Posted on: 17 October 2010 by Mark Howells
Gulfstream Aerospace introduced full redundancy on its cabin management system that can be controlled through an iPod Touch or iPhone, according to Pres Henne, senior vice president engineering and testing.“The GCMS uses a platform many people are already familiar with, the iPod touch, which is an easy device to use,” said Bob Geary, director, Research and Development, Final Phase, Gulfstream. “Because each seat comes with its own Passenger Control Unit, passengers can create an environment ideally suited to their needs during that particular flight. They have total control over their environment and there’s really no learning curve, especially since the system works with other personal handheld devices as well.”The system is being introduced on the G650 with a simple application download from the Apple Store. It will also be available on the G250, which debuted at NBAA, with fewer functions than those available for the larger aircraft. Gulfstream demonstrated the cabin’s capabilities at a special event two days before the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Meeting and Convention in Atlanta. The cabin is outfitted with the flight-test interior, including a testing station to gather data.“The whole is more than the sum of its parts,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, said of the new cabin introduced on the G650. “There is nothing else like this in the air. The G650 will serve as a platform for the evolution of Gulfstream interior design and keep the company miles ahead of the competition.“We think that the cabin systems should be fail-operational, just as the cockpit systems are,” he said, speaking of Cabin Essential. “So, we have built in redundancy into our system.”The Gulfstream Cabin Management System (CMS) is designed to control for failure, he said and is one of the first High Definition (HD) systems in the business aviation industry.“We have completely rethought the cabin and redesigned it as a step forward for us,” said Henne.The Gulfstream Cabin Management System (GCMS) provides digital control of cabin systems through touch screens, capacitive touch switches and Passenger Control Units. Using an iPod touch synched to a particular seat on the aircraft, passengers will be able to control the lighting, temperature, speakers, monitors, entertainment equipment, window shades, CabinView system and attendant call for their specified location on the aircraft.Henne explained that passengers will also be able to set and save their preferences for a particular activity, including working, dining, relaxing and sleeping. For example, if their preferred working conditions involve the reading light, a closed window shade and a certain color temperature for the indirect lighting, they’ll be able to save those preferences under the “work” label. When “work” is selected from the menu, the GCMS will automatically adjust to the preset conditions for that environment.He indicated that the CMS will be expanded as new technologies are introduced.The G250 will come standard with Gulfstream’s Audio/Video Distribution System (AVDS), which supplies high-definition (HD) video content to the cabin. Using a unique fiber optic cabling system, the AVDS provides HD video content with no data compression or signal latency. The G250 comes standard with a dual Blu-ray/DVD/CD player with USB ports along with a 19-inch (48 cm) HD liquid crystal display (LCD) forward bulkhead monitor. Operators can also select dual 128-gigabyte media servers and 12.1-inch (31 cm) HD or 9-inch (23 cm) HD-compatible LCD personal monitors that plug into the side ledge. This Passenger Control Unit (PCU) can be stored in the covered charging station located in the ledge adjacent to the principal seat. That ledge also hides a charging station for the Iridium handset, a headphone port and controls, a media input panel with iPod® dock, an electric power outlet and miscellaneous storage.
Kathryn B. Creedy, US correspondent, Inflight and Inflight-Online.com