In a media conference yesterday here at the NBAA convention, Flight Display Systems explained carefully that cabin electronics is sexy, “in spite of the messy nature of the retrofit business.”
But it was all good-natured fun as founder and president David Gray unveiled a cabin management system “operator lifeline” good for anyplace in the world. “With our Cloud CMS Support system software, wherever you go, a Flight Display Systems engineer is with you,” he said.
Gray added that it is a poorly kept secret that an aircraft’s cabin management system, including the inflight entertainment hardware, is a maintenance manager’s worst nightmare. And he added that business jet passengers interact with the CMS more than any other hardware on the airplane and they immediately notice when a button does not flick on the lights or an LCD monitor does not change video channels as commanded.
With the Cloud CMS Support software, Flight Display customers have real-time access to Flight Display troubleshooters at the company’s Alpharetta, Ga. headquarters from anywhere in the world, on the ground or in the air. And those same engineers can access the aircraft’s CMS using any PC laptop with an Internet connection.
According to Gray, during a test, the troubleshooting team at FlightSafety International was able to access the CMS on a Russian owner’s aircraft while in flight on the other side of the world. “Not only did they have access, they were able to turn cabin lights on and off for him.”
David Gray said the Cloud CMS Support software upgrade is available now at no cost to new customers of the Flight Display Systems CMS and as a retrofit upgrade for existing customers, also at no cost.
“We can now remotely troubleshoot, upgrade or modify all aspects of the cabin management system,” said Gray. “This is truly an industry first.”
The launch customer for Cloud CMS Support was a Gulfstream GIV for Gulf Coast Aviation in Houston.
Also unveiled here in Las Vegas is a new Flight Display Systems iPad arm mount that can be installed in just 10 seconds.
For well over a decade, said Gray, passengers were forced to use clunky LCD screens mounted in the side-rail. “Considering how many people routinely carry their files and media with them these days,” said Gray, “we at flight Display Systems though this was a pretty sorry state of affairs.”
The Flight Display arm mount is a simple, drop-in replacement, “reverse engineered” to be compatible with any system. And Gray pointed out that arm mount base receptacles are standard on most private aircraft built between 1996 and 2011, including all models of Gulfstream, Global Express, Citation, Falcon, Hawker Beechcraft and Learjet types. “What that means,” he explained, “is that you can swap out your old display in under ten seconds, and literally anyone can do it.” Already in the works and on display here (Booth No. C11224) is another arm mount to fit other electronic tablets.
The Flight Display Systems iPad arm mount is listed at $2,533, comes in black or almond text color, comes with a two-year warranty and is available in two versions for a horizontal or vertical display.