We rarely publish stories on company moves, almost never. We got wind of an Astronics move (1.5 miles north on Willows Rd) so we went to see the new building which will house more than 300 employees (current full-time headcount is 312). The move comes amid a business and employee hiring expansion. Why, demand for inseat power is growing disproportionately to airline growth but is more akin to the growth of portable devices like Smartphones. Wi-Fi connectivity is becoming the darling of the flying set and with smaller single-aisle aircraft taking up the growth charge, the inseat product line will grow with it.

If you don’t know (or remember Astronics, here is a short primer: Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (Astronics AES) began in Seattle, Washington as Electric Service Company “ELSCO” in 1958. In the 1960s the company focused on the small specialty power supply business and in the 1970s moved to Redmond, WA. During the 1980s product offerings expanded further to system-level power systems and test systems. In the early 1990s the company delivered a new product – airplane cabin phone systems for AT&T and later in the 1990s introduced its in-seat power system, EmPower®. In the early 2000s, Astronics AES moved to a larger building in Redmond and introduced the CorePower® product line, a complete power generation and distribution systems for business aircraft. EmPower®– In-seat power systems for commercial and business aircraft provides power to run laptops, portable electronic devices and in-flight entertainment systems. EmPower® systems.

And lastly, but still in the Astronics mode, here are a few juicy bits we picked up about the newest (soon to be announced) inset power product. See if you can figure out what it is?

Commercially:
1)  The attest product from the leader of In Seat Power products.
2)     First to market with a system that charges 4 iPads simultaneously as well as other similar devices.
3)     Launch customer to be announced soon.
4)     Directed in response to airlines that are launching IFEC. programs and also recognize that passengers are carrying on their own electronic environment.

Technically:
1. Provides power to 4 USB devices.
2. Delivers up to 2.1A / device to charge iPad and other similar devices
3. Weight – > 0.35kg  (> 0.75lbs)
4. Has a very small form factor.
5. Compatible with Airbus and Boeing design requirements.
6. It is interchangeable / intermixable with ISPSS and IFE systems.
7. Wide frequency input
8. Meets OEM offerability requirements..
9. Patents are pending.
10. Meets FAA/EASA requirements.
11. It is efficient – it exhibits very Low Heat dissipation.

Stay Tuned!