Look further than plush seats and deep-pile carpets, and bizjet cabins are complex creations of integrated systems and connectivity. Crew and passengers access these many features through the cabin management system (CMS), choosing levels of automation or manual control as required.
At this week’s European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Gulfstream is showing its G500 and, for the first time, its G600 jet, and with them introducing an enhanced CMS.
Naveed Aziz, Gulfstream director, completions research and development, tells RGN: “We drew on the cabin advancements introduced on the G650, including the Gulfstream Cabin Management System [GCMS].” Cleverly, those enhancements are now available on most of the OEM’s aircraft.
“The GCMS on the G500 is interchangeable across the large-cabin jets, so passengers can use their smart phone or tablet to use the GCMS on any of them, storing their preferences for future trips.”
While the CMS makes the cabin work, it’s inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) that makes the experience. Here, Gulfstream is exploiting Inmarsat’s new Ka-band Jet ConneX service, via the Satcom Direct Router, across its large-cabin line. Increased bandwidth means access to a bewildering array of communications, entertainment and streaming possibilities, but Gulfstream thought of that too.
“Last year we established the Gulfstream Connectivity Service, in collaboration with SD,” Aziz explains. “It provides a bundled suite of inflight Internet, voice and entertainment, along with technical support, making it easier for operators to tailor their IFEC. The bundled options include Jet ConneX, SwiftBroadband and ViaSat’s Ku-band service.”
At the Lufthansa Technik/Panasonic Avionics joint venture IDAIR, the emphasis is on designing bespoke CMS/IFEC systems for large aircraft. Verena Bintaro, manager, marketing & communications, says clients expect the technologies they enjoy on the ground in the air, with 4K the buzz – 4K displays, 4K UHD Blu-ray, 4K content, 4K moving map, 4K HDMI and more. In support, she says: “Newer generations of backbone units with high-speed communication networks are becoming more important in handling the fast exchange and transfer of an increasing amount of data.
“We’re also seeing a desire for larger monitors, 42 inches and up, especially in an aircraft’s VVIP zones. In larger jets, including the 777 and 787, there’s a strong preference for the 4K 65-inch monitor, a system we’ll be displaying at EBACE.”
Lufthansa Technik is again at the leading edge of bizjet cabin design with the ‘nice’ Touch CMS, developed from its nice architecture specifically for the new Global 7000 and ready to unveil at EBACE. According to Bombardier, “Our objective was to create a CMS that perfectly adapts to our customers’ needs aboard this four-zone aircraft, supporting the home-like experience it provides.”
Comfort is everything over the jet’s 7,700nm range and Bombardier says: “We therefore added two new layers of interaction – the Bombardier Touch dial and Suite controllers – offering intuitive, easy control of cabin settings and entertainment. We also designed the aircraft with incredible audiophile quality and media bays that enable passengers to bring their own entertainment devices on board.”
Embraer is using EBACE to announce connectivity and IFE news across its fleet, from Phenom 100 up to the E-Jet based Lineage, including broadband solutions for the Legacy 450/500. The company’s VP industrial design, Jay Beever, says: “We’ve matched our connectivity with the price point and mission profiles of each of our products. The average flight time for a Phenom 100 is less than an hour, for example, shorter than a movie, and therefore we have a solution to match.”
Looking beyond today’s state-of-the-art bizjet innovations, IDAIR’s Bintaro reckons: “Voice-controlled environmental systems are coming and could become established as efficient control methods, while connectivity might be the key to deploying more cloud-based technologies.” Indeed, using the Panasonic Global Communications Suite, IDAIR already sees the potential to download content directly to the aircraft via wireless technology. “It would become perfectly feasible to deliver media updates dynamically, directly to the aircraft.”
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