Farnborough Air Show

In-flight entertainment system is targeted toward regional airlines

 - November 27, 2006, 8:02 AM

Thales is demonstrating its “world first” regional aircraft in-flight entertainment (IFE) system for the first time here at Farnborough International on the Embraer 190.

The Top Series i-4500 IFE installation is claimed to be unique in that the IFE server is located in the rear of the aircraft instead of under passenger seats, saving considerable space.

According to Brad Foreman, vice president IFE at Thales, based in Irvine, California, the system on display this week is essentially the same as the larger systems already ordered for widebody aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787.

On the E190 passengers can demand videos and music via a 4-inch by 3-inch seat-back touch screen display.

Foreman said the complete i-4500 installation weighs 400 pounds fully installed, and in its large-aircraft version weighs less than half that of the competing Panasonic system per seat and consumes “about one-third the power.”

The system on board the E190 entered service with Air Canada in January, with 27 examples now flying and a total of 75 on order.

Foreman reveals that Indian low-cost airline Kingfisher has also requested proposals for the i-4500 for its ATR 72 regional turboprops.