Bombardier and Lufthansa Technik are bringing OLED technology to business aviation with a new retractable side-ledge dial that will bring cabin control to passenger’s fingertips on the Global 7000. Exclusive to Bombardier’s new flagship, the dial is part of the new “nice Touch” cabin management system (CMS) that Bombardier and Lufthansa Technik have developed with a four-zone layout in mind.
Bombardier and Lufthansa Technik reached into the consumer electronics industry to develop the dial, which is nestled within the side-ledge and provides touch controls of functions within the passenger’s immediate environment, such as sound, basic entertainment system controls, local lighting, and window shade setting, among others.
The dial uses technologies not available three or four years ago, said Bombardier Business Aircraft vice president of marketing and product strategy Brad Nolen. Engineers designed the 1.38-inch-diameter dial to maximize visibility of the functions, ease of touch, and with a look and feel of a higher-end finish for the Global 7000, he pointed out. This includes down to the heavier feel and tension in the turn of the dial, similar to a higher-end audio system.
“A lot of what you see in the design and the key elements of the cabin of the 7000 is really due to the fact that the aircraft is unique,” Nolen said, noting that with its range, passengers will be flying on it much longer and further than typical business jets. In addition, the four-zone cabin is “dramatically changing the way the airplane is laid out,” he said. This increases the need for passengers to have the capability to individually control their immediate environments much more than they do on a smaller business jet.
Along with the dials for individual passenger seats, the cabin management system includes suite controllers to provide the ability to control the environment within each zone, from temperature to lighting and a range of entertainment options. “We’re replicating a home,” Nolen said, likening the control functions to flipping on a light switch as a person enters a room.
Nice Touch offers a range of amenities that would be anticipated in a business jet in the class of the Global 7000, with an entertainment zone featuring 40-inch stand-up displays, surround sound, and 4K picture quality; a lighting system that provides a full-color spectrum with preset options from 200 shades and that can tie into the flight management system with daylight/nighttime simulations to help the passenger adapt to the destination time zones; and a customized sound system tailored specifically by Lufthansa Technik engineers for the airplane.
It also was designed with a high-bandwidth fiber-optic backbone, includes two wireless 802.11ac dual-band access points, USB 3.0 ports at every seat, and three Bluetooth 4.0 modules. The system is compatible with iOS and Android devices to enable and supports the standard Ka-band cabin connectivity. The USB ports enable passengers to either charge devices or transfer content either to or from the airplane. The system includes two media centers that provide on-demand audio and video in any zone and aggregate media content. The entertainment system supports Blu-ray, CD, and DVD.
The CMS has been developed and tested in both Lufthansa labs in Germany and Montreal, and is flying onboard Global 7000 FTV 4. Bombardier also has quietly worked with customers to test certain elements of the system.
The nice Touch suite builds on an ongoing relationship with Lufthansa Technik and Bombardier that has also included collaborations on the Learjet 75 and Challenger 350 and 650.