Zii: 

This week’s Zodiac Inflight Innovations (Zii) rectangle should give you an idea of the relative growth of RAVE AVOD customers over the past year or so. RAVE’s sales and marketing Guru, Harry Gray told IFExpress at APEX: “It has been a good year. In the last ninety days, we have acquired six new RAVE customers.” It should be noted, that RAVE has over 250 aircraft flying with inseat systems and almost 300 with RAVE wireless systems. Some of the new customers are prominent and market leading airlines. A recent press release from Singapore noted: “ – four new A350 customers, 150 committed B737Max aircraft, their first A380 customer as well as over 200 Global Express Connectivity equipped aircraft committed with the first installation scheduled early in 2017. Zodiac Inflight Innovations is quietly becoming a force in the world of IFEC. Zii first hit the IFE scene with their revolutionary new Seat Centric IFE system in 2011 and just five years later they are growing with over 45 airline customers, over 550 aircraft in service, and over 650 aircraft in committed backlog.” Noted Harry, “RAVE is: Reliable, Affordable, and Very Easy (to install, operate and maintain) – that is why it has been a success.” He also noted that the retrofit market has been very stable, and as of late, line fit is definitely growing. “Our RAVE systems are much easier to maintain than traditional IFE systems which allows airlines to maintain their own aircraft without the added expense of paying a traditional IFE provider for support” says Matt Smith, CEO for Zodiac Inflight Innovations. “Zii is a company that is different by design; our focus is always on putting our customers first. We want to be a company that Airlines want to work with; customer focused and innovation driven, we relentlessly pursue our core value of RAVE – Reliable, Affordable and Very Easy. It’s more than a name, it’s who we are.”

This year Zii has added an aftermarket support package to round out their portfolio of products. With RAVE Care, an airline can tailor a support package to its specific needs for a fixed price per month per aircraft. RAVE Care can include everything that an airline needs to maintain and operate their IFE systems, including spares, repairs, customer abuse and even content integration. Included in RAVE Care is a software guarantee that means airlines never have to worry about the cost of updating their Passenger User Interface and features over the lifetime of the system.

Kontron:

Kontron’s latest equipment developments include their ACE Flight 4608 8 core onboard server, which has the capability to do a lot more than inflight entertainment. For example, Kontron’s early systems featured solid state drives which were in the 100 GB but today their servers will feature 7 TB drives that are all solid state. The important point to note is that communication/connectivity enhancements are a real future capability. The Kontron team told us that Kontron specializes in cabin systems as well as security and safety certifications. Furthermore, the 4608 server excels at data processing onboard, the benefit to the airline is that they don’t have to wait to get the information off the aircraft when it is on the ground – once again proving that the big data technology is becoming an expectation and a reality. They also received FAA PMA for their Cab-n-Connect A100 wireless access point (PIX).  It should be noted that it delivers next-generation HD video and is certified on Boeing, Airbus, and Embrear aircraft. (Editor’s Note: Since 2005 Kontron has added new IFE and connectivity equipment every year. This year seven new products and iterations were unveiled: the ACE Flight 4780 MODMAN, ACE Flight Server 4608, the ACE Flight Server 4600, the ACE Flight Server 2600, and the ACE Flight Server 1600, the ACE Flight Server 904 and the Cab-n-Connect A100.)

PXCom:

This year APEX introduced a ‘Cool Award’ that was selected by industry peers. PXCom was the recipient of this award, probably because of the recognition of many of the companies’ innovations such as seat back wireless IFE compatible destination guides and destination information. IFExpress has had the pleasure of knowing Cyril Jean of PXCom for several years now and we have reported on their many innovative IFE communication developments and we were thrilled that their IFE peers acknowledged their creativity. Congratulations PXCom!

GEE:
We had the opportunity to meet GEE’s new Director of Marketing, Nancy Harvey during APEX. She was happy to discuss their recent content agreement with Qatar Airways, which was announced during the expo. The deal is a new one for GEE that expands on their longstanding relationship with the airline and covers several years where they will provide movies, music, audio, and TV for on 164 aircraft, as well as, 8 charter jets and 12 business jets. (Editor’s Note: In our November 15th issue of IFExpress we discussed GEE’s recent JV with Shareco of HNA Group. Joint venture would exclusively provide inflight connectivity hardware and entertainment services on HNA airlines, comprising over 320 aircraft today with the potential to grow to over 500 planes. Shareco plans to invest up to $416 million in GEE stock at $11 per share through a combination of primary and secondary share purchases. Under terms of the contemplated transactions, GEE and Shareco would form a JV to provide IFEC and passenger monetization services to HNA airlines.)


AIRBUS

The first of three A350-1000 development aircraft to fly – MSN059 – landed at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport France at 15.00hrs local time after successfully completing its first flight which lasted four hours and 18 minutes. Powered by Rolls-Royce’s new Trent XWB-97 engines, the aircraft traversed south-western France, during which the crew explored the aircraft’s handling and flight envelope. (See the full press release in “News Releases” below.)

On another front, Airbus plans to increase delivery rate of their A350 next to some 80 aircraft next year.


BOEING

New Hire
Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Monday named Kevin G. McAllister president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, succeeding company Vice Chairman Ray Conner in that role. Muilenburg also appointed Stanley A. Deal president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, a new business unit to be formed from the customer services groups within the company’s existing commercial airplanes and defense, space and security business units. McAllister joins Boeing from GE Aviation. Deal is a veteran Boeing executive. Conner, 61, will continue to serve as Boeing vice chairman through 2017. He will work closely with McAllister in the months ahead on a purposeful hand-off of customer, supplier, and community and government relationships, and to ensure continuity of operations and customer support. Conner also will provide strategic oversight and guidance for the company’s transition to a single integrated services business and remain involved in ongoing product development strategy at Commercial Airplanes. Deal will begin immediately finalizing and executing detailed and deliberate plans to structure and organize the new business while ensuring all near-term customer commitments are met and value is maximized over the long term. Deal and McAllister join Caret as business unit leaders reporting directly to Muilenburg. They also become members of the company’s Executive Council. The appointments are effective Nov. 21, 2016.

World Trade Organization Ruling
The World Trade Organization (WTO) today rejected virtually all of the European Union’s challenges to the Washington state tax incentives. The EU challenged seven different state tax incentives.  The WTO rejected entirely the EU’s challenge to six of the seven incentives and rejected most of the challenge to the seventh.  The WTO held only and narrowly that a reduction in Washington state’s Business and Occupancy (B&O) tax rate for future 777X revenues is inconsistent with the WTO agreements.  The WTO threw out all of the EU’s other challenges to various incentive programs and left untouched even the B&O tax rate as it applies to revenue from the other Boeing models produced in Washington state–the 737, 747, 767, 777 (current model) and 787. In total, the EU claimed that Boeing had received $8.7 billion in subsidies.  This claim was rejected by the WTO, which found future incentives totaling no more than $50 million a year to be impermissible.  The WTO found that to date Boeing has received no benefit from the 777X rate incentive, and will not until 2020, because the first airplane will not be delivered until then. In light of today’s decision and the massive liability that the WTO has found against the EU and Airbus, we expect the EU and Airbus to appeal the decision.

  • Kontron’s five new passively-cooled boards and modules with powerful, energy-efficient Intel® technology will be available 4th quarter 2016

Augsburg, Germany | October 26, 2016– Kontron, one of the world’s leading providers of Embedded Computer Technology (ECT), will introduce five new embedded platforms including motherboards and Computer-on-modules (COMs) based on the next-generation Intel® AtomTM processor E3900 series, Intel® Celeron® processor N3350, and Intel® Pentium® processor N4200 platform. Kontron’s new passively cooled embedded platforms will help developers achieve powerful and more energy-efficient solutions especially for low-noise systems that can benefit from CPUs that do not need any active cooling. POI/POS and other applications demanding high graphics quality are also well-supported with the latest Kontron boards and modules that offer the ability to support up to three independent displays at Ultra 4K resolution, and can handle up to 15 simultaneous 1080p decode streams.

Targeted at cost-sensitive all-in-one computer architectures, Intel’s new system-on-a-chip (SoC) Atom™ processors E3900 series feature multicore performance based on a new microarchitecture, and are manufactured on Intel’s latest and industry-leading 14nm tri-gate manufacturing process. These processors offer intense image processing/graphics and powerful real-time computing capabilities in a power-efficient and compact form factor. Intel has also added improved security and reliability capabilities. The new security engine offers the enhanced ability to protect data and operations in the most challenging environments. Intel’s time coordinated computing allows processors to be synchronized in an IoT network to within a millisecond, making processes more reliable and new, more demanding applications possible.

The new Kontron product family enables systems to be developed with extended levels of compute performance and greatly optimized energy efficiency. Passively cooled systems are easily supported by Atom™ processors’ low-power CPU dissipation. This feature ensures that the overall system is particularly quiet and much more reliable. In addition, Kontron’s new boards and modules deliver greatly enhanced 3D graphics performance, improved memory throughput with optional ECC support, and eMMC flash storage. Kontron also offers customers extended temperature platform options that are ideal for applications that must operate in demanding environmental conditions.

An added advantage for developers is that the new embedded platforms will be equipped with Kontron’s standard hardware-based embedded Security Solution Approtect. Kontron is the first embedded computing supplier to offer full security protection embedded in its COMs and motherboard offerings.

Augsburg, Germany | September 29, 2015– Kontron, a global market leader for embedded computing technology (ECT), has appointed Jim VandeSteeg to lead and direct the Avionics Business Line effective September 30th, 2015. VandeSteeg brings more than 27 years of aviation experience to Kontron where he has held increasingly responsible management positions most recently at Panasonic Avionics. In this strategic role, VandeSteeg will leverage his proven success in identifying new business opportunities, provide strategy and policy development and customer relationship management in both domestic and global markets.

“Jim is a big win for Kontron. His years of relevant industry experience at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Honeywell Aerospace and Rockwell Collins will boost our prospects for significant sustainable growth,” explained Kevin Rhoads Executive Vice President, Avionics, Transportation and Defense business unit at Kontron.
“I am thrilled to join Kontron at this time of growth in its avionics portfolio. I am confident my expertise will be instrumental in strengthening Kontron’s position with customers, and increasing its influence for the advanced development of commercial avionics in-flight entertainment and ground communications systems,” remarked VandeSteeg.

Kontron is a known global market leader of advanced embedded computing solutions that are backed by the company’s more than 30 years of design expertise engineering avionics technologies. The avionics products Kontron develops have resulted in the industry’s most cost-effective certified In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFE&C) open platform solutions in the market.

This week, entertainment and connectivity news looked like a shotgun blast of scattered stories, and we had a hard time picking a lead story! So instead of picking one to feature as our Hot Topic we thought it might be better, or at least different, to grasp the whole mess laid out by subject area. You choose what to read!


Meetings

APEX
The future of technology is up in the air, literally. APEX EXPO is 35,000 feet above all other industry trade shows when it comes to bringing you the latest in inflight technology and connectivity! Join the industry Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in Portland Oregon for the passenger experience industry’s most comprehensive trade show, including a day of world-class speakers and sessions devoted to technological issues and the future of the passenger experience, among other exciting topics!

  • Leo Mondale, President, Aviation for Inmarsat, will delve into business models built around “future-proof” technologies that won’t be obsolete in a few years
  • Craig Proud, SVP Platform for GuestLogix, will discuss onboard payment technologies – Apple Pay, MasterCard Paypass, Visa PayWave and more – that are seamless and satisfying for passengers
  • Jim Costello, Chief Technology Officer for Telefonix, Inc. will cover the challenges and potential solutions for developing IFEC that stays relevant in a rapidly evolving market

IATA
The 138th Slot Conference of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global trade association for the airline industry, will be held in Hamburg from 21 to 23 June 2016. Following the World Passenger Symposium in 2015, this will be the second event of this renowned umbrella organisation to be hosted in Hamburg – thereby confirming Hamburg’s important role in the international aviation industry. Around 600 experts from the aviation industry are expected to attend the biggest of the IATA events, which will take place at the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg.


Aviation


Airline


IFE Specific

Connectivity:


Wi-Fi Specific

Beacons:

Wi-Fi Aware:

 Satcom:


FlightDeck

  • BOSE develops new features for A20 Aviation Headsets Among other them; the A20’s can now stream warnings and advisories thru apps via Bluetooth connectivity.

Cabin


Airframe Manufacturers

Airbus:

Boeing:


Security

  • Looks like Kontron is focusing on secure connectivity inflight
  • You are going to hear a lot more about the Hacking Team (company) in the future, but for now, Wi-Fi Hacking Drones are the subject here. Coming your way soon.
  • It’s about time!
  • And finally, in case you wondering if this last link has anything to do with IFEC —  it does not. Would you like to guess how many recorded Internet security attacks there were yesterday? Eleven? One hundred and eleven? Eleven thousand… how about 11,059,744! Numbers like this really put the scale of potential aviation hack worries into perspective. You can see a threat intelligence map in realtime here.

Editor’s Note: This week’s rectangle has very little to do with IFE – we just wanted you to see the terrific Boeing Paint job!

This year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, which played host to the world’s largest display of aircraft interiors products and services, welcomed 8906 (pre-audit) visitors through its doors between April 9-11.  This was a 12% increase on the previous year. The exhibition featured over 500 exhibiting companies from 26 countries, covering a record floor space on 18,000 sq m – the largest footprint to date. Organized by Reed Exhibitions and taking place in Hamburg, Germany, the exhibition attracted over 750 airline representatives that were ideally placed to witness the launch of many new innovations in the cabin interior sector. Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity hosted numerous product launches and upgrades, including, TriaGnoSys’ AeroConnex+ which offers greater data streaming capabilities, integrated gatelink to 3G and 4G mobile phone networks and WLAN access point.  Another key feature is its weight at only 4kg, making it 20% lighter than its predecessor.  Panasonic Avionics used the exhibition to launch its new conceptual 14-inch monitor developed specifically with economy class in mind, while Lufthansa Systems unveiled its e-reader functionality for its BoardConnect Wireless IFE system.

As noted last week, over 300 delegates attended the Passenger Experience Conference that took place on 8th April at the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg. The audience, which included senior representatives of major airlines, air framers and cabin interiors suppliers, heard Tom Costley, Director, Head of Travel & Tourism, TNS UK give some encouraging news for the industry, saying that despite what looked like being a prolonged period of depressed global economic conditions, the travel and tourism sector was proving more resilient than most. The older generation, having both the desire and money to see the world, was a major driver.  Don’t miss this one next year, and be sure to sneak over to the Food & Catering show – it rocks!

To continue to fill in the product mix, this week we have a few more for you to check out while planning your new flying product. First, lets note the Cellular Terminal Wireless LAN Unit (cTWLU) from VT Miltope. The specs look impressive – Wireless gateway from an aircraft LAN to a ground based LAN: GSM/GPRS/EDGE, GSM HPSA+UMTS, LTE, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g and IEEE 802.11n (two points if you get the alphabet soup). This unit is a powerhouse! Contact Bob Guidetti for more information.

Kontron displayed their ACE Flight 600 (4MCU) General Purpose Airborne Server. Intel core i7 processor (Sandy Bridge) and 16 GB RAM – front removable SSD’s (nice touch) and an internal managed Ethernet switch. Input power is 115 VAC, 360 – 800 Hz, with 200 msec holdup. Contact Alan Manns, Business Development Manager.

Yukio Sugimoto was there and quite proud of his new 12″ widescreen retractable overhead display. This is a great product from the master himself – you can get more information from ACS by contacting Yuko Sugimoto, President ACS. Check it out, Boeing and Airbus!

In case you are interested in the state of colored LED lighting, the folks at Bruce Aerospace kindly showed us a couple examples of LED colored wash lights that they have developed. In case you hadn’t noticed, this new lighting has taken the airline industry by storm. Shown here is a good example of colored wash lighting and Bruce tells us that LED’s have a power savings advantage of at least 20% with a payback of 2 to 3 years – reliability and power saving make LED’s a real winner. You can reach Bruce Aerospace at +1 775 246 0101 and ask for Steve Jaffe, General Manager.>

From the new product files, we really liked the SKYPower Combined from the KID Systeme folks. When airlines want to give it all to their upper class passengers, this is how you power them. The combined system delivers 110 AC and 5 volt USB power from one MCU. If your passengers need 110 AC power for their GSM phones and 5 volts DC USB for their iPads, they will not suffer “connectivity withdrawal”! For more info contact Peter Schetschine.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Coming to an airport near you soon – “Femtocells”. IFExpress talked to a retired IFE Genius recently about the use of Femtocells, and while they don’t have an airplane application, he told us: “As you may read HERE people are looking for “what if” the cell phone capacity of the world starts to ‘fill-up’? I already have a related issue in that where I live, I cannot get a reliable signal. I purchased a “Femtocell” device from ATT so that when I am at home, I can use my cellphone very reliably and not have dropped calls, etc. This device interfaces my cellphone to the Internet over my ISP, Comcast and somewhere along the line ATT picks up on it and puts the call back on its cellular network. HERE is another link to this subject.”

– At APEX Expo, Kontron to demonstrate proven IFE equipment solutions

Long Beach, CA | September 18, 2012– Kontron offers developers of In-flight Entertainment & Communication (IFE&C) applications standardized and proven ultra-rugged computing platforms based on its 25 years of support for both military and commercial aerospace applications. The company continually leverages processor, storage and wireless technology advancements in its system-level hardware solutions to maximize performance while meeting significant cost and weight reduction requirements as well as developers’ time-to-market and total cost goals.

Kontron invites you to learn about and experience the new enabling technologies the company offers that are making “Wireless in the Sky” a reality.

Where: APEX Expo, Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA
When: September 17 – 20, 2012
Location: Kontron Booth #1066

Demonstrations

Kontron and planBmedia, Inc. – illustrates full audio and video on-demand for passengers that integrate Kontron’s latest ACE Flight™ Server and CWAP solutions with planBmedia’s Skyfi Wireless streaming software. The demonstration shows how this solution provides the utmost performance and interactive user experience, and allows passengers to use their own personal device based either on iOS, Android, QNX, Windows or Linux operating system for limitless interactive capability and Internet connectivity.

Kontron ACE Flight™ 600 airborne video server and a Cab-n-Connect™ cabin wireless access point (CWAP) – As airlines are eliminating unnecessary weight from their aircraft, it is critical that wireless-in-the-sky deployments deliver the highest possible weight-to-revenue return. Kontron’s modular CWAP and airborne server uses advanced technologies to deliver a high performance fully certified wireless access point that is only two-thirds of the weight, size and cost of available alternatives.

Kontron COBALT – Showcasing an ideal computer airborne solution for applications requiring performance and reduced SWaP (Size, Weight & Power), this conduction cooled, environmentally-sealed embedded computer system offers a wide selection of processor, storage, power and interface options. It delivers high performance from 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7 processors in a low power, small footprint rugged system. Kontron COBALT’s modular approach allows system architects the flexibility to extend its feature sets for specific applications.

Kontron Rugged Airborne Ethernet Switch – Displays Kontron’s 24-Port Layer2/Layer3 GbE switching with IPv4/IPv6 routing and management capabilities. This sealed switch is conduction cooled and optimized for reduced SWaP and designed to be compliant with RTCA/DO-160F environmental and EMI requirements.