Androids, ipods, big screens mounted by Flight Display

 - May 14, 2011, 10:50 PM

Flight Display Systems (Stand 668) is breaking new ground with large displays mounted in VIP aircraft cabins. The company’s largest display is the 52-inch widescreen LCD, which retails for $25,414. Display sizes will likely grow even larger, and Flight Display Systems has bid on installing a 72-inch LCD in a customer aircraft, but that unit is not formally part of the company’s current product menu.

Another area where Flight Displays Systems sees growing interest is mounting systems for Apple iPads, both in the cabin and the cockpit. Its FDARM-IPD mount sells for $2,533 and allows for viewing an iPad in portrait or landscape mode in a cabin setting. Features of the iPad arm mount include power supply for the iPad, easy removability when not in use and no wiring changes needed when used with a Flight Display Systems base mount.

Pilots want to use their iPads for display of charts in the cockpit, and Flight Display Systems now offers a yoke mounting system. Gulfstream jets are the first aircraft for which the new yoke mount is available. The installation uses a standard Gulfstream yoke fitting that slots into the back of the iPad mount. The mount, once installed, rotates horizontally or vertically and locks into either position. The iPad is held securely by a padded clamp so it can’t fall out of the mounting system. The mount includes a power supply that drops the aircraft’s 28-volt power to the iPad’s 5-volt needs. The iPad yoke mount costs $2,994 and will be available to fit other aircraft types; it is available at a lower price without the power supply.

Also available from Flight Display Systems, priced at $3,947, is the FDiPD-MD iPod docking station can be mounted vertically or horizontally and can be supplied with power and connections allowing the iPod to play audio and video throughout the aircraft. The iPod cable adapter costs less at $1,063 and is mounted inside a sidewall or cabinet. It provides the same functionality as the docking station but without the iPod mounting capability.

For aircraft needing a cabin management system upgrade, the U.S. company’s low-cost ($25,000) Club CMS provides a moving map with worldwide database, two seven-inch displays, four OLED switch panels that can control up to 12 audio sources, plugs for a headphone jack, a volume control, optional DVD player and iPod adapter. While the Club CMS is targeted at smaller aircraft like turboprops and light jets, it is expandable. The Club CMS is going to be standard equipment in the Pilatus PC-12 aircraft.

A new Flight Display Systems DVD player includes USB and SD card slots and RCA jack connections. To cut down on the cabin wiring, a new three-channel wireless 900 MHz transmitter and larger more comfortable three-channel wireless headset are now available.

The Select CMS designed for larger aircraft now has Bluetooth Android-based controls, which mirror the switchpanels in the aircraft, according to Healey. For ease of CMS design, Flight Display Systems developed its SelectCMS Web site to help clients to understand and be involved in the process.

Flight Display Systems sales for 2010 were up more than 35 percent and the recovery appears to be gathering momentum, a spokesman said. For the first quarter of 2011, sales were up more than 100 percent over the same period last year.