Inflight Workshop 2014: Lightening the Load

The first session of the Inflight Workshop, held at the 2014 Aircraft Interiors Middle East show in Dubai, was entitled "Lightening the Load".Moderated by Inflight editor Liz Moscrop, the panel consisted of digEcor's Laurie Barns, Row 44's Pierre Steffen, Panasonic's Jeff Garvin and Lumexis' Jon Norris. Together they discussed how IFEC providers can work to reduce an aircraft's overall weight.Jon Norris said that we are at the point where you can't take much more weight out of an aircraft seat. But with technology we can do more, saying the use of fibre optics will reduce the overall aircraft weight.He said that Lumexis' "Fiber to the Screen" system (FTTS) is a high-performance solution that had removed a tonne of weight per aircraft for Russian carrier Transaero when it was retrofitted to four of its Boeing 747-400 aircraft. On a typical Boeing 777 installation, Norris added that this weight loss could amount to an annual saving of 65,000 US gallons of jet fuel, or $300,000 per aircraft per year.Panasonic's Jeff Garvin said that it works closely with seat manufacturers to get weight down – the target had been to reduce overall seat weight by 50 per cent.Row 44's Pierre Steffen said that it sees a lot of single-aisle operators wanting to get into IFE and its approach is to work with the airlines to look at the complete picture. "We aim to have the best possible compromise to have an attractive product that is not obsolete in two years time," Steffen said.digEcor's Laurie Barns added that most airlines want to be on the leading edge of IFEC, but not the bleeding edge.But is embedded IFE on its way out? Jon Norris thought no. "In 2013, 98% of the aircraft rolling off the Boeing and Airbus production lines still had embedded IFE," Norris said. "But what we will see in the wide-body market is wireless IFE working with embedded IFE and not replacing it."Steve Nichols, Inflight / Inflight-Online.comDubai

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