Building on its Evolve cabin control and management retrofits, Cabin Management Systems (CMS, Booth 1630) launched three cabin entertainment product lines for the aftermarket this week at NBAA-BACE 2022: the Empire 4K audio/video system, Elevate HD audio system, and Explore moving map. Modular, wireless, and made largely by additive manufacturing, the systems are designed for quick and easy installation.
FAA approvals for the three lines are expected in the first quarter of next year, and response from the MRO community has been good, said CMS v-p sales, David Feuerhak. “We’ve got a lot of positive feedback. We’ve gone around to get constructive criticism, and so far it feels like we’ve hit a lot of the nails on the head.”
In its NBAA-BACE debut, CMS is demonstrating all its systems in an expansive booth dominated by a large display screen showcasing the solutions, and staffed by some 20 team members.
“We’re really excited to be here,” Feuerhak said, and representatives are eager to meet MROs, maintenance directors, and owners looking for new aftermarket cabin entertainment and management options. A demo area is available for private presentations.
In addition to supporting the new products, the company is touting its foundational Evolve drop-in retrofit cabin switches and control system, introduced in mid-2021, which can replace any third-party cabin controls and management systems. It offers similar functionality to the Collins Venue or Honeywell Ovation cabin-management systems at a lower price point, said Feuerhak. CMS offers touchscreen control monitors in a variety of sizes up to 24 inches for Evolve.
Monroe, Texas-based CMS said its complementary Evolve HD audio/video system can be paired with any of half a dozen monitors, ranging from 10 to 32 inches.
The new Empire is a higher-end version of Evolve HD, a full-featured 4K audio/video distribution system with uncompressed video, viewable on a suite of 4K OLED monitors from 22 to 65 inches and larger. It supports composite, SDI, HDMI, USB-C source, and Bluetooth 5.0 in/out, in addition to offering near-instant audio and video switching and virtually no latency.
Empire allows CMS to offer a choice of solutions to customers. “Some operators have airplanes they can’t control the lights on,” said Feuerhak. “They can put in Evolve and Evolve HD, replace what’s there, and just keep flying the airplane. Others want the latest and greatest, just like in their house, and they’ll go for Empire.”
The Elevate HD audio system delivers sound quality to match Empire’s 4K visual imagery. A Class D audio amplifier with integrated DSP (digital signaling processor), Elevate features a modular chassis that allows customers to buy only as much sound as they need, with five plug-and-play audio amplifier card slots available. The power-supply module cards come in AC and DC forms and are selected to match the aircraft’s electrical system.
To complete the audio experience, CMS offers a full line of speakers and subwoofers for Elevate. Also designed for easy installation, they can use the mounting holes and hardware for existing speakers. Or, customers can use adapter brackets “and simply slide in our new speakers,” Feuerhak said. Existing speakers don’t have to be replaced, but CMS recommends changing them to improve fidelity.
Explore, the new moving map, is a direct-fit replacement for Collins Airshow Genesys, 400, 410, 500, and 4000 systems, both rack-mount and flange-mount designs. It’s available in three software-defined variations: SD, HD, and 4K, giving customers a choice of fidelity levels.
Evolve cabin-management systems are now flying on four aircraft: a Dassault Falcon 900, 900EX EASy, and 2000EX EASy, and a Bombardier Learjet 60. Evolve controls are on several smaller models, and more large-cabin installs are scheduled for next year, Feuerhak said.
“When we came to market, it wasn't to see how many and how fast we could do it,” he said. “We're close to getting to the point where we're going to open up the gates, if you will, but our model is not based on fast growth. We're trying to do right by the organizations and the aircraft owners that trust our products.”
Feuerhak adds that he believes the CMS line has a future beyond the aftermarket. “I could definitely see our Empire being a forward-fit solution for OEMs,” he said.