This week we sorted through a plethora of information bits for our readers to digest and are presenting them here in some order of importance…sorta. The “smiling” face that adorns this issue of IFExpress is that of John Wade, long-time IFE’er. John has been promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager of Aircell’s Business Aviation Services. As a lifer in IFE, John has been associated with most of the connectivity providers during the turbulent beginnings of the technology. We asked John for a comment and he sends the following; “Aircell’s broadband system is making incredible inroads into the business aviation marketplace. For years operators have been waiting for a system that makes broadband a reality and affordable and we have finally achieved that with the systems we are now deploying.” You can read the full press release here. Congratulations John!

The next infobit comes by way of Russia with the announcement from Aeroflot, which plans in-flight telephony installations later this year. The air carrier will install four aircraft (A320’s and A330’s) by the end of 2010. The Russian communications providers, MegaFon will host the ground hardware with support from their own network and service provision deals with foreign mobile operators that support via roaming agreements. Internet, SMS will be supplied by onboard Wi-Fi, although, we understand voice is optioned. We have heard from one source that service will be GSM format and use 1.8 MHz bandwidth. While we initially thought that one of the European inflight connectivity providers might be first inline to deliver hardware for the ground infrastructure and avionics, we are starting to refocus our thinking on the US connectivity provider, Aircell. Stay Tuned.

Our next target is Boeing. Check out the challenge of cold soak testing of the B787 here.

If you travel and like to keep abreast of the happenings in your home town, you might like to check out this URL and keep it bookmarked for your next trip.

For the IFE contest lovers in our readership, Wired Magazine is looking for a few good soothsayers. If you think you know the future of Inflight Entertainment, perhaps you ought to enter this one.

There seems to be a large number of AIX travelers hesitant about purchasing tickets from the US to Hamburg because of that pesky Icelandic volcano whose name shall forever be a source of spelling and pronunciation challenge to us. It seems that tickets are a bargain so he (or she) who hesitates is left behind!

Lastly, someone sent us this exchange between a tower and an airline crew some years ago and we still fell over laughing:

Tower: “TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 degrees.”
TWA 2341: “Center we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?”
Tower: “Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?”

That’s All Folks!