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