Bluebox Avionics joint MD Rick Stuart doesn’t mince words.
Asked by yours truly why wireless IFE systems proposed by Panasonic and Thales were never deployed on the Boeing 787, Stuart said: “Perhaps they [Panasonic and Thales] weren’t up to the challenge.”
Well, well. I think the gauntlet has been officially thrown. Note to Panasonic and Thales – let’s talk!
But back to Bluebox. Fighting worlds aside, the company deserves a round of applause for getting a serious foot in the door with today’s announcement that Airbus has commissioned Bluebox to provide its wireless IFE system for inclusion in the A380 demo mock-up in Hamburg.
Read all about it by clicking this not-quite-dark-enough blue link. Are my eyes just bad? Should I start bolding these things?
As noted in my article, even though the system is being installed on the A380 mock-up, Stuart says Bluebox may have a greater opportunity to test-flight it on a new commercial aircraft.
This, of course, begs the question of whether the A350 is the ultimate aim. Stuart declines to comment.
What he does say, however, and what isn’t mentioned in my piece is this:
“Traditional systems are server based, which are fraught with many problems. They [IFE system makers] have tried to make them more reliable [but the systems] are still a nightmare as any airline would testify.”
To remedy this, he says, Bluebox “took a blank piece of paper and worked backwards from an airline perspective”. The resulting technology turned out to be “remarkably easy”.
Bluebox in March will showcase its product range at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. That will be exactly four years after Airbus revealed its first production-standard A380 mock-up at the same show.