Home' Asian Aviation : AAV Sept 2010 Contents 26 AsianAviation | SEPTEMBER 2010
According to Panasonic, the product is
significantly lighter than other solutions,
offers improved reliability and a home-theatre
entertainment experience, at the same time as
streamlining the aircra manufacturing process
with fewer parts.
" e 9-inch ISM is less than half the weight
and [has] half the power [requirement] of existing
solutions," said Perlman. It features an 85-degree
panel viewing angle and a capacitive touch screen
that delivers clear, crisp image quality that is
superior to monitors with resistive touch screen
technology, he added.
Furthermore, unlike traditional monitors that
require external peripherals, the ISM incorporates
the on-screen reading light and ight attendant call
controls, as well as an integrated credit card reader,
audio jacks, USB ports and Panasonic's eXport
solution for iPod.
"By integrating these peripherals into the
monitor, Panasonic is able to reduce the number
of seat line-replaceable units by 75 percent, which
means a light, more e cient seat that is easier to
build and maintain. It signi cantly reduces the
amount of equipment to dispose of at the end of
the life cycle," Perlman said.
A number of carriers are believed to have ordered
the ISM -- with US carrier Delta Air Lines widely
reported as one. e carrier is understood to be
planning to install the monitors on its Boeing
747-400s and possibly other aircra , as part of a
US$1 billion in- ight product upgrade. Panasonic
declines to name its customers, but Perlman says it
has customers for both narrowbody and widebody
"The airline and industry response has been
universally positive, because this product is
bene cial to airlines, passengers and even those
companies that build aircra , as it helps increase
the entertainment experience and also helps reduce
the overall weight and complexity of the aircra ,"
e ISM has already received a number of awards,
including a Crystal Cabin Award at this year's
Aircra Interiors Expo in Hamburg , Germany,
and an International Design Excellence Award. e
9-inch ISM -- the rst product in what Panasonic
is dubbing its new Eco line -- will be on display at
the APEX show in September. e manufacturer
will also showcase additional products, including
an 11-inch ISM.
Rival hardware manufacturer ales is similarly
working on integrated IFEC-seat projects. e
company displayed a B/E Aerospace economy
seat featuring an integrated ales IFEC system at
the Aircra Interiors show and is hoping to have a
similar product with Recaro ready in September, in
time for the APEX annual show. ales said it is
working with most seat manufacturers.
"More will follow. Our goal is seat-centric IFE
where more and more of the IFE system is part
of the seat," the company said. Weight-savings
compared with traditional IFEC systems are
very significant, due to the reduced number of
line-replaceable units and fewer cables, Thales
"Our technical teams are now doing the
calculations, but the [weight-saving] target is
around 30 percent," the company said. At the same
time, functionality will increase.
"Our new smart video display units for these
seat-integration projects have higher processing
capability, more local storage and integrated
ports for passenger [audio, video or data] devices.
Beyond this, ales is introducing a new Touch
Passenger Media Unit that enables passengers to
multitask," the manufacturer added.
Thales is targeting 2013 for systems to be
certi cated and ying and has claimed a lot of
interest from airlines.
"We are giving demonstrations constantly.
Airlines see the bene t of reduced cables/weight
and our modular design promotes ease of service
and upgrades. Seat Centric IFE is really a step
for ward and ales has dedicated teams to do it
right," the company added.
Meanwhile, another IFEC system that has
weight saving at its core is close to entering ser vice.
Lumexis' Fibre-to-the-Screen (FTTS) IFE system
-- also a Crystal Cabin Award winner this year --
will be launched by Dubai-based low-cost carrier
ydubai on its eet of 44 single-aisle Boeing 737-
800s from the end of this year.
e FTTS system uses bre-optics rather than
traditional copper cables, halving its cost and
weight compared with conventional systems -- at an
installed weight of 2kg per seat. "Any reduction in
weight reduces our fuel costs and therefore ensures
we can keep our ticket prices low," said ydubai
Chief Executive O cer Ghaith Al Ghaith.
On flydubai, the FTTS will be installed in
Recaro's Basic Line 3510 seat. Recaro is supplying
a "faceli version" of the seat with a new, composite
"For the rst time, we have managed to integrate
an IFE system with such a big monitor in the
backrest of the seat without sacri cing living space
for the passenger -- this was our biggest challenge,"
said Axel Kahsnitz, chief executive o cer of Recaro
Recaro engineers have also created more legroom
by removing the literature pocket from the shin
area and placing it above the tray table. n
The Lumexis FTTS has an installed weight of 2kg per seat.
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