Once again Aircraft Interiors Expo held in Hamburg, Germany, proved to be the leading must attend event in Europe to see innovation in Cabin interiors, passenger experience, connectivity and in-flight entertainment. After a busy three days another aircraft interiors show closes, and we can reflect on what the main take-away trends and drivers are in the IFE market.
As with previous shows is it always a great pleasure to see so many familiar faces at the show but what was truly impressive in 2019 was the number of new faces from airlines and integrators we met with, and the number of programs that were being discussed for the first time. It was incredibly interesting to see where these next set of opportunities are coming from and what the requirements are for.
Following the recent press release detailing Kontron's success across Russia and China with 500 aircraft being installed with Kontron servers and CWAPs, these regions continue to expand their interest and deployment of IFE systems, embracing the capabilities they bring not only to their passengers flight experience but also to their own operational and logistical centres. This trend was very much in evidence at the show, with many discussions taking place with our global sales and support teams, and clearly demonstrates the expansion of IFE away from North America and Europe to Russia and Asia. We experienced strong interest from South America, Africa and India, with opportunities for our fixed and portable IFE solutions. With recent market analysis predicting huge growth for these markets in IFE, with double digit growth expecting yearly into 2024, Kontron with its multi-tiered IFE solution approach is poised to support our customers in these regions.
Find more trends and figures here: https://app-eu.clickdimensions.com/blob/snthr-akkxb/files/kontron-avionics-ig.pdf
Portable- Yes please!
Whilst the majority of discussions centred on our fixed IFE solutions, with so many new, small and low cost airlines now looking at the differentiator of an IFE system for their fleet, the interest in a flexible, reliable and quality designed and manufactured portable IFE solution was always going to be high. Announcing the production availability of our portable Cab-n-Connect P100 wireless IFE system at AIX2019 created a buzz of excitement on the Kontron booth by offered airlines a flexible solution, with low buy in costs and reduced certification costs.
- With over 4000+ aircraft installations, Kontron received great feedback from customers that with us now entering the portable IFE market place they have a strong partner who can offer a tiered approach to their needs.
- Providing a number of processor options supporting high-end and low-end systems coupled with dual 802.11ac radios, LTE modem, ADS-B receiver (to support moving map applications), the P100 was designed to allow airlines to deploy an IFE solution without the need for a separate STC, reducing complexity, cost and installation time.
- The P100 offers options for supporting aircraft power, this is key to removing effort and cost for airlines who would rather not manage battery logistics. The option of PA Announcement support is also key to many airlines, and again the P100 supports this feature. With up to 8TB of available storage, the P100 offers almost unlimited capacity for engaging content. Feedback on the product was overwhelmingly positive.
- SGOS is an open architecture software platform with support for Dockerized Applications and VMs. SGOS includes OS, drivers, APIs, libraries, middleware and software components. SGOS allows easy development and deployment of applications across the Kontron IFE hardware family. (AF4600, AF4608, P100, AF1600). Applications running on SGOS were demonstrated on the P100 portable IFE system at AIX.
- To get further data on the P100 please visit: https://www.kontron.com/industries/avionics/cab-n-connect-tm-p100.html
Qualified for Helicopters
Kontron ´ s `Gateway Router, AF1600 was another product demonstrated on our booth. This heavy hitter in a small package prompted a great deal of interest. A wide range of use cases for the AF1600 were discussed. Interesting new opportunities with freight airlines and deployment onto helicopters arrived. With the AF1600 being qualified for Helicopter vibration and running of 28VDC plus the inclusion of the Kontron Secure Gateway Software, we have high hopes for this powerful little package.
What the future holds
And that was only what happened at our booth, during three days we saw a whole lot of other interesting trends, new ideas and innovations in the making at many other booths.
To close I quote my colleague RJ McLaren, Kontron's Avionics and In-Vehicle Product Manager from a Blog written in April 2016 "No matter what the future holds, Airlines who embrace this new technology will find themselves riding the tailwind of a whole new wave of innovation."
We'll explore how things have changed in 3 years next time.
What were your strongest impressions of trends and topics at Aircraft Interiors Expo?