Flight Display unveils new cabin management retrofit

 - October 19, 2009, 2:08 PM

Flight Display Systems, the little guy in the cabin electronics business with a focus on the retrofit display market, is ready for the big time.

At a press conference here this morning at 10 a.m., Flight Display (Booth No. 4484) is to formally introduce its Select cabin management system (CMS) as a retrofit package. According to company president David Gray, aircraft manufacturers are already making inquiries about offering the system as optional equipment on new aircraft.

Gray said the Select system is specifically designed to interface with the company’s high-definition displays and source equipment, including its new Blu-ray player, as well as with source equipment of other manufacturers.

As might be expected, Select will allow management of audio and video entertainment, windows, lighting, cabin temperature, call functions and galley appliances. The cabin controller profile preselects allow different menus for unique user groups, such as corporate VIP or charter customers. It can also be configured for a variety of languages.

In keeping with Flight Display’s “keep it simple” policy, Select is neither PC- nor Ethernet-based, systems which Gray describes as “over-engineered.” He added, “With Select, if one component fails, it doesn’t knock out the entire system.”
The video/video crosspoint boxes come with 16 input points, making it appropriate for larger, narrowbody bizliners.

While a specific price is still under consideration, Gray said it will be about 35 percent below competing CMS packages.

Flight Display Systems was launched in 1999, with the idea of offering business jet cabin electronics that were reliable, easy to maintain and reasonably priced. Based on a recent number-one ranking in the 2009 Avionics Product Support Survey conducted by NBAA Convention News’ sister publication Aviation International News, it would appear the Alpharetta, Ga.-based company has made its goal.

The company’s first product was a moving map. Some 4,500 new products later, Flight Display has become a major player, with more than 100 products currently in stock.

Flight Display recently introduced a Blu-ray video disc player that is backwards-compatible with older LCD and plasma monitors and the Jet JukeBox that will hold a library of up to 100 DVD movies for viewing over HDMI.

Despite the recession and its impact on the business aviation industry, Gray said Flight Display has tripled its R&D spending in the past year. “This industry will recover, and when it does, we plan to be there with the latest and best.”