At this year’s NBAA convention in Orlando, new cabin technology was holding court, eliciting a chuckle from a day-one visitor who remarked, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, “This stuff will probably be outdated by the time the show ends.”
EASA has released a software evaluation report covering the use of Jeppesen apps running on Apple iPads used as electronic flight bags (EFBs). The report outlines a clear path for operators based in EASA’s jurisdiction to seek approval from local regulators for use of iPad EFBs with Jeppesen Mobile TC Pro and FliteDeck Pro apps.
Apple’s iPad mini is likely poised to become the backup cockpit chart display device of choice for pilots, according to some aviation iOS app developers. The mini’s 7.9-inch (diagonal) screen is smaller than the 9.7-inch iPad, but the device contains the same A5 processor as the iPad 2 and tips the scales at less than half the iPad 2’s 1.5 pounds. Jeppesen has already concluded decompression testing of the newest iPad (fourth generation) and the mini, both of which started shipping earlier this week.
Vision Systems is here with two new cabin products, Smart Up, a tablet support arm, and VisiConnect, for in-flight Internet connectivity. Both products are available for all types of business jets.
The Lyon, France-based company has designed a motorized-deployment arm, integrated in the passenger’s armrest. Smart Up can accommodate any type of tablet in portrait or landscape position. The arm weighs 3.3 pounds, according to Vision Systems. Embraer has adopted the new arm for its Phenom 300 light business jet.
French electronics provider PGA Electronics has introduced Smart Touch Cabin, a wireless software application that allows passengers to control cabin functions from any point in the cabin using the iPad or iPhone.
The customized interface, according to the Montierchaume, France-based firm, allows control of virtually all aspects of the cabin, from lighting and entertainment to electric shades.
TrueNorth Avionics’ Stylus cord-and-reel handset is now “ready for purchase and immediate delivery,” with Peterborough, Canada-based Flying Colours as the first of the company’s partners to install the equipment.
A wireless variant is in the works and can be expected in the near future, added a spokeswoman.
TrueNorth, based in Ottawa, emphasizes the “high-definition face-to-face quality calls, a Corning Gorilla glass face and one-button interface. Stylus is enabled by the TrueNorth software-centric Symphonē OpenCabin package.
The flyTab team, consisting of Avionics Systems & Integration Group (ASIG), Shadin Avionics and AppOrchard, is developing a software development kit that will deliver real-time flight data to iPad apps. The flyTab team’s work will enable delivery of data from aircraft systems to iPad tablets via a wired interface. Data will include various Arinc standards “and other forms of digital and discrete data,” according to ASIG. “Tethering iPads to flight data systems provides a rich stream of data with almost unlimited possible uses,” said ASIG managing director Luke Ribich.
No matter how advanced it might seem, there is little in cabin technology that can’t be improved. Proof can be found at the Satcom1 exhibit (Booth No. 1891) where Aviation Modifications Leader (AML) is showing its portable OOM-100 and OOM-200 routers, which promise to increase Internet speeds by 200 to 300 percent.
PPG Aerospace won a contract to supply cockpit windows for the new Eclipse 550, as well as improved-design windshield spares and side-cockpit window spares to Eclipse Aerospace for the existing Eclipse 500 fleet. The lighter-weight glass-faced acrylic windshields for both aircraft will be heated, meet requirements to resist strike by a two-pound bird at 200 knots and have an anti-static coating. The side-cockpit windows will be acrylic. PPG will start cockpit window deliveries to Eclipse in the middle of next year to coincide with deliveries of the first Eclipse 550s.
While most of the aircraft builders at NBAA build their products out of tons of aluminum or increasingly carbon fiber, one new exhibitor here builds them out of thin air. 3DVisualization Service is demonstrating its technology (Booth no. 2885), which allows customers to create a virtual aircraft and enables people to actually walk through it, long before the first metal is ever cut.