Moscow, Russia – April 5, 2011 —Alex KRINICHANSKY, Executive Director of TRANSAERO Airlines of Russia, today joined Lumexis CEO Doug Cline in announcing the airline’s selection of Lumexis’s cutting-edge FTTS (Fiber-To-The-Screen[R]) technology, to begin immediately with full-cabin retrofit of four 373-seat Boeing 777-300s this year and three 522-seat B747-400s starting first quarter of 2012.

“As the leading full service carrier in the region, Transaero is committed to providing our passengers with a truly superior in-flight experience in all classes of service,” said Executive Director Krinichansky. “After carefully investigating and assessing the latest available In-Flight Entertainment/Communication (IFEC) products over several years, we found that only Lumexis’s Fiber To The Screen (FTTS[R]) IFE could support the full range of advanced passenger services and entertainment we required, uniquely including full AVOD HDTV delivery to every passenger in all cabins.”

“Lumexis is honored to be able to partner with such a distinguished, superior-service airline,” Cline added. “as the wide-body launch customer for our second generation of FTTS, Transaero Airlines demanded not only unparalleled, leading-edge performance, but most importantly, the highest reliability to assure uninterrupted service and full passenger satisfaction. The airline management’s emphasis on truly superior in-flight service sets the carrier apart from its competitors.”

As Cline explained further, “While it provides unmatched delivery capacity, the unique FTTS fiber optic network is so simple to install – at less than half the cost and weight of earlier generation, copper-based systems – that installation time is reduced to less than a third of the time required for other, more complex systems, Thus, Transaero will be able to complete its first four B777-300 cabin retrofits in the fourth quarter of this year alone.”

Recently, while searching around for a Hot Topic, we came across a note from Dave Garing, CEO of Innovative Advantage, a Seattle area maker of cabin systems for business jets. We asked if their products might see the light of day (GRIN) on the commercial aircraft world because they feature Fiber Optic interconnectivity. Here is what he told IFExpress about their cabin management/in-flight entertainment system:

“Yes, we are new attendees to WAEA TC. Have developed fiber-based IFE infrastructure targeting the biz-jet (installing now on Gulfstream G450s and G550s and will be standard equipment on G650/G250). We are looking to see how our technology may apply to commercial transport.”

At this point we were very interested, we said, “Sure.” So here is their input and we suggest you download the two PDF’s referenced below and follow along.

“I just received your information request wanted to let you know about our audio/video system that uses fiber to minimize the amount and weight of the wiring typical of the entertainment system.

Briefly – Innovative Advantage was started 5 years ago to provide a fully digital Audio Video Distribution System (AVDS) to meet the needs of the VIP aircraft industry. The AVDS architecture is a network of nodes connected by a fiber network (~76Gbit). The fiber network can run up to 1km.

Our current units are shipping and STC’d. There is a Gulfstream press release that you might have seen.

The attached drawing is in some literature that was available at the NBAA – but I have highlighted the connections and added a legend in the PDF.

The green path around the aircraft carries the video and audio to all points in the aircraft over a very small and light fiber cable. This reduces the bigger and heavier cable runs typically required of HDMI sources (Blu-ray, etc.) and eliminates the repeaters necessary for long runs.

The blue boxes are our AVDS boxes. The boxes can be configured to support different numbers of audio/video inputs and/or outputs. The aircraft size represented could use between 3 and 6 boxes. The number again would be based on the sources and seats/displays. The customer may also choose to install the system earlier in production in a generic configuration – to save time later in the completion process. The architecture also increases your floor plan flexibility in that you can have source equipment racks fwd, mid, aft, or scattered to move weight around or meet some specific customer requirement.

The red lines are the typical wires that run between AVDS nodes and PCU’s at the seats, Blu-ray players, Airshow, etc. We can provide SDI outputs at all nodes to reduce the video wiring.

And last we have a simple interface that any other cabin management system provider can use to control the switching of the audio and video sources. Interfacing with other providers of switches and cabin management systems is shown in the CMS Interface document attached.

You can also see how a typical VOD system connects. The VOD players would be fed into one or more AVDS nodes and then the data would be sent over fiber to the rest of our AVDS system so that the VOD source could be switched with the other sources on the aircraft.

There are no compromises for the user – high definition audio and video signals can be input or output at any node and then transmitted on the fiber to any other node in the network.

Our team here as experience working at and with Gulfstream, Rockwell, Bombardier, Cessna, Airshow, Pacific Systems, Microsoft, etc. – We also have expertise with the set-top box community and hardware/software design of AV compression and distribution systems.

Thanks for your time. If you have any questions let me know.” So, we guess this means you! (425 765-8946 or VP, Business Development)

And now for something completely different: We almost blew a gasket when we saw this YouTube video about a new Southwest product, the T7…you have got to watch this video! Have to! As part of the background for our overseas readers, Southwest Airlines (Bless their pea-pickin’ hearts) are the only big US carrier that has refused to charge for check-in baggage. To highlight their efforts, they made this tongue-in-cheek video that sucked us in. Great stuff and thanx to John Courtright of SIE!