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Thu, 12 Sep 2019

Airbus Commences In-Flight Trials of IoT Connected Cabin Technologies

Airbus has commenced in-flight trials of IoT connected cabin technologies on board an A350-900 Flight Lab aircraft.

The Flight Lab is one of the original A350-900 certification flight-test aircraft – MSN002 – and is fitted with an Airspace cabin which now serves as a platform to evaluate the new connected cabin technologies in-flight.

An initial set of working elements have been installed on the aircraft, including prototypes of the connected iSeat (Recaro), the Connected Galley (gategroup), a remote wireless cabin management control system, a large OLED display and the first step of Airbus’ new “IoT backbone” which includes an open software platform.

These innovations are all now being tested in-flight, together with others to be revealed in due course.

Airbus has commenced in-flight trials of IoT connected cabin technologies on board an A350-900 Flight Lab aircraft. The Flight Lab is one of the original A350-900 certification flight-test aircraft – MSN002 – and is fitted with an Airspace cabin which now serves as a platform to evaluate the new connected cabin technologies in flight. Click to enlarge.

The connected cabin ecosystem is expected to enable significant value-adding services for passengers, airlines and crews. Possible examples include:

- Passengers will receive a more personalised travel experience specifically targeted to the individual needs and preferences, based on the available data. In particular this covers pre- and remote ordering of preferred meals, booking of private bin space, setting of individual seat positions as well as a tailor-made IFE experience.

- Airlines will be able to generate additional ancillary revenues through personalised retail and advertisements as well as new services, all enabled by the IoT approach.

- Furthermore, airlines will be able to improve their operational efficiency applying predictive maintenance, avoiding waste and making crew services more efficient.

- Crews will find a better working environment and more efficient tools, digitally enabled by real-time data from the IoT platform throughout the cabin. A mobile smart device will allow crews to monitor and operate all components.

The in-flight tests allow the various elements to be operated and monitored during a normal flight cycle, especially with regard to the end-to-end data flow robustness within the systems and between them. The next steps will continue testing of the current setup, then close the feedback loop with airlines using Airbus’ Customer Experience Teams (CET) forum, by around year-end.

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