Home' Asian Aviation : AAV May 2010 Contents 28 AsianAviation | MAY 2010
Spacious, stand-up cabins
and comfortable seats are
just the most visible factors
in creating a comfortable
cabin environment. Other,
less obvious factors, such
as cabin air pressure, ambient noise,
vibration, and natural light are also
critical contributors to a restful journey.
To improve the cabin s natural
lighting, some manufacturers have
introduced new smart windows
into the marketplace. The concept is
akin to the self-dimming rear view
mirror found in high-end cars and the
technology is set to supersede the
heavy, electrically operated, pleated
shades found on most aircraft.
Hawker Beechcraft is the latest
airframe manufacturer to favour the new
technology, selecting Fort Lauderdale-based
InspecTech Aero Service s smart windows as a
retro t item on its King Air line.
Nextant Aerospace has also selected InspecTech s
I-Shade Cabin Light Management System (CLMS)
for its 400NEXT Beechjet 400A. The I-Shade smart
windows are integrated into Rockwell Collins Venue
cabin management system on the 400NEXT to
create a seamless cabin environment management
The 400NEXT I-Shades manage light, glare and
heat by electronically adjusting the amount of light
energy that enters the cabin through a solid-state
lter embedded in each inner window pane. The
windows can also be turned opaque when total
privacy is desired via the Venue seat switch module
or from the cockpit.
James Miller Nextant s president said: "This
system ts perfectly with our mission to modernise
the cabin of the 400NEXT and to o er leading-edge
Addressing the fact that most of a ight is spent
sitting down, B/E Aerospace has created the
Ultimate Comfort seat, with adjustment settings
ranging from comfortable to bliss . B/E says the seat
is the rst full- at berth built for business aircraft.
Designed for mid-size to large aircraft, the seat
adjusts to several positions for eating and working.
For added luxury, the seat can be heated and the
headrest adjusted to one of six positions, while also
o ering a massage function.
Not to be outdone, UK-based NuBax has created
a foam seat that enhances comfort by maintaining
the natural curvature of the spine. The technology is
now available for 9g energy-absorbing aircraft seats
and NuBax is also developing a 16g variant.
However, heated seats are the true stars in cold
cabins, typically found in smaller aircraft. Hawker
Beechcraft plans to o er Wisconsin based Emteq s
seat heaters as an optional item on the King Air
line. The systems have individually controlled
thermostats for the lumbar and seat areas.
Meanwhile, Santa Fe-based InSeat Solutions has
also sold its Relaxor massage, heat, and cooling
seats to Gulfstream as an option for the company s
top-of-the-line G650 jet.
With sleep the top priority for long-haul
travellers, Ireland s Cascade Designs has created
the SkyLounger aircraft cabin mattress -- a self-
levelling, lightweight airbed that can be rolled
up and stored in a small space. The self-in ating,
foldable mattresses turn an uneven surface into a
at bed in minutes.
The underside of the mattress is contoured to
match the top surface of the user s preferred seat
con guration, while the upper surface is at for
sleeping. Thus, for instance the mattress can be
laid across two facing aircraft seats to create a bed.
Product Design Engineer Eamonn Callanan said:
"We have had a lot of interest in the product -- they
are the ideal solution for people
who want a at bed in a small
For busy executives hoping to
make the most of their travel
time, the most important
element of a cabin interior
is often its office facilities.
More and more customers
are demanding state-of-the-
art airborne communications
systems that allow them to stay
plugged in to the outside world
while in ight.
At the same time, travellers
on a more leisurely schedule
want to be able to enjoy the best
entertainment to while away the hours.
Adam Evanschwartz, principal marketing
manager for Rockwell Collins, said: "People want
the same technology they have in their homes and
to use their own media in the cabin."
To provide the necessary connectivity, the
world s largest provider of aeronautical satellite
communications ARINC has become a distribution
partner for Inmarsat s high-speed SwiftBroadband
satellite communications service.
"Our customers will not need to source a
communications pipe separately, as it will be part
of a package with ight applications, connectivity
software, and technical support," said Andy
Hubbard, ARINC aviation solutions director for
Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
SwiftBroadband provides ground-to-air and
air-to-ground connectivity at speeds up to 432
kbps. The system is capable of supporting a wide
range of crew and passenger applications, voice
communications, passenger telephony including
in-seat, mobile, VoIP and text messaging, e-mail,
internet, intranet, instant messaging, secure VPN
access, and in- ight news updates.
Meanwhile Aircell has announced plans to
add a usage-based billing option to the suite of
service packages available with its high-speed
internet products. The new service package will
allow customers the option of paying based on the
monthly volume of data they consume over the
network, rather than a at monthly fee. ●
Comfort is king for travelling executives
Executives need to arrive at their destinations fresh and clear-headed, making cabin comfort a priority in
business aircraft. But there are many elements to a comfortable environment, writes Liz Moscrop.
Hawker Beechcraft is offering
InspecTech's smart windows for
retrofit on its King Air aircraft.
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