EBACE Convention News

Custom Control has an app, and more

 - May 15, 2011, 8:10 PM

For a decade, Custom Control Concepts (Stand 683) has been quietly making name for itself in the cabin electronics side of the business aircraft completion and refurbishment industry, providing everything from all-digital high-definition entertainment to cabin management.

At this year’s EBACE show, the U.S. company is freshening up its product range, starting with the wireless “iPlane” app that will allow the passenger to control all aspects of cabin amenities through a personal iPad, iPhone or iPod. “Control of all features of your system is a simple press or swipe away,” said president and CEO Kurt Mayhall.

The iPlane, he explained, can also control the Kent, Washington-based firm’s SkyShow moving map. The map view can be changed either by using pan, tilt and rotate buttons, or simply by tilting the iPad.

To meet customer expectations, Custom Control teams work with individual iPlane clients to create tailored customized graphic backgrounds. “Every project is special and we are the only company that has taken this into consideration when we developed a highly personalized, ‘un-canned’ app,” said Mayhall.

The iPlane is already in service on several Boeing Business Jets and any existing Custom Control Concepts cabin management system can be upgraded to accommodate the iPlane.

LED Lights and AVOD

Also here in Geneva, Custom Control Concepts is introducing, for the first time, a line of LED lighting, from white through the full color spectrum. With the lighting integrated into the cabin management system with built-in controllers, the system can be reconfigured anytime, and at any point desired, by the passenger.

On display as well is an integrated monitor for audio/video on demand (AVOD).  This reduces the number of in-seat boxes, the amount of wiring and contributes to a total reduction in weight of the entertainment system.

Mayhall claimed that Custom Control Concepts has been leading the industry in in-flight entertainment and cabin management systems for more than 10 years. The company, he said, produced the first digital audio/video system and was the first to distribute a full, high-definition system. It currently offers “a full suite” of entertainment and cabin management equipment, including Blu-ray players, Dolby Digital Surround Sound and high-definition LCD monitors from 4.8-inch to 64-inch models.

Larger Bizliners

Custom Control Concepts’ legacy is in larger bizliners, from the Airbus A318 up to twin-aisle executive/VIP aircraft as large as the A340. Mayhall figures that, to date, its systems have been installed in more than 125 bizliners. The equipment has also been scaled down for smaller business jets and configured for helicopters. Its entertainment and cabin management systems have been installed in 15 Sikorsky S-92s, as well as on a number of other helicopter platforms.

“Along the way,” said Mayhall, “we have designed, manufactured, tested, certified and delivered over 90 unique and proprietary controllers.”

Part of the Cabin Control Concepts process of putting together a cabin package is a bench test of the entire finished system in its own integration lab, “where the customer can come in and push all the buttons and is encouraged to make any changes before the system is packed and shipped to the completion center for installation.” The most recent test was of an Airbus A340 cabin electronics package being installed by Gore Design Completions in San Antonio, Texas.