot of useful information but if anyone wants to get in touch they can call our Customer Services Helpline at +44 (0) 208 271 2174.
The website also has a link to download a free app before, during and after the show, the app provides a full event schedule, personalized agenda, exhibitor listings, floor-plan maps, social networking, speaker listings and many other features.

Q. Is there a way for last minute vendors to get a booth?

A: Currently the show is 98% sold out so although we’ve very little room left, if anyone is interested in exhibiting we suggest they contact us as soon as possible and we’ll do our level best to see how we accommodate them as we’d love them to be with us in Hamburg!

View the list of worldwide sales managers that are here to help you.

“AIX is always one of the big shows for us each year. Hamburg is a great location, and a wonderful opportunity to meet all the movers and shakers from the whole Interiors industry.” Geoff Underwood – IFPL

Here are some links IFExpress found to make you AIX search a bit easier:
Website
Registration
IFE Zone link
IFE Floor Zone link
Find Exhibitors link
Here is a link to the AIX app

“We are thrilled to showcase our latest destination-related contents at AIX, since this expo is one of the major yearly events in the industry. With so many PaxEx managers attending the expo, it is for us a mandatory milestone to open the path to long lasting relationships with airlines for both passengers’ and airline’s benefits.” Cyril Jean, PX Com

See you there… and you can contact IFExpress at the show via text message to: +1 206 229 7899 or email plwiseman@gmail.com

“AIX is an opportunity to see the latest IFEC systems – to see and hear about new products being launched – including exciting news from Lumexis. AIX is opportune for both airline and vendor meetings – airline meetings are most important of course, but vendor–vendor meetings are a close second – it’s a chance to meet with IFEC and seats vendors from all over the world, all in one place.“ Rich Salter, Lumexis

1. ASTRONICS
• Astronics – www.astronics.com
• Booth Number: 6D30
Astronics, the world leader of intelligently managed, in-seat power systems, continues to innovate and meet the increasing demand for its patented, EmPower® products as more passengers carry onboard a multitude of powered devices. In support of this demand, Astronics responded with their latest industry leading EmPower® in-seat power system which produces up to 200VA for each passenger. This cutting edge system also includes a Universal Serial Bus (USB) power output for charging passenger devices such as smart phones, iPods, cameras, and other standard +5 Volt DC devices.
Dennis Markert, Director New Business Development at Astronics, will be participating in a panel discussion on In-Seat Power at the APEX Education Session on Monday, March 26th.
• Contact: Dennis Markert – +1.425.442.8195 – dennis.markert@astronics.com
Astronics is hoping to have a press release out just prior to the show. Currently it is in review at the customer. Watch your email inbox.

2. THALES
• Thales In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity
www.thales-ifec.com
• Booth Number: 6B20
Thales, leader in in-flight entertainment & connectivity brings amazing new seat innovations designed around passenger comfort and the flying experience. On demonstration, the Thales Award Winning TopSeries AVANT system will show new applications and GUI features never seen before. The system’s acclaimed Touch Passenger Media Unit will reveal the latest multi-task functionality for unsurpassed convenience at the seat. In partnership with Siemens, Thales adds to the scalability of TopSeries AVANT with wireless streaming media to a wide range of passenger devices. Important to see is TopConnect, the Thales suite of Connectivity solutions for ground & air communications. Come See Us!
• Contact: Lori Krans – lori.krans@us.thalesgroup.com

3.DIGECOR
• digEcor, Inc – www.digEcor.com
• Booth Number: 6F17
We will be showing a range of solutions from both digEcor and our partner Lefeel Media Technology. We’ve been working behind the scenes on several development projects and are anxious to show them off. Stop on by!
• Contact: sales@digEcor.com

4. IMS
• The IMS Company – www.IMSCO-US.com
• Booth Number: 6B15
We will be demonstrating RAVE (embedded AVOD system) and EDGE (a premium portable media player) products at the upcoming Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany (27 – 29 March). We increased our booth size by about one-third that allows us more space to demonstrate our products and provide more comfort for the attendees. We will again have examples of RAVE installed in a premium and economy class seat on our booth, as well as examples of RAVE installed in various seat suppliers exhibits as well.

The IMS Company had its best year ever in 2011. Major accomplishments include:
· First delivery of RAVE, our new AVOD IFE system
· First installation, certification and inaugural flights for RAVE – 3 airlines and 5 aircraft were put in service in December 2011
· First delivery (6,000 units) of EDGE, our new Portable Media Player based on using the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Android operating system
· AS9100 and ISO 9001 Certification

To date, eight (8) airlines have selected RAVE, for retrofit installations on A330, A340, B747, B767 and B777. Aircraft Certifications include: EASA, FAA, Transport Canada. We are integrating with ten (10) different seat suppliers, and we expect to have almost 30 aircraft flying by mid-2012.

Based on the success we experienced in 2011, we expect to add new customers for RAVE that should allow us to (at least) double our customer base and backlog. We are anticipating making announcements for (at least) one more new customer during the Aircraft Interiors Expo.
• Contact: Harry Gray, Vice President Sales & Marketing – Mobile Phone: +1 (714) 683-3793

5. BOSE
• Bose Corporation
• Booth Number: 6F10
Bose will demonstrate its award winning QuietComfort® 3 and QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones
• Contact: Hratch Astarjian, hratch_astarjian@bose.com, 508-766-4075

6. LUMEXIS
• Lumexis Corporation – www.lumexis.com
• Booth Number – 6H40 HALL 6

Lumexis, the pioneer and worldwide leader of Fiber-To-The-Screen® (FTTS®) technology for inflight entertainment solutions, now offers WiPax™, a data delivery system that allows for delivery of video and data to your passengers Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs). Or simply stated… IFE to your PED™.

Our FTTS IFE system is high in capacity, light in weight, and provides unmatched reliability and redundancy. And… with the introduction of WiPax™, Lumexis provides you an integrated, turnkey end-to-end solution for your inflight entertainment needs.

Lumexis® announces WiPAX™… IFE to your PED™

It’s that time of year again, and it would be our pleasure to see you at Aircraft Interiors EXPO.

So come on by! Experience our new wireless data delivery system.

WiPAX is a terrific complement to our lightweight, technologically advanced Fiber-To-The-Screen® (FTTS®) in-seat IFEC offering, and we have no doubt you will agree… Lumexis is the future of inflight entertainment.
• Contact: Rich Salter, rsalter@lumexis.com +1 949 486 7003 or Carolyn Meyer cmeyer@lumexis.com, +1 917 912 3953.

7. IFPL
• IFPL – www.ifpl.com
• Booth Number: 6A42
IFPL is an award winning international design and manufacturing company based in the UK. IFPL specialises in tailored engineering passenger connection solutions for the Global Passenger Entertainment Industry.
In addition to helpful and knowledgeable staff on stand 6A40 at the Aircraft Interiors Expo, we will have four fantastic products. They are the:
1. Self-Testing Jack
With short turnaround times, aircraft maintenance personnel have to work quickly and efficiently. No airline wants to find that passengers cannot access audio on their IFE system, so broken audio jacks have to be identified and fixed.

Currently to test a jack the maintenance staff have to plug a headset into each jack to check them, with our new Self-testing jack, all they have to do to check the jacks are working is send a test audio tone through the existing IFE system, then walk through the cabin and visually check the jacks at a glance. There is a small indicator on the front of each jack that tells you if it’s working or not.

The clever design of the Self-Testing jack is that the LED indication is only powered by the audio, no separate power feed to the jack is necessary making this a fantastic jack for retrofit as no seat re-cabling is needed.

The key features are that it’s:
• • Indicator gives quick & easy system check
• • Every jack can be checked with just a glance
• • Saves money on maintenance cost
2. Breakaway Jack
IFPL has developed a new version of it’s highly successful Long Life™ jack. Reliable and robust audio jacks are a must if you want to ensure passenger satisfaction. With the Breakaway jack, a new type of special low cost plug allows 90° breakaway of the headset – without damage to either the headset or the seat jack.
Key features:
• • Reduced headset breakage
• • Save money
• • Accepts regular headset plugs
3. Near Field Communication
Technology is being developed to allow (with the use of security) passengers to make easy non-cash purchases on-board and pay for the ancillary revenue purchases such as movies or music. This opens up the option for airlines to increase their revenue streams through simple payment for on board sales.

IFPL has developed a device which enables quick simple “tap-screen” payments on-board. The system can also include a chip and pin reader to increase the payment options.

Key features:
• • Quick & easy payment systems
• • Link to loyalty programs
• • Personalise travel experience

4. New Modular Passenger Control Unit
This versatile PCU can be configured to suit your requirements for passengers. This PCU provides a long lasting, flexible and reliable passenger interface.

Key features:
• • Easy maintenance – if one module is damaged it can easily be replaced
• • Configurable to customer requirement
• • Future proof – more or different modules can be added when needed.
• Contact: Neil Thomas is IFPL’s Business Development Manager, he can be contacted by phone at [44] (778) 698-7454 or by email @ neil.thomas@ifpl.com.

We will showcase four fantastic connectivity solutions at the show. Prepare for the future and get the right connections from IFPL!

8. GEORADIO
• GeoRadio – www.georadio.aero
• Booth Number: 6B20 (Thales)
GeoRadio is a totally new idea in IFE: a location-triggered audio channel. Passengers hear stories about the land as they pass over it. Come to the Thales stand, sit down, and listen to what a moving map can sound like.
• Contact: Peter Nissen: In Hamburg, call or text U.S. 323-309-5289. Email: peter@gothamstudios.com.
Bring the magic back into flying. Give your passengers GeoRadio.

9. GOODRICH
• Goodrich Corporation – www.goodrich.com
• Booth Number: 6G30

Goodrich will be exhibiting its products and services with a new tradeshow booth
displaying its aircraft lighting, VIP seating, life rafts and IFE head end video and
audio servers.

Goodrich was recently selected to retrofit LED runway turnoff (RTO) lights on Lufthansa’s fleet of A319/A320/A321 aircraft. The improved lights will be integrated in the aircraft nose landing gear in two locations, offering better illumination and significantly improved reliability to reduce airline operating costs. Additionally, due to the plug and play design, the LED lights are easy to install in 15 minutes or less. The order for the Lufthansa A320 family fleet will be accomplished at Goodrich Lighting Systems’ facility in Lippstadt, Germany.

Goodrich recently received an STC for the new VE-801HDD video reproducer
unit designed for multiple aircraft platforms and first installed on the A330. The unit, a plug and play replacement for existing VTR units in multideck installations,has been installed on Gulf Air’s A330-300 aircraft. Goodrich will also be displaying the new VE-801SDi, a solid state video reproducer which reproduces MPEG1, 2 and 4 content, including Early Window content.

Goodrich Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a global supplier of systems and services to aerospace, defense and homeland security markets. With one of the most strategically diversified portfolios of products in the industry, Goodrich serves a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and service facilities. For more information, visit http://www.goodrich.com.
• Contact: Dan Vargas, Account Manager, Global Customer Management, Goodrich Sensors and Integrated Systems; tel: +1 323 837 2717; dan.vargas@goodrich.com

Hermann Koch, Business Development Manager, Goodrich Interiors Lighting Systems; tel: +49- (0) 172-574-7748 hermann.koch@goodrich.com

10. VT Miltope
• Booth Number: 6D10
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.
• Markus Gilges, Mobile: +44 (7793) 75 87 55, Email: mgilges@miltope.com

Not enough budget for your highly strung cabin product plans? Don’t despair! One thing will be certain, a wireless architecture is essential for any future inflight entertainment and communication service. VT Miltope provides the backbone to wireless cabin architectures. Come and see us on booth 6D10!

11. KID SYSTEME
• KID-Systeme – www.kid-systeme.com
• Booth Number: Hall B6, stand# 6D15
Aircraft Interiors Expo 2012- 3 full days to explore the KID-Systeme world and discover newest technologies in Hamburg.
• Contact: Maren Muente, email: maren.muente@kid-systeme.com

12. Gogo
• Gogo – www.gogoair.com
• Booth Number : 6F91. (Hall B6, Row F).
Gogo will be there presenting its international capabilities as well as its streaming video solution – Gogo Vision
• Contact: Julie Pacino – 949-981-0947

First Aircraft Interiors Portal Will Keep Attendees Up-To-Date Throughout Their Time At The Event

Geneva, Switzerland, 6th May 2010. OnAir, the global inflight and on-board connectivity provider, announced today that it has teamed up with Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading organiser of trade and consumer events, to develop and launch a mobile portal supporting Aircraft Interiors Expo held at the Hamburg Messe in Germany from May 18th to 20th 2010 – the first time a portal has been used for the exhibition.

Accessing the portal directly on their smart phone, Aircraft Interiors Expo attendees will have the opportunity to keep up-to-date and fully informed on news and show information. Visitors will be able to view daily schedules, be kept aware of any changes to the programme, find an exhibitor, or simply navigating around the exhibition itself by simply visiting www.aixnow.com/

Benoit Debains, OnAir CEO, expressed delight about co-operation with Reed Exhibitions and with the portal in general: “Staying up-to-date on information via the portal will ensure delegates make best use of their time during the exhibition. It gives them extra flexibility and more of an opportunity to plan – the same benefits as airline or cruise-ship passengers get when they use the OnAir service as they travel.”

Reed Exhibitions spokesperson Ian Crawford, Group Exhibition Director said: “The portal adds a new dimension to the show and helps raise our service level to Aircraft Interiors Expo attendees – something we are always seeking to achieve.”

OnAir is located on Stand number Hall B6 StandG30b, where the company is showcasing its full onboard connectivity offering.

OnAir has also developed a portal to support the 10th annual EBACE event held at Geneva’s Palexpo a couple of weeks ago.

Let’s start out this week with a new Aircell aeronautical equipment package for Swift Broadband service that’ll roll out at EBACE 2010 in Geneva this week. Two featurers of the new hardware are Thrane & Thrane’s new AVIATOR 200 and a very interesting antenna. Here’s the skinny on the radios for our techno readers: “Thrane & Thrane’s innovative AVIATOR 200 simultaneously provides data speeds up to 200 kbps and a single AMBE 2 channel for voice calls, providing smaller aircraft with a complete airborne communications solution where this was not achievable before. These data and voice services can be accessed via wired or wireless connections built into the AVIATOR 200, alleviating the need for external wired and wireless routers.” The second part of the hardware equation is the new, small, low-gain, blade antenna – still capable of voice and data speeds up to 200 kbps. We have included a picture of the antenna in this issue and it is perfect for bizjets (Weight: 1.5 lbs., Height: 4.57 in., Length: 11 in., Width: 4.25 in.). Here is the full story.

Next, we came across a report on a hot, 37 page, very detailed UBS Financial document. It was reported in an article in the Seattle PI Blogs with the titillating title: “Airlines Have Ordered Too Many Planes”. Within the body, you can read about some 793 aircraft over-ordered by world airlines and 250 that are supposedly under-ordered. If one believes these numbers, the next 9 months ought to be interesting for IFE vendors! This report seems contrary to recent upturned economic indicators and we wondered if smart folks in our industry had the same opinion? We asked a couple of aviation professionals, and got these answers:

“Regarding passenger demand forecasts, GE’s Ian Gurekian at the 2008 SpeedNews Conference said that, generally speaking, industry passenger demand forecast have been wrong.  Most forecasts show a monotonically rising demand slope in the neighborhood of 3-6% over a couple year period. But he demonstrated that this demand slope almost never happens!  The passenger demand slope is highly volatile.  It ranges from a -3% to a positive 13% over periods as short at one year. This is a very bad forecasting environment so it is no wonder that the number of big jets on order is “over sold.” – John Courtright – SIE

“Have airlines over-ordered new aircraft? I suppose that’s possible. But look at what United did recently. They ordered new aircraft at a time when they could leverage the best OEM pricing. And they weren’t just building a bigger fleet–they were purchasing aircraft that fit their revised business model–one that says fly fewer seats to more destinations and keep the planes full. And they ordered aircraft that were more fuel-efficient, and the orders are spread over what appears to be a realistic timeline. And another and–they might just merge with Continental to bring about a more efficient airline. Delta provides another example–they deferred ordering additional aircraft and reinvested in expanding IFE and improving their cabins. These kinds of decisions do not indicate over-ordering.” Michael Childers – Lightstream Communications.

Ultimately, one reader got it right: “The UBS Wealth Management division has open short sales on Boeing and EADS stock.”

Lastly readers, don’t forget the upcoming AIX in Hamburg, Germany on May 18 – 20. We hope to bring you the latest news in IFE from the floor. And just to prove your IFExpress team go to any length to bring you the lowdown on IFE and connectivity, we are flying to Hamburg via Reykjavik on a B757…GULP!

This week we sorted through a plethora of information bits for our readers to digest and are presenting them here in some order of importance…sorta. The “smiling” face that adorns this issue of IFExpress is that of John Wade, long-time IFE’er. John has been promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager of Aircell’s Business Aviation Services. As a lifer in IFE, John has been associated with most of the connectivity providers during the turbulent beginnings of the technology. We asked John for a comment and he sends the following; “Aircell’s broadband system is making incredible inroads into the business aviation marketplace. For years operators have been waiting for a system that makes broadband a reality and affordable and we have finally achieved that with the systems we are now deploying.” You can read the full press release here. Congratulations John!

The next infobit comes by way of Russia with the announcement from Aeroflot, which plans in-flight telephony installations later this year. The air carrier will install four aircraft (A320’s and A330’s) by the end of 2010. The Russian communications providers, MegaFon will host the ground hardware with support from their own network and service provision deals with foreign mobile operators that support via roaming agreements. Internet, SMS will be supplied by onboard Wi-Fi, although, we understand voice is optioned. We have heard from one source that service will be GSM format and use 1.8 MHz bandwidth. While we initially thought that one of the European inflight connectivity providers might be first inline to deliver hardware for the ground infrastructure and avionics, we are starting to refocus our thinking on the US connectivity provider, Aircell. Stay Tuned.

Our next target is Boeing. Check out the challenge of cold soak testing of the B787 here.

If you travel and like to keep abreast of the happenings in your home town, you might like to check out this URL and keep it bookmarked for your next trip.

For the IFE contest lovers in our readership, Wired Magazine is looking for a few good soothsayers. If you think you know the future of Inflight Entertainment, perhaps you ought to enter this one.

There seems to be a large number of AIX travelers hesitant about purchasing tickets from the US to Hamburg because of that pesky Icelandic volcano whose name shall forever be a source of spelling and pronunciation challenge to us. It seems that tickets are a bargain so he (or she) who hesitates is left behind!

Lastly, someone sent us this exchange between a tower and an airline crew some years ago and we still fell over laughing:

Tower: “TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 degrees.”
TWA 2341: “Center we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?”
Tower: “Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?”

That’s All Folks!


The subject here is Airshow and there looks today, to be a competitor on the horizon offering a value-based solution to what must be thousands of aircraft equipped with the moving map display. While the two markets (airline and bizjet) have different needs, the solution from Flight Display Systems will make an impact on bizjet owners today…and possibly commercial airlines in the future. FDS is offering a replacement to earlier Airshow boxes that are not even supported today (100, 200, and 400 Systems). So we asked FDS about their bizjet solution, specifically, why their moving map display system solutions are the right product at the right time. VP Satellite Systems, Jay Healey, told IFExpress, “When the existing moving map systems fail the aircraft operator must purchase a new Airshow unit. These new Airshow units are very expensive.  Further, all of the old Airshow systems are installed in older aircraft and thus the owners of these aircraft are very concerned about price. We are constantly called by end-use customers who comment: We have an old Airshow in our aircraft and need to replace it but the cost of a new unit is so expensive we cannot afford it. Do you have a lower cost solution? Calls like these were our inspiration so we set about to provide real value into our solution! One Airshow user made this comment: It sure would be nice if you could package your Moving Map so it would slide pin for pin into an Airshow rack. Another piece of the puzzle fell into place.”

“What does the customer get with the upgrade? For less than $12K we deliver the following: Worldwide database FREE, Satellite maps FREE, Custom logo FREE, Custom points of interest FREE.”

Flight Display announced the upgrade program at the AEA convention in Orlando and said they had a number of our dealers come by their booth wanting to purchase the system. “The feedback we have been getting from many operators who have old Airshow systems in their aircraft that do not work is quite positive. Now that we have a low cost solution we have a way to provide our customers a low cost solution and get back the moving map feature they miss. The thing the dealers like the best? All you need do is slide the new Flight Display Systems Moving Map into the existing Airshow rack and turn on the power. A easy sell for the dealer, and no downtime for the end customers.  A win win for both.”

While the product is not available to airlines because the CPU must be located in the pressure vessel it looks to be an engineering problem for the future. One airline told us that they were looking at upwards of $30K to get some moving map display logo’s changed – Jay told IFExpress, “Our logo’s are free!” For more info, contact jay@flightdisplay.com or check out their AIX Booth 6G108 – they will have a demo unit.

Last Minute Stuff:
1. Looks like WAEA will change their name to APEX – Passenger Airline EX-perience. Connectivity, carry-on entertainment devices, and fee overload is changing everybody’s focus.

2. Eyjafjallajökull is killing European Airlines so we contacted the AIX team about the volcano and their show, and they replied: “The decisions are made from day to day so that we do not have any information how it might change in the next weeks.” Oh well, we tried.

3. Our last bit of information has to do with Airbus. It is not so much information as inference. According to one source, the European planemaker is looking at existing IFE suppliers with thoughts of “slimming down the existing offerings…especially single-aisle”. Something is afoot here? Further, “Lumexis, LiveTV and Sicma are competing to be newly offerable at Airbus.  However, since Airbus also wants to limit the number of vendors in their catalog, it looks like they only want one additional new supplier, so we hear. Stay Tuned on this one….