Isle of Wight | August 30, 2017–Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest power solutions at APEX 2017 in Long Beach, California.

With new consumer devices adopting USB-C as standard, IFPL has actively engaged its customers on how this technology can be applied to IFEC and how to transition from USB-A. Along with its baseline USB-C outlet, IFPL are currently developing a range of USB-Power Delivery (USB-PD) peripherals and solutions. Visitors to stand #134 can see their USB-C and discuss the adoption of this technology with IFPL’s highly knowledgeable personnel.

IFPL’s new USB-A and USB-C combination outlet ensures an easy transition as USB-C becomes the new consumer standard. This unit provides a reversible USB-A and USB-C connector delivering up to 2A 5V DC or 3A 5V DC respectively, with a data variant available. IFPL’s has included clever reversible USB-A option that delivers up to ten times the reliability of normal aviation standard USB-A outlet.

IFPL has designed the Rapid Fit USB-C outlet to allow easy on-wing maintenance through its patent pending design. The USB-C Rapid Fit is a simple replacement cassette that houses the USB-C connector, whilst the expensive electronics are kept at the rear. This allows a quick and low-cost replacement in the event of failure or Customer Induced Damage (CID). The removable cassette is replaced by simply undoing one ‘hex’ screw, eliminating the need to remove the whole module from the seat. This ensures that the replacement cassette can be changed during the aircraft turn-around, allowing the next passenger access to their power or In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system. The cassette can typically be replaced in less than 30 seconds.

IFPL has also announced its inductive charging unit that delivers wireless charging at the seat and once again these units have been designed to enable seamless integration into the seat. IFPL will show supporting design concepts for seatback PED holders and trays that provide USB and/or inductive charging.

In addition, IFPL has enhanced the capability of its existing power unit, the 110V AC Universal Remote Power Outlet, with the addition of a high-power USB-A socket and will be demonstrating the new 2011 unit on the stand.

As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that visitors to APEX 2017 may have.

It’s getting show time so here is the first product promotions we received. If your products will be showcased at APEX in California, let us know!

IFPL
Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest power solutions at APEX 2017 in Long Beach, California.

With new consumer devices adopting USB-C as standard, IFPL has actively engaged with its customers on how this technology can be applied to IFEC and how to transition from USB-A to USB-C, either with or without USB- Power Delivery (USB-PD). Along with its baseline USB-C Rapid Fit USB outlet that delivers up to 3A 5V DC, IFPL has developed a new USB power delivery unit that enables an existing 28V DC power supply to provide USB power delivery, therefore providing airlines with a simple upgrade from USB-A.

USB power delivery is the new standard for consumer electronics providing up to 100 watts of DC power (limited to 60 watts on aircraft). This is more than enough to power a laptop, smartphone, games console or camera, whilst significantly reducing the requirement for airlines to provide the more expensive AC power solutions, especially in economy. This unit has been designed to seamlessly integrate into the seat and deliver high levels of reliability. Visitors to stand #134 can see IFPL’s new USB power delivery and USB-C outlet and discuss industry adoption of this technology.

In previous shows IFPL demonstrated their in-service high power and data USB-A outlet. IFPL recently announced its new USB-A and USB-C combination outlet ensuring an easy transition as USB-C becomes the new consumer standard. This unit provides a reversible USB-A and USB-C connector delivering up to 2A 5V DC or 3A 5V DC respectively, with a data variant available. IFPL’s clever reversible option delivers up to ten times the reliability of normal aviation standard USB-A outlets. USB-A&C Front & Rear Mount Combination USB-C Front & Rear Mount

IFPL has announced its inductive charging unit that delivers wireless charging at the seat and once again these units have been designed to enable seamless integration into the seat. IFPL will show supporting design concepts for seatback PED holders and trays that provide USB and/or inductive charging.

We have enhanced the capability of our existing 1225 unit, the 110V AC Universal Remote Power Outlet, with the addition of a high-power USB-A socket and will be demonstrating the new 2011 unit on the stand.

In addition, we have been working with key industry partners to develop a new range of power solutions that focus on ensuring ergonomic and aesthetic seat integration. The combined approach has delivered a system that maximizes the use of the physical space of the seat and seamlessly incorporates the USB outlet into the seat arm. The result is an attractive installation of a fully integrated system that has no impact on passenger legroom.

Latest audio jack technology

IFPL is a world-leader in audio jack technology – enhancing the customer experience and providing a total cost of ownership advantage to the airline. The audio jack is a critical component of any IFE system and IFPL believes that delivering high quality sound, with high unit reliability, and minimizing the impact of Customer Induced Damage (CID) is vital in maintaining customer satisfaction. To this end, IFPL has developed proprietary technology that differentiates their audio solutions in the market. These include:

INCAM range

IFPL’s Integrated Noise Cancelling Audio Module (INCAM) technology allows noise cancelling in the jack rather than the headset, allowing all passengers to enjoy noise cancelling technology with the simple addition of a low-cost microphone in the headset. This keeps the headset cost low whilst providing a significantly enhanced audio experience for the passenger.

MagSignal

IFPL’s patented MagSignal technology virtually eliminates CID. The headset can be pulled from any angle and simply detaches from the magnetic plug without damaging the jack or the headset. This extends the life of the headset and the jack and avoids CID. The floating magnets ensure a signal is maintained at all times during turbulence and vibration.

IFPL’s Push Through Pin technology ensures the jack does not have to be replaced if a pin gets broken in the jack. The pin can simply be pushed through and collected in a reservoir at the back of the jack. This reservoir has been known to hold as many as 12 broken pins.

Self-Testing technology

IFPL has designed their Self-Testing technology to enable problem jacks to be identified and fixed rapidly, ensuring high availability. The clever design of the LED being powered by the audio makes this a suitable jack for retrofit, as no extra power is required. The maintenance staff simply need to send a high-frequency audio tone through the existing IFE system, then walk through the cabin and check the jacks at a glance. IFPL has deployed this technology in a wide variety of audio jack solutions and neatly demonstrates why IFPL are renowned for providing industry leading audio jacks.

IFPL’s Latest Seat Back Contactless Payment Solutions

IFPL leads the way when it comes to deploying contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) payment systems on-board aircraft, with global OEMs and airlines now using IFPL’s technology for seat back in-flight retail and customer personalization.

APEX 2017 will see IFPL demonstrate its new NFC ‘Pin-On-Screen’ solution that enables high- value off-line transactions by removing the current low-value payment barrier. This step change will allow airlines to expand and sell high-value items, therefore increasing ancillary revenues. This has the ability to completely change the dynamic of the IFE systems value proposition, as passengers now have a combined entertainment and retail platform allowing them to browse, order and pay at their own convenience. Combine this with connectivity, big data, passenger personalization and broader distribution channels to deliver to the gate or at home, and the airlines have the ability to develop significant new revenue streams.

We will be showcasing our innovative new high value NFC payment unit that is integrated into a leading seat as part of the IFE. This will reflect their ability to customize peripherals to support the design language, aesthetics and ergonomics required for true IFEC and seat integration.

As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that visitors to APEX 2017 may have.


Alaska Airlines
The release notes: “Gogo announced that it has been selected by Alaska Airlines to install Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity solution on its entire Boeing and Airbus fleet. 2Ku is the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution and delivers an internet experience comparable to what guests have on the ground, including the ability to stream video from the most popular streaming video services. 2Ku also has global coverage, which means guests onboard Alaska aircraft will have service from gate-to-gate nearly everywhere these aircraft fly, including while traveling over the ocean to popular destinations like Hawaii, Mexico, and Costa Rica.”

”We are excited to partner with Alaska to bring their guests a new onboard connectivity experience with 2Ku,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “2Ku is the leading inflight internet solution on the market today in terms of bandwidth delivered to each guest’s device, coverage and reliability. We have market leading satellite capacity with the ability to continually add more to meet growing demand. We continue to innovate and improve the technology to make sure 2Ku will keep Alaska ahead of the technology curve.”

“We conducted an extensive review to find a satellite Wi-Fi solution that has a proven track record with commercial airlines and will meet our guest’s expectations for what they want to do in the air today, but will also continue to meet their needs in the future,” said Andrew Harrison, chief commercial officer at Alaska Airlines. “Our guests will soon be able to connect in the air, just as they do out and about on the ground helping make their travel time more relaxing and productive – whether that’s scrolling through Facebook, checking email, or watching what’s trending on YouTube.”

2Ku will give Alaska’s guests a seamless experience across their Boeing and Airbus fleet. Alaska will be disclosing pricing closer to service launch. Gogo’s 2Ku service will be installed on Alaska’s Boeing 737 aircraft beginning in the first half of 2018, with 40 to 50 planes expected to be completed by the end of the year. The remainder of Alaska and Virgin America’s mainline fleet will be fully satellite-equipped by early 2020.
In addition to installing 2Ku, Alaska also announced today that it will now offer free chat with Gogo Messaging Pass on flights operated by Virgin America – a benefit already available to guests flying on Alaska. With Free Chat, guests flying with Virgin America can now use iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger on their smartphones to send greetings from 35,000 feet – for free. Alaska was the first U.S. airline to offer a dedicated Free Chat service and, since its introduction, more than 1 million guests have used it to stayed connected on their Alaska flights.


MORE

  • Good Luck Bob!
    In case he was not able to contact you directly, we have learned that Robert Guidetti has left VT Miltope (Miltope Corp). The good news is he has accepted a position as President of a Boulder Colorado company called Scientech. The unfortunate part of this news is that Robert has left the aviation business he loved and respected. Robert joined VT Miltope just prior to 9/11 and launched the development of one of the industry’s first wireless access points, most notably introduced with Connexion by Boeing. Robert told us that “after 16 years, I look at the success of wireless systems in the cabin and how they have become a necessity of IFE systems, and I feel that I had a positive impact on the aviation industry. I am proud of that accomplishment and the tireless efforts of my team.” In carrying on the wireless innovation, we understand that at APEX, VT Miltope will be introducing cyber security provisions with its latest wireless access point development that currently includes “Cognitive Hotspot Technology” that is designed to improve the passengers wireless experience. Robert’s phone number will remain +01 303 906 6949 and you can find him on LinkedIn. (Editor’s Note: Bob we will miss you and you will always have a place in IFEC if you ever want to come back!)
  • Eclipse
    So, if you live in the US and missed the eclipse, here are your future options if you MUST see it (Think 23, 24, and 25)

Isle of Wight | February 20, 2017– IFPL are leading the way with peripheral integration in to the seat thanks to working with seat vendors and IFE OEMs. Visitors to their stand at AIX Hamburg will have the opportunity to experience their ground-breaking developments and see the products demonstrated.

IFPL has developed a fresh approach to the development of peripheral integration that can be applied to new seats or as an update to existing seat peripherals.

IFPL’s aim has been to provide seamless seat integration, whilst maintaining a consistent design language and aesthetic. There has also been a focus on ensuring the ergonomics deliver a truly enhanced passenger experience. This process has enabled IFPL to reduce the complexity, weight and cost therefore delivering a competitive advantage to an airline.

Visit IFPL at Booth 2C10 to see how their work with Mirus Aircraft seating has led to the joint development of a smart seat and the introduction of new technology into their economy seat, whilst still maintaining the design aesthetic and delivering passenger ergonomics. IFPL has worked to integrate an embedded screen with NFC payment and their latest magnetic audio jack.

IFPL has also developed the smart tray, a unique in-tray table which includes a Passenger Control Unit (PCU) that provides the passenger service functions (call bell and reading light) into the tray. The unit has been designed to ensure the functions are ergonomically placed at the customers’ fingertips, to save passengers having to search for the functionality in awkward locations.

IFPL have recently extended their PCU range using an aesthetically stylish, gloss plastic capacitive touch units. The benefits of this technology ensures the unit is not accidently activated by inadvertent pressure (that traditional switches are subject to). The smart tray also includes a range of charging/power solutions including USB A and C outlets and an inductive charging in the tray.

In addition, IFPL has developed The Nexus Integrated Seat Arm – a ground-breaking concept that addresses the issues faced by the IFE industry regarding seat integration, whilst delivering an enhanced passenger experience.

The passenger expectation of integrated charging and connectivity in-seat for Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) is met as the product seamlessly blends passenger connectivity, the Power Supply Unit (PSU) and audio functions into the arm of the seat. The demands on airlines to deliver an ergonomic and aesthetically-pleasing product for passengers are delivered, whilst counter-balancing the requirements for smaller and more compact seats.

The Integrated Seat Arm is a stylish, new at-seat power, audio and data connectivity concept.

IFPL’s established range of products and solutions will be on display and the team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirement that visitors to AIX 2017 may have.

Visit IFPL at Booth 2C10.

Isle of Wight | February 6, 2017– Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest power solutions at AIX 2017 in Hamburg.

With new consumer devices adopting USB-C as standard, IFPL has actively engaged its customers on how this technology can be applied to IFEC and how to transition from USB-A. Along with its baseline USB-C outlet, IFPL are currently developing a range of USB–C 3.1 peripherals and solutions. Visitors to stand 2C10 can see their USB-C outlet and discuss industry adoption of this technology.

In previous shows IFPL demonstrated their high power and data USB-A 2.0. These are now in-service along with IFPL’s clever reversible option. Recently, IFPL has worked closely with GORE® to develop the new USB-A 3.0 module, that combined IFPL USB 3.0 with GORE Aerospace USB 3.0 cables and provides the ideal solution for delivering high power (2A, 5V DC) and data transfer (up to 5Gbps) as per USB 3.0 requirements. This gives passengers the ability to maximise the benefits of both charging their Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) and interfacing with the Inflight Entertainment (IFE) system.

IFPL has enhanced the capability of its existing 1225 unit, the 110V AC Universal Remote Power Outlet, with the addition of a high power USB-A socket and will be demonstrating the new 2011 unit on the stand. In addition, IFPL has been working with key industry partners to develop a new range of power solutions that focus on ensure ergonomic and aesthetic seat integration. The combined approach delivered a system that maximises the use of the physical space of the seat and seamlessly design the USB outlet into the actual seat arm. The result is an attractive installation of a fully integrated system that has no impact on passenger legroom.

As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that visitors to AIX 2017 may have.

As the weeks pass after a show like the recent APEX in Singapore, it is easy to start thinking about the next one; however, IFExpress will try to continue to cover some of the more important show participants and their new products, accomplishments, and sales. Importantly, a post show head cold and a recent election has caused focus issues in the past few weeks, but we are now in better control and we will start off with one show item that keeps coming back to haunt us – the concept of aircraft and Big Data. While IFEC is not the whole story, it is part of the issue, and over the last few weeks we have been doing our homework a bit on the subject. The folks at companies like Panasonic, SITA, Thales and many others have been chanting the “data” subject into our ears at each meeting – we really have been trying to understand the problems and potential solutions – and believe us, it is no easy subject, with few easy answers. A number of years back, Mark Thompson of Thompson Aerospace warned us of the impending data monster we were about to see but we had little idea at the time of its value and challenges. This data thing is not new but it is getting bigger!

Looking back to the late eighties, we saw a document developed about the importance of airplane data, in general, and how McDonnell Douglas was looking at the future of its importance in tying an airline together by connecting the “movable asset” back to the airline itself with the one connectivity-based solution available at the time – live, real-time data. Back in the day, the connectivity links were minimal but the requirement was still there.

Today, it is a cry that still is the important connecting piece of the airline business, but it is getting louder. However, we note, now it entails better connectivity, more information, passenger involvement, better worldwide connections, and generally more need for planning and action throughout the airline and passenger environment. Perhaps a computer programmer said it better than we could: “You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.” – Daniel Keys Moran, an American computer programmer. Further, when you have 30 $250 million dollar assets buzzing around the world, data is the only way to see at any point in time, how your assets are delivering profits or losses. Further, it is a way to see what your customers are needing, in real-time.

We understand that we will not cover the issue in one IFExpress, and to that end, we have a few future interviews planned with IFEC companies and you will have the opportunity to see a bigger picture from them in the coming months. And speaking of ‘seeing the data’ issue, we really owe the folks at SITA a pat on the back for they have been trying to educate us on the value and need of standardized data.

Furthermore, not only satcom companies are part of the data solutions, as an example, the folks at SmartSky are developing a ground-to-air solution that may deliver the cheapest, and possibly the fastest over tera firma, data solution when it is up and running in the US. The point here is that data will be the driving factor when an airline executive or inflight passenger, or flight crew person, or a box on the plane needs to connect to a listener or data taker from the ground, and thus, it will be one of the next big things in our industry. Check out this Next Gen aviation connected electronic flight bag story;

With the growth of passenger data needs, the subject of data will become even a more important technology as time goes on. In SITAONAIR’s white paper published during the show, they noted that passenger connectivity is still the key motivating factor with airlines for adopting the service. Some 48% of their list of airlines in their study see it as the main passenger experience benefit. However, now some 20% of the airlines involved saw connectivity as a pilot and cabin crew enhancement driver, with some 15% seeing value in maintenance and ops monitoring. While a low number of planes today are outfitted with connectivity solutions, SITA expects three quarters will have some connectivity by 2017, and the big solution will happen by 2020 and some 12,500 planes will be so modified.

One big issue, notes SITA, is the lack of commonality or common standards in the aircraft data itself. Why is this important? We see it as a way to allow more entrants in the IFEC industry, more participants in the data business, more uses of the data itself, and a solution that becomes a standard where and when more people use it. Lest we forget, big data probably also means big bucks! If you want to see an example the application of common airport standards you might want to check out SITA’s AirportConnect Open.

Another area is the type of data from the various sources and its utility and application. The folks at Panasonic can see the data future and they call it “Big Data”. They envision the application of ground and inflight data as well as a lot more data applications from many sources – but we will have more on this subject in the future. We should also note that Thales has their version of big data and they are using their InFlyt Cloud for similar data solution for airplane data, metadata and big analytics. However, the message to folks in this business is perhaps, just perhaps, that the IFEC world might just be a smaller part of a bigger aviation world that uses data. It is a solution for bigger problems and future analysis – all way beyond IFE companies just selling hardware. Just possibly it may be the next generation of understanding about airplanes and passengers and the world of flying assets that are moving thousands of miles away from the home offices with hundreds of passengers all going to different places for many different reasons. Big Data has a future value that we don’t even understand today!

To make our point about where this is all heading, here is a very recent news release from Panasonic Avionics about their next generation of data connectivity solutions and it points out the widening of the acquisition of data sources sets the wider data picture being viewed by IFEC vendors. Said the release: ”The technology will enable the next generation of connectivity services to the aviation industry and multiple other markets.” The release went on: “Panasonic Avionics will implement Ericsson’s 5G-ready core solution through its subsidiary AeroMobile, a global inflight connectivity provider and registered mobile network operator. The contract is the first step of a long-term strategic collaboration between the two companies, which will focus on areas like 5G and the Internet of Things.” It went on: ”Panasonic Avionics can apply the 5G-ready core across a wide and ever-expanding range of markets, enabling connectivity for users not only onboard aircraft and ships, but also for the huge Internet of Things communication.” IFExpress notes the 5G is touted as the next generation of mobile technology because it “has the capability to radically lessen latency, accelerate download and upload speeds, enhance network reliability and spectral efficiency.” With this data, they also have the potential to support IoT development, by considerably escalating the number of devices that can connect to the network simultaneously.” Get the data picture? Stay Tuned on this one, soon we will talk more about data standardization and future data applications.


digEcor & IFPL

We like it when two companies in our industry combine their thoughts to develop a better product offering. We saw this during APEX Singapore this year when digEcor, in conjunction with partner IFPL, unveiled their GLIDE inseat power solution on AirAsia’s A320neos. The development effort was a collaborative one between digEcor, IFPL and Miras Aircraft Seating. The deal with AirAsia totals 55K seats and because AirAsia is a low-cost carrier they required a low-cost solution. This makes sense since inseat power is more and more significant as passengers are bringing their own devices onboard and the system is Wi-Fi driven by the onboard inflight connectivity. In fact, many LCCs are now looking to Wi-Fi for their IFE solution. From a hardware perspective, IFPL’s USB outlet is backlit and we understand that when power is available the unit is lit, making it easier for the passenger to find on the seat arm. If you are interested, we’ve attached images of the seat arm with the IFPL USB outlet and digEcor’s SEB!


NEWS

ViaSat/Arconics
Qatar Airways has implemented AeroDocs software from Arconics, a ViaSat company, to provide a single centralized repository to revise and track all operational and non-operational company manuals and documentation for operational readiness. The ability to create, author, edit and mark all changes in a visible manner over the web enables team members to easily keep abreast of, and be alerted to, relevant procedural modifications as and when they happen.

Boeing
The Seattle Times wrote: “In a surprise move, Boeing announced Monday that Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Ray Conner will step down from that position and be replaced by General Electric senior executive Kevin McAllister. In 2015, the Boeing board granted Conner a special award of 50,000 shares ‘to encourage him to forgo an opportunity to retire in the near future.’ With that award vesting on Dec. 1, 2017 provided he stayed at Boeing, it was expected that he would retire about then. Those shares are worth $7.35 million.” (Editor’s Note: Not a bad deal – $7 million & change for staying at Boeing for 2 years!)

Media Box
Heard about Media Box? The Media Box, which Media Carrier offers as an exclusive service to tourism companies in particular, operates as a web-based service and can be easily and conveniently used with any web-enabled device. To download their preferred business magazine or their usual morning paper, guests connect to the Media Box of the airline or hotel and gain access to their own personal reading material. Newspapers and magazines are presented unabridged and in the same layout used in the print versions, and can be browsed through easily and intuitively – check out this image. Even after downloading, the downloaded publications remain available to the reader for an unlimited time.  Established in 2011, the company is a subsidiary of the Munich-based MELO Group, whose central divisions are built on the two pillars: media and logistics. Media Carrier specializes in marketing and distributing digital content. It supplies the travel industry with e-papers through the Media Box. The digital media library is now successfully deployed with e.g. Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings as well as in more than 1,000 luxury and five-star hotels worldwide.

IFPL invite you see their very latest innovations at APEX 2016 on Booth 1745 at the Singapore based show.

IFPL will be demonstrating their latest 1172 Triple Breakaway Integrated Noise Cancelling Audio Module (INCAM). This innovative technology allows noise cancelling in the jack rather than the headset, allowing all passengers to enjoy noise-cancelling technology with a simple addition of a low cost microphone in the headset. This keeps the headset cost minimal whilst providing a significantly enhanced audio experience for the passenger. In addition, this jack includes MagSignal technology meaning it can be pulled and detached from any angle without detriment, reducing Customer Induced Damage (CID) and maintenance disruption to aircraft. In addition to the Triple MagSignal plug, this highly flexible socket can take a standard INCAM triple, standard triple, INCAM dual, MagSignal dual, standard dual and single audio pin including the passengers’ own headsets. IFPL will also display its Rapid Fit and Long Life technologies that are now standard fit with many airlines throughout the world.

In addition to audio jacks, IFPL will be demonstrating a range of Passenger Control Units (PCU) including the 1278. This is designed as a programmable PCU to enable it to be used for a broad range of cabin requirements. The 1278 provides a common look and feel that passengers can easily identify with and feel confident interacting with. The two-button programmable switch can support a myriad of functions. This USB standard PCU has the ability to be configured to meet single or dual functions within each of the buttons, such as controlling both reading light and cabin attendant call function or alternatively a window blind up or down as a single function.

In addition to its programmable capability, the unit overlay can be customised for both functional graphics and colour to reflect use, airlines branding and enhance cabin aesthetics. The PCU provides a tactile two-button interface for the passenger with backlight intensity feedback and can also be reset remotely by the cabin crew. Alongside the 1278, IFPL have developed the 1348 Business Jet PCU concept. This has extended the 1278 into a programmable five button version for the business jet market and includes a beautiful black chrome finish. This further demonstrates IFPL’s ability to customise technology to integrate peripherals into the seat.

As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that visitors to APEX 2016 may have.

Now Old Seat Back IFE Replacement is Available at a Fraction of the Cost! 

This week IFExpress wanted to give our readers a better look into the world of IFE retrofits so we asked Web Barth, Director of Marketing of VTS (Video Technology Services), one of the best known IFE upgrade and retrofit companies in the industry, to tell our readers a bit about the company, their solutions, and the process of a refurbishing a seatback IFE system.

ANSWER: “VTS is focused on airlines with older seatback systems including Rockwell TES, Panasonic 2000 and 3000 series, as well as, other older systems. Based on our discussions with airlines in Europe and the Middle East there are about 400 aircraft still flying these older seatback systems in that region and the majority are wide bodies. Although the manufacturers of this equipment have accurate data collectively, year old industry estimates were that there are approximately 1,800 aircraft still flying older seat back systems worldwide.”

Q: Tell us a bit more about the retrofit process, and perhaps more importantly, is price a big deal to some airlines and finally, does newer technology gain value in these installations?

ANSWER: “Some airlines go back to the original manufacturers to replace outdated or broken seatback systems. The manufacturers are happy to provide the service, but it involves replacing the screen with modern electronics and sometimes cabling, which winds up costing in the neighborhood of $5,000 per seat for a new version of the removed seatback IFE system. If an average wide body aircraft has 340 seats and you combine that with the cost of installation per seat, the result is an estimated cost of $2 million per aircraft. This can be a daunting investment for many airlines, especially in older and perhaps end of life cycle jetliners. 

The VTS SKY SIS II is targeted to provide an affordable means of providing modern-day quality entertainment, which would be closer to $600,000+/- per wide body for arguably an even better IFE offering.  This is achieved not by repairing old technology, but using modern technology and eliminating the old system thus the expense of rebuilding the old electronics and heavy connection cables and boxes circuitry.   Each VTS passenger monitor bypasses the old audio/visual circuitry and electronics by streaming directly to each touch screen monitor, each with its own processor and Wi-Fi antenna.

This VTS Touch Screen Display is considerably lighter than the old unit with its seatback electronics.  Additionally, hundreds even thousands of pounds of unneeded cabling, PCU’s, and passenger annoying, heavy under-seat SEBs are no longer necessary and can be removed.  Depending on the aircraft and type of system this could eliminate 1,000 to 2,500 pounds of extra weight saving $100,000 to $300,000 in fuel annually thus providing a modern inflight entertainment offering that pays for itself in a few years.”

Q: Why retrofit?

ANSWER: “There are instances where older seatback systems are adequate, except for the fact that individual units have failed or the screens themselves are dim or lack modern-day resolution. VTS routinely replaces old screens with newer/better ones and rebuilds broken units, which can provide a relatively affordable fix. However, the VTS SKY SYS II system provides a far superior approach offering years of modern quality performance and life.

The reason is that the VTS SKY SYS II System skips over all of that outdated technology, equipment and circuitry and streams right to every seatback where each passenger controls their own unit with their own touch screen eliminating the armrest PCU as well. The VTS system does keep the old seat power circuitry, which also provides for an appreciated new passenger USB power outlet for operating/charging their other devices.”

Q: Before we get into the actual workload, can you tell our readers about why retrofits need to be done?

ANSWER: “So, you want to get rid of that old IFE, here are some possible reasons why. 1) A paying passenger staring at a broken IFE seatback display is a huge customer service problem. Your old system & screen is cloudy, dim or just outdated grainy resolution, not in modern 16×9 format.
2) If your hardware is an older seatback system, you can change it out. Amazingly, many airlines don’t realize you can swap out your old seatback system and/or display. One airline told VTS that they were planning on replacing all the seats, just to upgrade the seat back IFE system. Yikes!
3) Here are some reasons why it may be difficult and possibly why you should not… Actually, we can’t think of any since the new VTS SKY SYS II Seat Back retrofit can work with any old system, and since it no longer needs the old system’s electronics, seat back display, arm rest PCU’s, video/audio cabling or annoying and heavy SEB for audio and video transmission.

Although VTS keeps the old seat power circuitry, the VTS SKY SYS II System, skips over all of that outdated equipment and streams right to every seat back where each passenger controls their own unit with their own touch screen, which also has an extra USB power outlet for operating/charging their other devices.”

Q: Can you give our readers a quick synopsis on the cabin retrofit work?
ANSWER:
The Basic Process is as follows:

1.    First, remove the old seatback screen and electronics unit by peeling back the upholstery on the upper seat.  It is not very hard to do and an average technician can remove and install a new unit in about 20 minutes per seat.

2.    Now or when convenient, remove 1,000-2,000 pounds of no longer needed a/v cabling, hardware, PCU’s and especially the under seat SEB’s, while greatly improving passenger foot room and comfort.

3.    Install a high resolution, VTS Touch Screen Smart Monitor with its lightweight bracket and re-fit the headrest upholstery around the new screen.

4.    Install a VTS Streaming Server & WAP system, which weighs less than 20 lbs. This hardware easily installs in the overhead baggage bins.

Q: What is the scope of the effort…time, down time, etc.?

ANSWER: “Actual time is approximately 15-20 minutes per seat.  So, a wide body with 300 seats will require about 100 labor hours. If an aircraft is out of service it will only take 1-2 days. Form, Fit and Function can greatly reduce re-certification to a negligible effort.”

Q: Please tell us a little bit about the Feature improvement or loss, the Advantages of doing a retrofit, and the Benefit of doing so!

ANSWER: Web noted: “Better than new; Immediate System Improvement, cost, weight/fuel savings. Video: Resolution increases 400%, perhaps a larger screen 7″ vs 5.6″, in new format 16 x 9. A System Cost: one third of the cost of conventional system replacement of a seatback system. Then there is weight savings – eliminate 80% of the system’s weight, i.e. 1000 vs 2,000 pounds. Next, we have fuel savings: savings in extra fuel pays for this new/better system in 3 years!”

“There is more,” he said, “credit card function for Inflight shopping is included.  The built in credit card program allows for secure purchases from seatback screens, or the passengers own devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops) for incremental revenue, additional passenger services and offers. Did I mention the USB Outlets?  This means power at every seat for personal devices as well.  Did I mention custom financing… Matching your expected aircraft life, that’s ideal for aged aircraft. And lastly, it’s satellite ready companion antenna and systems to be installed now, with port to VTS Streaming Servers and WAPs or at a later date.”

Q. Lastly, we asked if the VTS Director of Engineering  had anything to say to our readers?

ANSWER: According to Philip LaPierre, 35 year IFE Engineering and Certification veteran, “We have found that adhering to near, or identical ‘Form, Fit and Function’ certification criteria, we can greatly reduce re-certification requirements to a negligible amount.”

Finally, Noted Mr. Barth: “Come see our new Seatback Retrofit System for yourself at Booth 219 APEX Expo, Singapore, Oct 24-27, 2016, you won’t be disappointed!”

(Editor’s Note: VTS provides many systems options: In Flight PCI Compliant Credit Card Processing, 4G/LTE Communication Module – On the ground, weight on wheels Communication anywhere in the world, Separate Iridium Communication Module – In flight communication worldwide, VTS Turnkey Entertainment Content Programs and Sourcing Packages, Customized Worldwide Equipment Financing Programs, Satellite Companion Antenna and System… so they tell us!)


CARLISLE:
Carlisle Companies Incorporated announced the acquisition of Star Aviation, Inc., a leading provider of design and engineering services, testing and certification work and manufactured products for in-flight connectivity applications on commercial, business and military aircraft. With annual sales of approximately $30 million and 150 employees, Star Aviation has manufacturing facilities in Mobile, Alabama and a technical services facility in Lynnwood, Washington. The company is a supplier to the world’s leading providers of Wi-Fi and other in-flight connectivity systems used on a broad range of aircraft platforms. The business will operate as part of Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, a global provider of specialty wire and cable, and interconnect components for commercial and military aircraft, avionics systems, in-flight entertainment, communications systems and medical devices.
IFExpress reached out to Carlisle for a bit more info and here is what they had to say:

  • “Star Aviation has been a supplier of Design/Kits/certification for connectivity solutions dating back to the onset of Boeing Connexion (2004-ish)
  • Today they support Boeing, Gogo, ViaSat and some others with design/kits/certification for aircraft installation
  • All retrofit Gogo 2Ku installations use a Star Aviation adapter plate for the Thinkom antenna.
  • The Everett branch is mostly involved in Boeing documentation updates and configuration control.”

IFPL:
Recently, IFPL has worked closely with GORE® to develop the new USB-A 3.0 module, that combined IFPL USB 3.0 with GORE Aerospace USB 3.0 cables and provides the ideal solution for delivering high power (2A, 5V DC) and data transfer (up to 5Gbps) as per USB 3.0 requirements. This gives passengers the ability to maximize the benefits of both charging their Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) and interfacing with the Inflight Entertainment (IFE) system and you can see it in Singapore! (Check out the news release section of this IFExpress)


BOEING:
Boeing and Qatar Airways announced an order for 30 787-9 Dreamliners and 10 777-300ERs, valued at $11.7 billion at list prices. The airline also signed a Letter of Intent for up to 60 737 MAX 8s, valued at $6.9 billion at list prices. The announcement builds on Qatar Airways’ current fleet of 84 Boeing aircraft, a combination of 787s and 777s, all delivered over the last nine years. With this new order, Qatar Airways increases its firm order backlog of Boeing widebody airplanes from 65 to 105, including 60 777Xs. Further, Aviation Week notes that Qatar Airways CEO said: “Boeing has been making airplanes decades before anyone else even thought of manufacturing airplanes, so the experience that they have in this field has made them so robust that they make one of the finest and more solid, reliable product of any company,” Al Baker said Oct. 7 in Washington. “I know that Boeing’s competitors would not like me saying this, but I’m sure that inside, they know that Boeing makes the best airplanes.””


SINGAPORE:
Power – This should do it

Singapore Uber Deal – Download the Uber app and register for an account. You’ll have the option to input your credit card or opt for cash payment. To enjoy a $15 FREE ride, simply enter the code “IFEXPRESS” into the Promotions tab! The code is valid until 31 October 2016.

Museum of Flight at Boeing Field:

I recently had a meeting at the Seattle Museum of Flight on Boeing Field. While my visit was business… I left the meeting… and lost my sense of time and history – because once you see an old aircraft that fought in a war, or provided the transportation for a historical event, or was the first of it’s kind, you just get lost… lost in time, and possibly lost in space. Interestingly, you become part of the event that the person, plane or spacecraft was famous for… or you become immersed in the art background and signage describing the history and achievement of the craft. One visitor told us that he and his kids were fascinated by the description and experiences of the museum’s individual plane tour guides, who in many cases had flown that aircraft. It is also easy to get wrapped-up in the in mood lighting surrounding the planes in the halls, especially in the periods like those in the WW1 Hall and WW2 Halls. While it has been a long time, as a child, I would have given anything to see what I saw last week at the Museum of Flight. One suggestion, however, don’t let your children say the same thing.

OK, if you want a fast tour of the Museum here it goes: Museum Galleries, Airpark, Great Gallery, Lear Gallery, Personal Courage Wing, Red Barn, & Space Gallery. That’s 7 galleries, many halls, 29 exhibits + a museum store, 140 real aircraft, 12 spacecraft, pre-1900s to 2010s types, from 73 manufacturers… and some 40 of 140 shown planes in the air and on the ground in the Great Gallery. Founded in 1965, the Museum of flight has been growing since it’s inception, but we think the real hero was T. Wilson… he made “The” museum building on Boeing Field happen.

As a bit of museum background, here is what the website says:
“Museum of Flight is devoted to the preservation and sharing of aviation and aerospace history and technology.
Founded as the Pacific Northwest Aviation Historical Foundation in 1965 by a group of local Boeing engineers and aviation enthusiasts, the Museum’s collection was established out of a desire by the group to preserve artifacts and materials representing the entire evolution of flight and to prevent them from being lost, destroyed and forgotten with time. Since 1965, The Museum of Flight’s collection has come to be regarded as one of the best air and space museum collections in the world. The Museum’s collection contains over 150 aircraft, over 25,000 small objects (classified as anything smaller than an aircraft), over 90,000 books and periodicals, over 15,000 aircraft manuals and technical reports and nearly 5,000 cubic feet of archival materials including an estimated four million images. As a Smithsonian Affiliate institution and an accredited American Alliance of Museums institution, we continuously endeavor to meet their standards and best practices in all aspects of our operations, especially in regards to caring for and preserving our collection.”

The Pavilion (across the street form the main Museum building) is incredibly large and hosts an many big planes in a covered outdoor building. One writer said it is larger than two football fields! The new “hanger” effectively doubles the museum foot print, in fact it adds 3 acres of aviation history floor space! It is home for some 19 iconic planes like the world’s first Boeing 747 Jumbo, the 787 Dreamliner, the British Airways Concorde (SST – the last to fly in revenue service), B-17, B29, and B-47 bombers. The site has a convenient “air” bridge to get you there. This inclined walkway is defiantly a better way to reach the Pavilion, not to mention, listening to Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” playing on the loudspeakers there topped the experience. As with all airplanes, pictures never do them justice but here are a few shots we took that should give you a better idea of the flight scene there are here.

You can fly in on your own plane or in a commercial airline to Boeing Field or Sea-Tac, and if you have a child that likes aviation, you MUST take her or him to see the real planes. You might ask why is this trip worth the effort? The answer is simple: because they can climb in and touch and feel what aviation is all about… and it is about more than planes. It is about flying, it’s about education, and it’s about history… but it is also about fun!


Panasonic:

OmniAccess, a leading supplier of integrated communications solutions to super yachts and cruise-ships, and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), today unveiled a tailored XTS “extremely high throughput” satellite network for multiple mobility markets. Details on this new communications service are available to key customers that visit the OmniAccess booth at the Monaco Yacht Show. OmniAccess and Panasonic began collaborating on XTS high-throughput satellite designs in September 2015 in order to bring unprecedented levels of capacity and performance to OmniAcess’ existing Super yacht and cruise customers. Through this agreement OmniAccess has secured access to Panasonic’s existing HTS capacity, currently contracted capacity and the future XTS satellite network, bringing industry-leading capacity and performance to its yachting and cruise ship markets. Leveraging Panasonic’s existing global high-speed satellite network, OmniAccess is already providing industry-leading connection speeds of over 200 Mbps to select individual customers.

Paul Margis, CEO of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “We announced our partnership with OmniAccess at the Monaco Yacht Show last year, and since then, we’ve been able to develop solutions that have improved our operational efficiencies and also delivered higher performance and better service to OmniAccess’ super yacht customers. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with OmniAccess to establish a new standard in high-bandwidth services for the mobility market.”

(Editor’s Note: Normally we wouldn’t place a news release that predominately refers to maritime in our publication. However, in this instance we believe it to have relevance as the relationship between Panasonic Avionics and OmniAccess refers to “multiple mobility markets”,  “XTS high-throughput satellite” and “Leveraging Panasonic’s existing global high-speed satellite network”. After all, a revenue stream is a revenue stream whether it is initiated from an ocean or the air! And we wouldn’t be surprised to see more of these relationships in our industry.)


IFPL:

APEX 2016 will see the very latest in connectivity, payment and power solutions from IFEC specialists IFPL, on Booth 1745 at the Singapore based show.

IFPL leads the way when it comes to deploying contactless payment systems NFC (Near Field Communication) on-board aircraft, with global OEM’s and airlines using this technology for seat back in-flight retail and customer personalization. APEX 2016 will see IFPL demonstrate its new NFC ‘Pin-On-Screen’ solution that enables high value off line transactions by removing the current low value payment barrier. This step change will allow airlines to expand and sell high value items thus increasing ancillary revenues.

With portable and wearable tech now widespread, visitors to APEX can also see IFPL’s USB- C and USB-A units, both providing hi-speed data and power.

As always, innovation from IFPL will be on display with the company demonstrating its new integrated seat arm concept. This will reflect its ability to customize peripherals to support the design language, aesthetics and ergonomics required for true IFE and seat integration.

IFPL will be demonstrating their ‘Charge-2-Charge’ solution for both inductive and USB charging – this will enable airlines to generate additional revenue from passengers wishing to charge their portable devices during flights. Demonstrations will also be available for their popular 110V A/C power outlet and its combination 110V and USB-A & C.

Solving the problem of broken headphone sockets are IFPL’s MagSignal Audio units. Cost neutral when compared with traditional sockets, MagSignal Technology allows the headset cable to be pulled and detached from any angle without detriment; reducing customer induced damage (CID) and maintenance disruption to aircraft.

As always IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirement that visitors to APEX 2016 in Singapore may have.


Gogo Partnering:

Gogo recently announced that it will partner with Air France-KLM to connect its existing long-haul fleet representing 124 aircraft, with an airline option to install the technology on additional aircraft in the future. The fleet of aircraft receiving Gogo’s 2Ku technology will include numerous aircraft types, including the Boeing 777 and Airbus A330s. “We are delighted to bring Gogo’s industry leading 2Ku technology to one of the largest airlines in the world and two of the most iconic brands in commercial aviation,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “2Ku delivers a ground-like performance to aircraft flying around the world today, including the ability to stream video. One of the many benefits of 2Ku is that it’s built on an open architecture and can leverage new technology advancements in the future, which means the technology will get even better over time and will provide passengers with a superior connectivity experience now and in the future.” The first aircraft is expected to be in service end of next year, with the bulk of the installations taking place during 2018-2019.

Gogo Next-Gen:
The company also announced that it is developing its next generation ground-based technology to better serve the connectivity needs of business and commercial aviation in North America. This technology will offer a ground-like performance, including the ability to stream videos, for business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets and select narrow-body aircraft operating within the United States and Canada. The new network will use unlicensed spectrum, a proprietary modem and a new beam-forming antenna to produce peak network speeds of more than 100 Mbps. This next generation ground-based network for the aero market will utilize LTE technology and leverage Gogo’s existing first generation North American network and infrastructure of more than 250 towers.

“Leveraging our first generation network is key to making this next generation network highly reliable and economical to deploy,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s CTO. “Gogo’s next generation network will also be backward-compatible with Gogo’s first generation network, which means an aircraft will be able to seamlessly switch between Gogo’s fthe two networks networks similar to how a cell phone on the ground connects to the fastest available network.”

The benefits of this new network for commercial aircraft operating within the United States and Canada include: low equipment cost and weight, overnight installation, and low drag on the aircraft due to the small size of the antennas. It also has big advantages in terms of latency compared to satellite solutions.

Aircraft outfitted with one of Gogo’s earlier generation air-to-ground technologies will simply need to be outfitted with a new modem and blade antenna to take advantage of the new service.

The service is expected to be available in 2018. Great article this morning. Separately, we have got big news this morning from Gogo as we announce our next generation ground network to support IFC in North America. We now have upgrade paths to more than 100 Mbps for both our North American ground-based and our global satellite networks. This will enable passengers to do everything they can do on the ground, in-flight. The network will use unlicensed spectrum and will require minimal updates for an aircraft.

(Editor’s Note: You should probably read this as well.)


SmartSky:

SmartSky Networks’ patented SmartSky 4G radio system completed the major milestone of receiving FCC certification, clearing the way for deployment of the ultra-fast SmartSky 4G air-to-ground network later this year, with nationwide service launching in mid-2017. Haynes Griffin, SmartSky Chairman and CEO, stated, “After investing tens of millions of dollars and over five years of research and development effort, SmartSky’s now certified technology has unlocked enough spectrum to be able to offer, for the first time, the reliable use of a sophisticated, custom-designed 4G system that can deliver an office-like internet experience in the air for both business aviation and commercial aviation customers.”FCC certification is the culmination of work to develop and patent protect the multiple bodies of technology that uniquely enable SmartSky to make use of the unlicensed 2.4 GHz spectrum band, all without causing harmful interference to or receiving interference from the operation of the same band on the ground. Despite the widespread assertion that aviation-related spectrum reuse in the unlicensed band would not be feasible, SmartSky has successfully solved the challenge by implementing new technical methods that are broadly covered by its robust and growing portfolio of 20 granted patents. Additional patents are pending.

Reed Hundt, SmartSky’s Vice Chairman of the Board and former Chairman of the FCC, remarked, “Long ago, the FCC authorized the allocation of large blocks of unlicensed spectrum to foster innovation and encourage competition. Today, we see the amazing results of that prescient regulation, which has resulted in ubiquitous Wi-Fi on the ground. By application of novel technologies using 2.4 GHz unlicensed spectrum, SmartSky’s breakthrough will finally give the aviation industry the superior connectivity now taken for granted terrestrially.”

Roberson and Associates, a highly regarded independent wireless industry consulting firm, investigated the ability of SmartSky’s radio technology to seamlessly coexist with terrestrial Wi-Fi. CEO Dennis Roberson, who is also Chairman of the FCC’s Technical Advisory Council, commented, “SmartSky’s technology solution is transparent to Wi-Fi users on the ground, enabling the air-to-ground sharing of the 2.4 GHz unlicensed band.”

SmartSky’s technology and patent portfolio is not limited to the unlicensed band. Most of the patents apply to any frequency and any waveform in any high speed air-to-ground network. Because these are broad patents, SmartSky enables underlying technical advances to be incorporated into its conceptual solution. “Over time, this will allow SmartSky to keep pace with the latest advances in computing, antennas, radios and networking while still being protected by our foundational patents,” said Griffin.


Rockwell Collins:

Continuing a relationship that has lasted over 70 years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has renewed its Aeronautical Mobile Communications Service (AMCS) agreement with Rockwell Collins. Under the agreement, the company will continue to provide Air Traffic Control (ATC) communications, including position reports, aircraft requests and ATC clearances, between the FAA and aircraft flying in U.S. oceanic airspace.


Uber Transportation in Singapore!

Lastly, here is a Singapore treat from the nice folks at Uber, the transportation app company. It’s easy to use: In the app, choose your ride and set your location. Once you get matched, you’ll see your driver’s picture and vehicle details, at the same time, you can easily track their estimated time of arrival on the map. No phone calls to make, no pick-ups to schedule. With 24/7 availability, request a ride any time of day. Here is how you can get started: Download the Uber app and register for an account. You’ll have the option to input your credit card or opt for cash payment. To enjoy a $15 FREE ride, simply enter the code IFEXPRESS into the Promotions tab! Hurry – the code is valid until 31 October 2016.

  • Improving passenger experience and ancillary revenues for airlines

Isle of Wight, UK | September 2016–
APEX 2016 will see the very latest in connectivity, payment and power solutions from IFEC specialists IFPL, on Booth 1745 at the Singapore based show.

IFPL lead the way when it comes to deploying contactless payment systems NFC (Near Field Communication) on-board aircraft, with global OEM’s and airlines using this technology for seat back in-flight retail and customer personalisation. APEX 2016 will see IFPL demonstrate its new NFC ‘Pin-On-Screen’ solution that enables high value off line transactions by removing the current low value payment barrier. This step change will allow airlines to expand and sell high value items thus increasing ancillary revenues.

With portable and wearable tech now widespread, visitors to APEX can also see IFPL’s USB- C and USB-A units, both providing hi-speed data and power.

As always, innovation from IFPL will be on display with the company demonstrating its new integrated seat arm concept. This will reflect its ability to customise peripherals to support the design language, aesthetics and ergonomics required for true IFE and seat integration.

IFPL will be demonstrating their ‘Charge-2-Charge’ solution for both inductive and USB charging – this will enable airlines to generate additional revenue from passengers wishing to charge their portable devices during flights. Demonstrations will also be available for their popular 110V A/C power outlet and its combination 110V and USB-A & C.

Solving the problem of broken headphone sockets are IFPL’s MagSignal Audio units. Cost neutral when compared with traditional sockets, MagSignal Technology allows the headset cable to be pulled and detached from any angle without detriment; reducing customer induced damage (CID) and maintenance disruption to aircraft.

As always IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirement that visitors to APEX 2016 in Singapore may have.

  • VTS Readies SKY-SIS II its Latest Seatback Streaming to VTS High Intelligent Touch Screens for Launches and Demonstrations at upcoming APEX, Singapore.

Syosset, New York | August 9, 2016– VTS (Video Technology Services) today announced that it is working with several airlines to launch its latest SKY-SIS II Program for older Seatback IFE Retrofit.

According to Philip LaPierre, VP Engineering, “There was a time when all new seatback systems and monitors were “state of the art” unfortunately that may have been some time ago, which we know because we installed or repaired many over the last twenty to thirty years.” Consequently today these old seatback systems have two problems:

1. If they work the resolution is unacceptable
2. If a Seatback doesn’t work you have an angry passenger.

“A broken seatback system presents a huge passenger service problem, especially a long haul aircraft. But at $4,000 – $6,000 per seat for a new system ($2M-$5M) that investment on an older aircraft is daunting” according to LaPierre. Now we have a far less expensive, alternative solution”.

Put in a VTS video streaming system with VTS Intelligent Touch screen monitors that have their own WiFi receivers and remove video cabling and junction boxes. This could save 2,000 pounds/$200,000 in fuel annually on a wide body.

Simply remove the old Seatback monitor, with its heavy video cables and junction boxes then install a new VTS Streaming Server, WAPs and our high definition seatback, intelligent touch screens each with its own WiFi antenna and receiver, powered by the older system’s seat power.

A better than new IFE seatback system at a fraction of the cost.
You can restore your IFE to better than new in a couple of days at 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of conventional replacement systems and with no new certification required!

The SKY-SIS II System Benefits: Immediate System Improvement, cost, weight/fuel savings
Video: Resolution increases 400%, Larger Screen 7″ vs 5.6″, New Movie format 16 x 9
System Cost: 1/3 of Cost of Conventional System replacement seatback system
Weight Savings: Eliminate 80% of the system’s weight, i.e. 500 vs 2,800 pounds
Fuel Savings: Savings in extra fuel pays for this new/better system in 3 years
Credit Card Function for In Flight Shopping Included: Built in Credit Card program allows for secure purchases from seatback screens or passengers own devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops) for incremental revenue, additional passenger services and offers.
USB Outlets: Power or personal devices as well at every seat.
Custom Financing: Matching your expected aircraft life, Ideal for aged aircraft.

About VTS: Providing Solutions for 80 of The World’s Greatest Airlines for 30 years

From installing 16 mm film projectors and screens on TWA, Eastern, Pan AM and other great airlines worldwide to the latest digital streaming system, the VTS team has been providing solutions to install, improve and maintain IFE systems for many loyal airlines for three decades. www.vts.global

VTS: Unique Solutions & Products
• DVP Systems – Videotape to Digital Conversion; slide out old slide in new
• VTS IFE Seatback Retrofit/Upgrade – Affordable upgrade to a better than new seatback IFE
• InFlight WiFi Streaming Systems -The most affordable, lightest, easiest to install; any aircraft
• VTS IFE Bulkhead, Overhead Monitors Complete range of sizes and applications.
• Certification & Engineering Services – Many years of FAA and EASA certification service.

(Editor’s Note: Looking for an innovative company in the IFEC space? Try IFPL – InFlight Peripherals. The Queen-awarded product offerings are the result of CEO Geoff Underwood (front row, 2nd from the left) and his team’s interface product creativity and ingenuity. IFExpress wanted to let our readers see them in front of their offices on the Isle of Wight!)

One of the biggest issues when traveling on an airplane is interfacing with it. By that we mean, controlling or interfacing with the devices and power that entertains and provides power for travelers on a plane – like NFC payment interface devices that allow us to buy goods or services or USB connections that provide entertainment, data, or power. If you ever wondered who makes the interface hardware, look no further that this Hot Topic as we want to introduce you to InFlight Peripherals Limited, or IFPL, as they are know by most. The Queens Award winning company (three times to be exact) and their website (ifpl.com) says it all, but we wanted to dig a little deeper into Geoff Underwood’s company, so we contacted them and asked then to enlighten our readers about a few of their primary products: specifically NFC Payment Capability, the Reversible USB Plug, new USB 3.0 Data and Power Plug, and their new Dual Breakaway/Triple Breakaway Audio Jacks.

Before we get into the technology, a little about the company: IFPL is a Queens Award winning international product development company based on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. They specialize in tailored engineering solutions for the Global Inflight Entertainment (IFE) Industry. The company was founded by Managing Director Geoff Underwood in 1996 and Initial production took place in Geoff’s garage at home, before progressing to a modern design and production facility in Newport on Isle of Wight. In the summer 2011 IFPL relocated five miles west to larger offices in Calbourne where 53 staff are now employed. IFPL first introduced its Long Life Audio Jack in 1999. This reliable jack has been tested to 100,000 headset insertions. From this beginning, the company now boasts a range of over 35 innovative passenger interface products including IFPL’s Rapid Fit range of quick change audio jacks, as well as Passenger Control Units (PCUs), USB, Ethernet, and INCAM noise cancellation headset connectors. In recent years the company has diversified into the design and manufacture of multimedia docking stations and video deployment arms. customer requirements. We should also note the range of their products and they include: Contactless Retail Systems, Breakaway Jack, USB Reversible Jacks, USB Power Jacks, Self Testing Audio Jacks, a Microphone Compatible Jack, Stacking PCU’s, Audio Jacks, Passenger Call Units, Remote Power Outlets, and other products for aircraft and rail markets. We asked CEO Geoff Underwood to tell us a little about their company and their products and he sent the following:

“IFPL is rightly proud to supply some of the world’s leading IFEC manufacturers and airlines who have come to rely on us to provide inspiration to the enhancement of their passenger experience. This has been achieved by our proven reputation for reliability and innovative product design. After recently supplying our one-millionth product to Panasonic, we look forward to a 2016 full of exciting product developments within the IFE industry.”

1. NFC Payment Terminal

“The total value of Near Field Communication (NFC) payments in the US is expected to *grow by 210% in 2016. The IFE industry is not exempt from this growing trend with the possibility of IFE NFC integration. IFPL’s payment terminal facilitates this demand enabling passengers to purchase items from compatible devices and cards without the presence of cabin crew. This enhances airline passenger’s personalization and convenience and enables the passenger to shop, order and pay at their own convenience. Not only does the terminal support contactless bankcards, Apple Pay and mobile wallets, it enables other data to be transferred to enable personalization through Personal Electronic Devices (PED) applications and NFC enabled loyalty cards. From a design viewpoint, our payment terminals contain no mechanical moving parts and use durable and cost effective materials to provide a lifetime of use. IFPL is currently in detailed negotiations with a leading IFEC supplier, so expect this product to be on your flight soon.”

He went on: “The company recognized over three years ago the need to make payment onboard simple and straight forward and launched our CRS concept. This concept showed how simple payment on board could be using NFC. In addition, we recognized that the payment industry requirements would change in 2015, moving away from the traditional magnetic strip to NFC or Chip and Pin. IFPL identified that NFC could be used for both payment and transmitting other small amounts of data which could be used to confirm the person in the seat and personalize the IFEC experience. IFPL has worked with Thales to bring this technology onboard. Both the airlines and IFEC vendors see the advantage of making payment simple and personalizing the IFE as well as maximizing the retail experience.”

2. Reversible USB-A1337

“IFPL’s latest reversible USB leverages itself off our successful 1281 USB jack. It provides a single unit integrating both power and data, ensuring passengers can charge their Personal Electronic Devices (PED) at ease. Feedback from airlines suggested that there was a tendency for Customer Induced damage (CID) in standard USB ports. IFPL has addressed this issue by enabling passengers to insert their USB plug either way around. This has created a robust and reliable USB solution to CID while enhancing passenger experience. It boasts a reliability of 10 times the industry standard and has been tested to 60,000 cycles enabling airlines to achieve significant long-term savings. Furthermore, both the light guide color and decal print are customizable to support airline branding and cabin aesthetics.

With the proliferation of PED’s, limited battery life and the ability for PED’s to become a second screen, IFPL recognized passengers need to charge their PED (up to 2.0A and 5V) and for the PED to be able to interface with the IFE system. IFPL have worked with both airlines and IFE companies to make this available.

In addition IFPL recognized that CID and reliability is a key design weakness of a traditional USB A socket, which may typically only provide 6,000 insertions/extractions before failure. In addition, as the passenger can only place their plug in one way it can cause the passenger to apply excess force in frustration and break their USB plug or the IFE systems USB socket resulting in high CID. IFPL’s bi-directional insertion and clever design eliminates the problem of CID and massively improves availability.”

3. USB 3.0 1342 – Delivering data and power to a new standard

An exciting new development at IFPL is our latest addition to the USB unit family.

At IFPL, we appreciate the importance of PEDs in today’s IFE environment and feel it’s vital to allow passengers to stay connected to their devices. With more demanding PED’s being used in flight year-on-year, higher transfer speeds are required to meet viewing demands. IFPL’s USB 3.0 provides a solution to this and coincides with IFPL’s commitment to innovation. It boasts transfer speeds of up to 5Gbits/s, 10 times faster than products centralized around the USB 2.0. This allows passengers to continue viewing media from their devices at ease while simultaneously charging them.

As well as supporting high PED power USB 3.0, IFPL offers a step change for data via a USB port as it supports up to 5Gbits/s enough to stream data to or from and IFE system using an attached device.

4. New Dual Breakaway and Triple Breakaway

“New are IFPL’s Dual and Triple Breakaway solution which addresses the issue of broken jacks, including: Containing *MagSignal technology which virtually eliminates customer induced damage, commercially attractive cost neutral solution for both the headset and the jack and two Long Life™ jacks, enabling the use of single or dual IFE headsets.”

In closing David Thomas, Business Development told IFExpress: “IFPL has recently supplied its one-millionth part to Panasonic and is expecting to deliver its two millionth product to the industry towards the end of Q1 2016.”

If you need more information on any IFPL product please call David at: + 44 (0) 1983 555900 or he can be emailed at innovate@ifpl.com .

Also, please note that IFPL will be exhibiting at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, 5-7 April 2016 at stand 2C40. For further information on the featured products or more of their industry leading solutions, please contact:

David Thomas Head of Business Development at IFPL
e.mail david.thomas@ifpl.com
tel +44 (0) 1983 555900
web www.ifpl.com

Reversible USB Release
NFC Release

IFExpress would like to thank Geoff Underwood and Jason Davies for their help in developing this Hot Topic. We now see why the company is so successful – Thank You!


NEWS:

  • PANASONIC AVIONICS was selected by Air Europa to provide eXConnect onboard Wi- Fi connectivity for retrofit on two A330-200s and one A330-300, plus its new 787s. The installation of Wi-Fi service on-board Air Europa aircraft, that aims to improve in-flight entertainment, ensuring a great comfort and amenities; is a new step in the modernization that the airline is immersed in and that aims to establish itself as one of the best and most modern airlines in the world.
  • Gogo announced today that it has signed a term sheet with Beijing based Shareco Technologies to install its 2Ku in-flight connectivity technology on 50 commercial aircraft for Shareco’s airline partners, including Hainan Airlines and Beijing Capital Airlines. This is the largest announced in-flight connectivity deal in China and the first airline deal for Gogo in China.  In addition to in-flight connectivity, Gogo will also provide its wireless in-flight entertainment solution – Gogo Vision – for Shareco to install on these aircraft. Beijing Shareco Technologies Co., Ltd. is a leader at providing in-flight entertainment and connectivity related services to Chinese and international commercial airlines. Gogo and Shareco will work together on necessary regulatory approvals to install the technology on these aircraft.  The goal is to install all 50 aircraftwithin two years following execution of a definitive agreement. Shareco is a high-tech company dedicated to building an ecosystem in the cabin that will create unique in-flight experiences which will benefit both airlines and passengers,” said Pan Yunbin, CEO of Shareco.  “We have been looking for great partners to find the best that can customize in-flight connectivity and in-flight entertainment solutions, as well as other things the passengers may be interested in. We believe that Gogo, as a pioneer in this field, is one of the best at providing these services.”
  • Philippine Airlines (PAL) has launched a freemium Wi-Fi service for all passengers as part of its 75th anniversary celebration. PAL is using SITAONAIR’s Internet Onair technology to deliver the service, rebranded as myPAL Wi-Fi.  Jaime J. Bautista, PAL president and COO said: “This myPAL Wi-fi freemium offering is a key part of our commitment to give the best possible service to our passengers. With 30 minutes each across all travel classes, this is the APAC region’s best free inflight internet offering, at least doubling almost every other airline.” The airline launched the freemium service to passengers on the first of March and this offering will continue to run for one year. The airline has 21 aircraft equipped with connectivity, including six B777-300ER and 15 A330-300s.
  • You had better be aware that the IoAT (Internet of Aircraft Things) is real and that data requirements from new engines alone will boggle your mind – check out this article.

 

Today, users of mobile devices expect to be connected – always and everywhere – to work with, to communicate with, or just to be entertained. More and more, passengers bring and use their own devices onboard… and the aircraft industry is recognizing this need. To serve and provide power for personal electronic devices is becoming essential for every airline, but technology today is getting more complex, while the demand for portable device power increases constantly. So, in-seat power suppliers are faced with the challenge of scope and diversity, of multiple vendors, who often support different systems. In effect, this means not every outlet unit can serve sufficient power for charging – so there is a greater need for compatibility!

With its intelligent SKYpower USB power product, KID-Systeme is offering one of the first compatible solutions which is already flying and proven on a many aircraft. The system supplies all standard marketable and USB-chargeable devices with constant maximum power. Primarily, passengers will benefit from fast charging time which translates to maximum use of their PEDs. Furthermore, due to innovative and advanced technology, USB power is provided directly from the outlet unit. Thus, there is a minimal supply line between outlet unit and power supply… so the passenger can use their own cable without any restrictions! One power system that serves all – the KID solution is the easiest way to provide maximum power and pave the way to satisfied passengers.

FACTS & FIGURES

  • MaximumPower Output 2.1 Amps
  • Maximum Compatibility
  • Highest Safety Standards
  • Easy Installation
  • Small & Lightweight USB Outlet Units
  • Customizable & Deliverable With Front Plates in Any Color
  • Different Packages Available
    • *Single and Double Outlet Units
    • *Combined AC USB Outlet Units

More Than Standard

As already mentioned “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) is becoming more and more essential for every airline in the world. Nowadays, passengers expect to be entirely entertained during flight. Aviation’s IFE industry is faced with an increasing demand for fast and compatible solutions for both in-seat media-tainment, and especially, for wireless portable IFE. Further, passengers prefer using their own personal devices like tablets, smartphones, and laptops to stream wireless media content onboard, so reports “Looking On IFE Trends”. We note that they also point out the emergence, and need for, wireless entertainment solutions.

As a result of this increasing demand, KID developed a hardware solution based on the latest on-ground standards to provide high-speed WiFi for all personal electronic devices. With this latest wireless inflight solution, KID enables airlines to deploy an enhanced and optimized wireless distribution – much better than the one which is widely used on ground today. Airlines will also benefit from low cost of ownership and easy installation… all with the greatest product capability available today.

With the latest WiFi-standard and compatible USB power solutions, KID-Systeme offers an innovative and future-focussing package of technology to serve both passenger and airline’s needs. “To find out more about KID and our all-around cabin system solution, we would like to welcome you at our website and our at our booth at AIX16 in Hamburg. See you there!”

  • Upgrade significantly reduces aircraft weight, works independently or with variety of passenger entertainment solutions

Cedar Rapids, Iowa | January 5, 2016– Air France Industries will soon upgrade four Airbus A330 aircraft for one of its customers with Rockwell Collins’ PAVES™ Passenger Services System (PSS). The standalone, cost-effective reading light and cabin crew call system with USB charging port brings several benefits, including a significant reduction in aircraft weight.

Depending on the system it replaces, PAVES PSS can bring weight savings that exceed 1,000 pounds, producing millions of dollars saved annually from a significant reduction in fuel cost. Other benefits of upgrading to PAVES PSS include:

  • Flexibility to operate as an independent system or with a variety of passenger entertainment solutions, including wireless, connectivity or overhead IFE such as PAVES Broadcast
  • Greater efficiency as it requires much less power to operate than legacy systems
  • Improved reliability resulting in a noticeable reduction in recurring maintenance costs.

“Our PSS provides a long-lasting solution to ensure that twin-aisle cabins are equipped for the future,” said Greg Irmen, vice president and general manager, Flight Controls and Information Systems for Rockwell Collins. “A big challenge airlines face with legacy reading light and cabin call systems is dealing with obsolescence. With PSS, airlines can rest easier knowing they can meet regulatory requirements and keep their aircraft in service.”

Rockwell Collins teamed with Air France Industries on this cabin solution—Air France Industries designed the installation and continues to develop innovative solutions generated by Rockwell Collins’ new products.

Deliveries of PAVES PSS to Air France Industries will begin this month.

PAVES PSS is part of Rockwell Collins’ complete portfolio of PAVES IFE and connectivity solutions that meet the passenger engagement needs of any airline, including seat-centric IFE, broadcast and wireless IFE, high-speed broadband connectivity, moving map and passenger services systems—all from one company.

Astronics

We always like to visit the folks at Astronics. Why? Because they never seem to stop introducing new products and new companies that they have acquired. Without a doubt, Astronics is achieving its goal to become one of the most vertically diversified companies in the IFE business. By developing a broad based capability in the cabin they achieve at least two goals. First, they obviously do not rely on one product or product line to aid in their financial growth — that fact is obvious. The second, by developing an internal cabin (or aircraft) database, they can increase their developmental efficiency. Information gleaned and developed for one product just may be helpful in the design and development of another. Certainly, the process of certification knowledge is a valuable commodity that more than one company can share and use. Let’s look at a short compilation of products that we quickly reviewed:

1. the SmartTray development we saw now included a built-in USB power port. We note that Astronics called it a “concept” but the potential for a USB System built-in to the tray table makes a lot of sense because there is always an issue finding a place on a seat to hand an output adapter. We understand that the box associated with the electronics would remain elsewhere.

2. Next, we note the new 1191- 4x InSeat Power Supply – 11VAC/60 Hz. The unit is smaller now, with linnet offer ability at Boeing and Airbus – the link shown is the 3 seat unit.

3. IFExpress was caught off guard with the new “webFB” product. The small black box plugs into a cockpit jack and delivers wireless, encoded information to pilot apps on their handheld devices that gathers flight data, runs a world of custom software for flight applications, and securely delivers this data to the handheld via Apps, as we noted. You can read more about it here: Ballard Technology – webFB Innovative EFB Platform. Interestingly, the handheld sized device talks to satcom, flight data recorders, ACARS, and other devices and acts like a small computer (1 GHz ArM processor, 512 MB Flash storage and 32 GbB recording Flash).

4. ASTRONICS AEROSAT and ARMSTRONG AEROSPACE (wholly owned subsidiaries of Astronics) introduced AeroShield low-drag radome and composite adapter plate products for connectivity systems. Here are the images of the products: Radome and Adaptor. The new combination, Composite Adapter Plate & AeroShield Radome are two of the newest products rolled out out at APEX. Here is what the news release said: “The AeroShield radome is designed with highly-optimized aerodynamic shape which reduces aerodynamic drag for improving fuel burn savings and provides bird-strike hardness to meet stringent FAA requirements. The composite adapter plate design simplifies and standardizes installations while it reducing weight by 78% over traditional metal designs. The new adapter plate delivers commonality and interchangeability across fleets, making it easy making for easy de-modification for end-of-lease restoration.” We note that Astronics said the units have not been FAA certified yet and the first test flight will occur in 2016. We will have more on these tow as testing and certification progresses.

GORE

When we interviewed GORE a few years back, they said that there would be more and more optical fiber used in IFE systems and that prediction has surely come to pass. Further this year, they added more data to their claim: “Look, the big picture of connectivity and there is more demand for data from the passengers and the crew and the connected airplane is a big data generator/user as well,“ said Adrian Milne, Global Product Manager Aerospace. He went on, “When you look at the data requirements, speed requirements have generated the need for more bandwidth.”  “New technologies like USB 3.0 (5 GB/sec) and HMDI 2.0 (10 GB/sec) are new new normal and thus new technologies (or improved ones) and calling for new products… ones that GORE make. A good example of the changing world can be found in the fiber optic product. In the past, longer range data transmission over fiber optics had limitations based on the loss in db/unit distance – based on length. Long (and future longer) fiber lines require higher power box drivers to get the correct signal level up, as distance is directly proportional to the applied optical power. But optical drivers cost more as their power output is increased. As time goes on, however, driver costs goes down. Thus, with newer technology, transceiver chip cost is down and the crossover point for dollars versus distance is merging… and thus more fiber.”

As we noted, fiber use is increasing and one of GORE’s products that we liked was their dual gigabit fiber optic cables (great for coupling 2 one Gigabit/sec signals in one direction or 1 GB each direction). It’s no wonder that fiber use is increasing and the higher the rates, in many cases, cause boxes like data loaders to get their job done sooner, thus reducing maintenance time and content loading sooner.

The attached image that adorned the GORE booth said it all. Today, up to 10 GB/sec (or so), HMDI 2.0 copper cables can operate. Above that, it’s fiber optic for data connectivity wiring. We say “today” because GORE always seems to increase metal wire capability with new insulation, wire twisting and other tricks of the trade. It will be interesting to see where copper wire eventually ends, and fiber optic one’s take over based on physics.


MORE NEWS:

Thales has signed an agreement to acquire Vormetric, a leading provider of data protection solutions in physical and virtual environments. Vormetric is a fast growing company, headquartered in San Jose, California that employs 200 people. Their business is on pace to reach $75 million sales for the current fiscal year and addresses 1,500 customers worldwide, including 17 of the top 30 US companies. Information security has become a key requirement in both civil and governmental worlds. Deal closing is expected to occur first quarter 2016. (Ed Note: We expect to see a lot more data security acquisitions for IFEC vendors in the coming months – Stay Tuned)

Aircraft Cabin Maintenance Conference, Monday, Nov. 30 – On 30 November, Air Transport Publications, home of the industry-leading publications MRO Management and Aircraft Cabin Management, will host the Aircraft Cabin Maintenance Conference at The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, London Heathrow. Hosted by Ian Harbison – editor of both publications – this unique conference will combine the world of contemporary cabin design with the complex maintenance issues that surround modern aircraft interiors. You might check here for last year’s blog entries on their website: 2014 Speaker Blogs | Aircraft Cabin Maintenance Conference

TECHNOLOGY TEASER: If you are involved with aircraft maintenance, you might want to be aware of a new Spanish company,Talent Swarm, and rather than explain what they do, here is the AvWeek MRO description from a recent London event: “Talent Swarm is a Collaborative Work Platform that allows the remote viewing in real time, recording and retrieval of aircraft maintenance operations using Telepresence, Augmented and Virtual Reality. Based on a secure open standard for data exchange, OEM, MRO and Airline personnel can efficiently track and document using full 3D models, photo’s, audio, video, tag and volume scanning actions required to maintain their fleet. Whether used as a stand-alone supervisory tool or integrated into your enterprise software, the Talent Swarm toolset will provide their personnel with the real-time information they need to make airworthiness decisions quicker and with greater accuracy.” Noted SpeedNews: Talent Swarm has announced a virtual environment that blends 3D video games, Big Data storage and Smartphones running a special App to create a global space in which pilots, mechanics, airframe and engine manufacturers and service companies collaborate in real time to keep airplanes flying safely while saving money. Stay Tuned on this one.

We understand that SAS has contracted with SR Technics for IFE on four more A340s with new Zodiac RAVE IFE, as well as, Panasonic Global Communication Suite (GCS) for inflight connectivity. Further, AIR EUROPA plans interior refurbishment program for 12 A330s next year (also by SR Technics) and Zodiac RAVE inflight connectivity system for three, plus Panasonic Global Communication Suite for all 12.

IFExpress has to admit, it looks like Gogo is pretty B-to-B focused. Case in point: Gogo will develop new 4G inflight connectivity solution (Gogo Biz 4G) for business aviation starting in 2017. Lets face it, there is money to be made there with the biz jet market heating up. Here is a good link.

JetBlue has completed installation of Fly-Fi Ka-band inflight connectivity system on all (150+) of its A320’s and A321’s, around 60 E190’s – all to be completed by end of 2016. Here’s a recent summary.

Lufthansa Systems announced that it is supported the “THack” hackathon this past weekend in Hamburg. In cooperation with JR Technologies, the airline IT specialist provided a demo system based on IATA’s (International Air Transport Association) New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard which will give developers the data base they need for their tools. The programming event was organized by IATA and Tnooz in advance of the IATA World Passenger Symposium (October 20-22).

Retired Boeing employee and pilot Bob Bogash has sent IFExpress an exclusive story as he documented the moving a fleet of museum aircraft. He notes: The 787 and B-17 were moved in – some of the airplanes are so big, they cannot be moved in till after completion. The building must be built around them.”

IFExpress ran into Russ Johnson at APEX and discovered he is now the Chief Technical Officer at Custom Control Concepts, the Big BizJet IFE vendor.

As you may, or may not, know, John Guidon is now doing his own thing and it involves software and database data acceleration… and you can now reach him at john.guidon@gmail.com.


Ron Chapman told IFExpress that future biz jet connectivity will barely cost ‘CHiiMP’ change!”

  • Minimising CID whilst bringing power and data to the passenger

AIX Hamburg and the Isle of Wight | April 2015– AIX 2015 will see IFPL launch its new Reversible USB power and data module; for providing at-seat Portable Electronic Device (PED) power for charging and data transfer without requiring modification or recertification of existing seats.

Research shows that over 90% of passengers take PED’s onboard and this new product from IFPL combines USB charging and data transfer capability in one industry standard module that can be easily incorporated into line-fit aircraft or as a retrofit onto existing fleets.

David Thomas, Head of Business Development at IFPL comments, “This latest product is a simple and quick fit, making flat batteries a thing of the past for travellers and lets the passenger truly connect with the IFE.”

In addition to charging PED’s, full data transfer capability allows system wide IFE integration for improved passenger personalisation. Another innovative feature of this solution is the customisable light guide within each unit where the colour can be adjusted to support not only night time flying but also align with an airlines brand identity.

As you would expect from IFPL, the simple but clever design of the new Reversible USB module ensures its high reliability; having been tested to over 60,000 insertions, in addition to minimising Customer Induced Damage (CID) through its reversible insertion capability.