NBAA Convention News

Airshow plugs gaps for Rockwell Collins

 - June 30, 2008, 7:40 AM

Following its acquisition this summer of cabin entertainment provider Airshow, Rockwell Collins has integrated the Tustin, Calif. company’s line into its own cabin products package and is introducing the results here at NBAA as Collins Airshow 21 (Booth No. 3201).

According to senior director of marketing and strategic management Bryan Vester, Rockwell Collins was already in the development stage for some cabin avionics systems for the scheduled carrier market. “Airshow was complementary to our strategy and filled a lot of our systems and products gaps.”

In the creation of Collins Airshow 21 for the business aviation market, Vester said the company discovered a number of market drivers. Based on discussions with customers, these include shorter cycle time for delivery and installation of products, production-line installation whenever possible, standardized interface of systems and products, reduction of installation costs and greater reliability.

Rockwell Collins describes the Airshow 21 product line as “a solution set for the business aviation cabin.” The product family includes the global office with high-speed Internet connection, entertainment with the latest in DVD, CD and satellite direct television and cabin environment control with simplified user interface.

Collins Tailwind 100 is already configured for satellite direct television reception in the continental U.S. Operation is fully automatic with dual receivers and interface with various cabin management systems. The new multi-regional Tailwind 550, now in development, is being introduced here at NBAA.

The Airshow 21 global office solution will include Collins SAT-906 with Inmarsat Swift64 service. Aero-H+ includes six channels plus high-speed data supported by 60-watt HPA and 64 kilobits-per-second bidirectional data expandable with additional Inmarsat capability to 128 kbps. Rockwell Collins also plans to expand the Aero-H+ from six to seven channels. It is to install the first SAT-906 HST-900 on a Falcon 900EX, pending Inmarsat 128-kbps availability.

Tim Rayl, director of advanced products and alliances, said users will be able to browse the Internet and talk on their inflight phone at the same time, “or talk on all six phones at the same time if that’s what’s needed.”

The cabin avionics “solution” envisioned by the Collins Airshow 21 creators is not complete, said Vester, without aftermarket support. The company plans to introduce support programs similar to the “power-by-the-hour” programs already proven successful by some engine manufacturers. Vester said service centers and service bases at some 70 locations worldwide will provide 24/7/365 support. In North America, he added, customers will have replacement parts within six hours. International shipments, because logistics and customs requirements, will take longer.

A key to Airshow 21 is the ability to scale the system to meet different aircraft types and the demands of customers, and with all the systems and products, high reliability and ease of maintenance. The products, said Rayl, have been and will continue to be installed as stand-alone features or to interface as part of an overall cabin system with other Airshow 21 products or with the products of other manufacturers.