At a recent IFEC show IFExpress was standing in front of an incredible 65” inch  display, watching camera footage of a verdant forest scene. While standing there we commented to a person next to us on how incredibly real in color and depth the video was – we even noted that one could see the live insects. Without missing a beat, the fellow watching too said, “Yes, but I will tell you, I would rather watch the bugs, than be there with them!”

The 4k video display we were watching was a new product from Aircraft Cabin Systems who appear to be on the cutting edge of display density. When we asked Richie Sugimoto, President, he noted: “The design concept is a first in the IFE industry and offers customized, input / output modules allowing for functionality with a variety of IFE systems.  ACS can provide the customer the monitor size they want, complete with the video inputs needed without building a special unit.” Two things we did not realize – ACS offers 9 sizes of Ultra High Definition (UHD) 4K displays (27”, 32”, 40”, 43”, 50”, 55”, 58”, 65”, 75”) and they have “customizable input/output modules allowing for functionality with a wide variety of IFE systems.” Here is why the displays are so flexible and applicable to aircraft: “It Integrates with your existing HD IFE system for a UHD viewing experience, Supports up-scaling: From standard 1080p HD to 4K UHD,  Various sizes from 27” – 75” monitors, Standard modular input-modules include: HDMI / SDI (6G) / Component – Composite, Customizable video / control ports also available, Supports Variable Wide Frequency power input, Monitor orientation: Mount from top or bottom, Designed for bulkhead or credenza mounting, Quiet, convection cooled system.”

Next, we asked the ACS Team about the new product and they told IFExpress: “ACS is currently developing the market’s first 4K UHD Modular Monitor which will offer customized, modular video inputs & control ports. The modular design concept is unique. The design allows customers to integrate to their existing HD IFE system for a UHD viewing experience. The design also supports upscaling, from the 1080P Full HD to 4K Ultra HD. The process is easy. The customer selects the 4K monitor size they require. There are 9 sizes to select from. While the 40” or larger sizes will ostensibly be the most popular, the sizes range from 27” up to a grand 75”. The customer will then select the input(s) required.  Input selections include: HDMI, SDI (6G) or Composite/Component. Depending on the monitor size, each monitor can support 2 or 3 internal modules. Both the HDMI & SDI (6G) modules include two inputs and one output each. The Composite/Component module includes one Composite input and one Component input only. As customer requirements often mandate multiple and unique inputs, this modular approach will allow ACS to assemble a qualified monitor meeting the customer-required requirements in short order.  All monitors will be provided with qualification test documentation meeting the testing standards of DO-160G & DO-313.”

ACS also noted:Most interest has been from the VVIP market place as they are looking for the latest, most advanced picture quality they can have in their aircraft. The product is still in the test phase while ACS finishes the qualification testing.” They went on to say: “The design concept is a first in the IFE industry and offers customized, input / output modules allowing for functionality with a variety of IFE systems. ACS can provide the customer the monitor size they want, complete with the video inputs needed without building a special unit.”

Further, we asked about the modular inputs and ACS noted: “While the inputs are fixed, the modular design allows the customer to select their inputs of choice allowing ACS to then assemble a monitor meeting their unique requirements. Note: The modular design is available in a variety of sizes. The standard modular input-modules include: HDMI / SDI (6G) / Component -Composite.” They went on: “The 75” 4k UHD monitor is the world’s largest inflight monitor. Even given this large size, there is great interest in the marketplace. All monitors will be provided with a C of C, complete with DO-160 testing documentation. When possible, ACS will work with customers and their STC program to help secure PMA certification as needed.”

Lastly, they told IFExpress: Be sure to see ACS and their new Modular Monitor at the upcoming NBAA show, booth # N1517. The show will be in Las Vegas this year, from October 10th – 12th.”

Checkout their 4K Brochure

(Editor’s Note: In case you wondered, UHD 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) has twice the vertical and horizontal resolution of full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels). Given the number of pixels in 4K, it is hard to describe the depth and clarity of the ACS displays. Be sure at the next show you attend that you check out anything 4k!)

Other News

  • It looks like Boeing came away from the 2017 Paris Air Show the winner over Airbus with 147 (net) orders and commitments for 571 aircraft ($74 Billion) thanks to the B737MAX (147 new orders for the B737MAX 10 and the B787 Dreamliner (214 conversions to the MAX 10 from other models). Airbus snagged 326 orders worth some $40 Billion. Further in the wide-body world, they snagged orders worth $3.6 Billion (with MOU’s for an additional $2.3 Billion). Noted John Leahy, COO: “Our commercial success this week at Paris extends our already diversified order backlog to a new industry record of over 6,800 aircraft, with 326 orders worth $40 billion.”
  • Also, if you think the future is full of giant 4 engine jets, you might think again. Boeing, for example has dropped the 4 engine aircraft from it’s annual forecast. Obviously the efficient twin engine jets like B787 and the future B777X are the twins of future flights. And when the next B797 (or whatever it is called) comes along in the 2020-2025 time frame, Boeing and Airbus just may be heading out of the commercial 4 engine planes. Interestingly, Airbus hasn’t scored any new orders for an A380 in more than a year. Further, Boeing has warned that the B747-8 may be on the way out. Both Boeing and Airbus have been watching the demand drop for the big ones as smaller planes gain range and increased capacity. Bigger may not be better!
  • Want to read a good article on connectivity payment modeling: GCA Link June 2017 – Business Models Evolve with New IFEC Technology | Avionics Digital Edition
  • If you think airplane air is bad for you, there may be one low oxygen condition that helps you adjust to a time zone change. We know, we all believed that just the opposite was the case, but we all may be wrong! Here is the test information results from a study as reported in Science Magazine (website): “Abramovich et al observed daily cycles in the concentration of oxygen in blood and tissues of mice kept on a normal light-dark cycle. These variations were sufficient to alter the abundance of the transcription factor HIF1α (hypoxia-inducible factor 1α). In cultured cells, changes in oxygen concentration could entrain the circadian clock only if HIF1α was present. When animals were subjected to a 6-hour change in the light cycle (like traveling eastward on a jet), animals kept in a low concentration of oxygen adapted more quickly.” We thought that airplanes had a reduced oxygen content inflight, so why don’t we feel better? Perhaps we need less oxygen – sure!

If you are wondering why and IFEC newsletter features an airplane cockpit display its because we know you monitor two or three LCD displays (OK, e-Ink too) when you fly but so does the flight crew, and thus, we thought you might like to see them. Being bigger is truly better for flying, but also being LCD, the data source can be flexible for safety reasons, all switchable by the crew. Hey, it beats the fixed source electromechanical displays! We thought our readers might like to see where the cockpit display size is heading and the new Boeing 737 MAX is the perfect example. If you have not seen the wonderful Rockwell Collins large-format displays, check out this week’s rectangle image or download it for your desktop or screensaver image!

According to the company: “The Boeing 737 MAX took its first flight in Renton, Washington, making it the latest next-generation Boeing aircraft to fly with Rockwell Collins’ advanced large-format flight displays. More than 3,000 737 MAX aircraft are on order with the first delivery expected in 2017. The new 737 MAX flight deck includes four configurable 15.1-inch landscape LCD displays from Rockwell Collins that will increase situational awareness and efficiency. The displays will serve as a foundation for NextGen airspace technologies entering the marketplace.” Now, if you have not seen the 737 MAX first flight, you can watch it here: Boeing Completes Successful 737 MAX First Flight – Jan 29, 2016 . Rockwell went on to say; “We share Boeing’s pride in watching the 737 MAX soar, right on program schedule. This first flight was especially exciting for us since it marks the first time that Rockwell Collins displays have been featured on a 737 flight deck,” said Steve Timm, vice president and general manager, Air Transport Systems for Rockwell Collins. They went on: “Today’s event also marks the continuation of a strong collaborative relationship with Boeing to bring these advanced displays and flight deck commonality to its entire fleet of next-generation aircraft. In addition to the Boeing 737 MAX, Rockwell Collins is providing its large-format flight deck displays on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing 777X, and the KC-46 Tanker. The displays are also an upgrade to legacy Boeing 767 and 757 aircraft. The Boeing 737 MAX will feature four Rockwell Collins large-format, 15.1-inch LCD displays.

Editor’s Note: In the previously linked image you might note the HUD above the Captains seat – The head-up display is a Rockwell Collins product called Head-up Guidance System (HGS). It’s an option on the MAX (and the NG now, too), and is standard on the Boeing 787 (two of them, in fact, one for pilot and co-pilot). Rockwell told us the older HSI and ADI terms are now replaced by “PFD (primary flight display) and MFD (multi-function flight display)? The PFDs are on the outside and the MFDs are the two inner displays.”

Switching channels to the competition; on the Airbus front we found this: “The 737 MAX, like Airbus’ competing A320neo, is a relatively mild evolution of a mass-market airliner that has dominated the skies for decades. The original 737 dates back to the 1960s, improving over the years with different sizes and seating configurations, better engines, and longer range. The big thing with the MAX is the so-called LEAP-1B engine, promising 20 percent better fuel efficiency than the family of models it’s replacing. (The A320neo’s focal point is its new engine too and if you missed the A320neo first flight in Sept 25, 2014 here it is.”


  1. Gogo announced that its Gogo Vision product has been installed on more than 2,000 aircraft. The technology is disrupting the traditional “seat-back solution” model and has Gogo operating with scale as large as some of the biggest in-flight entertainment companies. Gogo is now the leading provider of wireless in-flight entertainment by a large margin and is making gains on becoming the largest in-flight entertainment provider in the world. “We know that passengers want entertainment on their own devices. We also know that almost everyone boards a plane with at least one Wi-Fi enabled device. Gogo Vision was built to take advantage of this trend,” said Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo’s chief commercial officer. “It has become successful because weight matters in aviation. When compared to traditional in-flight entertainment solutions, Gogo is much lighter weight, requires less maintenance and is lower cost.” More than 2,200 commercial aircraft are outfitted with the technology and more than 1 million videos are being watched through Gogo Vision each month. The video content is stored on a server on the plane and delivered to a passenger’s own device through Gogo’s in-cabin network. In the past year alone, Gogo added its Gogo Vision product to more than 1,000 aircraft including aircraft operated by most major U.S. airlines. “We continue to develop digital products and services that leverage our connectivity technology in support of our mission: to advance aviation by connecting every aircraft,” added ElDifrawi. “Whether that’s giving passengers access to the Internet and a host of in-flight entertainment options or building products and services that support airline operations, we continue to build products and services that are advancing aviation.” Editor’s Note: To use Gogo Vision the next time you are on a Gogo Vision flight, download the Gogo Vision app.
    On another Gogo front Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO noted; “In addition to a record number of installs in 2015, Gogo has also grown its awarded backlog of 2Ku aircraft to more than 800 aircraft. The company is ramping-up installations and expects to have most of those aircraft installed by the end of 2018. I couldn’t be more pleased with the performance of 2Ku.” He went on; “2Ku’s position as the premiere technology for global aviation is playing out in the market. We’ve been getting a great reaction from global airlines as they fly and experience this proprietary solution.” Across commercial and business aviation, Gogo operates more than 11,000 connected aircraft systems all over the world. (Editor’s Note: You probably should also read the MRO Network article on “The Death Knell for Traditional IFE Systems!”)
  2. IFExpress ran into McTavish Botts, who attended the 2016 MRO Middle East (MROME) and Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) meetings in Dubai this week. AIME is a two-day exhibition and conference that provides a for interiors suppliers, providers and buyers. It is co-located with MRO Middle East, an event delivering the latest innovations in aircraft interiors. AIME 2016 was held at Dubai World Trade Centre on 3 – 4 February. As the Middle East’s only aircraft interiors event, AIME 2016 featured over 278 exhibitors, over 4,500 attendees from over 100 countries, as well as some 100 airlines represented from around the world (over 700 attending) at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Representatives from local biggies like Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways were in attendance alongside many others who traveled from Africa, India and Europe to network and create relationships with the 278 exhibitors at the event. More importantly, Business Wire reported: “The Middle East is the second fastest-growing MRO market. By 2023, the MRO market in the Middle East will reach $7 billion, the result of 7.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).” We note that Mr. Botts provided the linked photos of the show and he asked us to show then to our IFExpress readers. Said Botts; “Of note, flydubai won the Inflight Magazine Best Airline Middle East Award (they have Lumexis FTTS IFE). Global Eagle Entertainment won best Middle East connectivity provider as well.” Botts didn’t give us the names of the other winners and for more about the show you might have to check Inflight Magazine FMI 

Images from MROME & AIME: Panasonic; Lumexis; Thales; Gogo; digEcor

When we saw the Aircraft Cabin Systems 52” LCD display, the only thought that came to mind was a saying attributed to US President, Calvin Cooledge, when he was asked to fund an air force – “Why don’t we buy one airplane and let the pilots take turns flying it.” Along the same train of thought, we asked why more airlines don’t install one big screen and let passengers watch it as they do in their own homes (Ok, almost)? For one thing, there are few, if any, aircraft certified IFE HD video players and displays available. Another is the availability of qualified networks to deliver the programming (watch Lumexis on this one). Goodrich (TEAC) showed a preproduction video player at the last WAEA Conference, it looks like Yukio Sugimoto’s ACS has the biggest, certified, video display available – 52 inches. We should note that US airlines like Delta use 32” screens as bulkhead monitors, but our focus today is big screen, HD, digital TV!

The screen on the ACS 47″ model is big, REALLY big! In use on Saudi Arabian Airlines B777 aircraft, the unit supplies overhead video to over 100 passengers in coach. In fact, as screens get this big, MPEG 1 signal sources are pushed to their limit. Standard Definition 480p images are really a baseline for good big screen television but as passengers watch HD 720p on digital televisions in their home, expect a demand for higher definition sources, higher bandwidth networks, and big screens. You can imagine how the owner of a $50 million bizjet feels when he has only small screen NTSC or PAL video. The problem is there are very few suppliers with aircraft certified Large Screen displays and none that push the 50” size…except ACS, that is. You can imagine the difficulty even finding a shake table to test the vibration specifications or vacuum chamber able to accommodate a decompression test for the 8,000 foot altitude pressure dump to 35,000 feet equivalent air pressure. These units are not cheap, but if you consider that a big screen can cost the equivalent of the expense of the IFE equipment outlay for less than that of an installed row of seats, it is a pretty good deal. Add in the weight savings for wiring, hardware and power and you have an interesting trade study. Just wait, this solution is on it’s way, first with bizjets and Very VIP aircraft and finally to the commercial aircraft space. And by the way, we have it on good authority that there is a 60″+ unit in the works! You can find ACS at

Rumor Central: Last week, if you remember, we broke the story about AeroMobile being in “administration”. We do know the administrators were shopping the assets around London. To refresh your memory, AeroMobile was originally a 50/50 joint venture of ARINC and Telenor. But since then Telenor has bought up more and more of ARINC’s interest and now owns 98.88%. ARINC holds 0.12% but has basically dropped out of the project. It is possible they could stand there and watch Telenor buy their own 99% and negotiate for better terms, but why wouldn’t Panasonic want to gain leverage? Remember, AeroMobile is connected at the hip to the Panasonic worldwide connectivity initiative. So doesn’t it seem logical that the IFE top dog should be in on the bidding war? We think so but the bidders are not talking. The product is very important to Panasonic. We would be surprised if they sat back and let OnAir walk away with it. It will be interesting. We guess we are saying one should not be surprised to find the Brunnerites in the airborne calling business!