The installation of Wi-Fi access points and WAP’s in aircraft cabins is part science and part black magic, or so we are told. Often, airlines have the challenge of “space available”. Let’s face it, the black art of RF and antennas needs a little help and that is where VT MIltope’s cabin antenna and mounting bracket come in. At first we thought – no big deal – but we were so wrong. Firstly, the four horizontal dipoles are not only removable via connectors, they are installed horizontally when the WAP is mounted either flat or inverted horizontally. No separate antenna mounts adds up to less install time and easy replacement. The connectors do allow remote antenna installations; however, they do provide easy access for repair and replacement as well. If you look closely at the attached image, you will see four black 802.11 antennas on the mounting bracket. Working in conjunction with the VTM nMAP Access Point product, the antenna bracket optimizes both 802.11a/b/g transmit and receive signal antenna and the three 802.11n MIMO antennas. (Note: Wikipedia explains MIMO thusly: “MIMO technology has attracted attention in wireless communications, because it offers significant increases in data throughput and link range without additional bandwidth or increased transmit power. It achieves this goal by spreading the same total transmit power over the antennas to achieve an array gain that improves the spectral efficiency (more bits per second per hertz of bandwidth) or to achieve a diversity gain that improves the link reliability (reduced fading). Because of these properties, MIMO is an important part of modern wireless communication standards such as IEEE 802.11n (Wi-Fi), 4G, 3GPP Long Term Evolution, WiMAX and HSPA+.” The real deal here is the exact placement of the three MIMO antennas. You can see the precise spacing of the antennas one on each end and one centered, which are the 802.11n MIMO antennas. The exact placement (end-center-end) is for interference optimization while the one remaining antenna serves 802.11a/b/g. For more information contact Bob Guidetti.

As we went to press, we received a release from ACS detailing a joint development program between ACS and Gulfstream for HD LCD video monitors and touchscreens with a note: “We are finally able to release the news regarding our G650 Joint Development Program. It is now complete as GAC has received their STC for the G650. 25 Shipsets consisting of a 5.7” and a 10.1” TS (really PCs), a 17” and a 26” Bulkhead monitor and a 26” Credenza monitor have been ordered and are shipping now. These products are also being installed on Legacy Aircraft such as the G450 and G550 as well. The paragraph in the data sheet noting “fiber-optic distribution technology” and “single-point failures will be resolved or mitigated automatically” caught our attention. For more information contact Bill Baltra.

Don’t miss the Rockwell Collins booth if you happen to be at NBAA. Their latest news release (see our News Release section below) touts a new “Skybox” server, based on Apple compatibility. It looks like Rockwell has seen the light on PEDs and if we aren’t mistaken, this means they have a much closer relationship with Apple than most IFE vendors and are possibly using their hardware on the server side. At APEX, we saw some very clean Rockwell concepts displayed on iPads that looked like “apps” for portable Apple products. Now we are curious about the iTunes store and it’s app integration with Skybox. We were knocked out by the AIRSHOW “app”… expect to see more of this one, possibly in commercial aviation! For more data contact Josh Baynes of Rockwell Collins.

Meet Tom Mockler. Oh, you already know him! Well, he was with another company over the last 30 years but now he has his own start-up called InflightDirect. Tom saw an opening to sell airlines inflight amenities like headphones, amenity kits, blankets and so on directly from the manufacturers with out the middleman (middle person?). Anyway, Tom serves the travel industry and told IFExpress that he sells over 400 different kinds of headphones – overhead (noise canceling, passive, disposable, resale units with logos, etc). Headphones have become a very inexpensive commodity to manufacture as most of them are produced in automated factories and thus he saw a price market that his company could develop. He told IFExpress that his prices “… are lower than anybody!” You had better check that out and get a quote: or phone 401 714-4190