By now, most of you are aware that Lumexis has completed installation of its lightweight fiber optics-based in-flight entertainment system (IFE) - integrated with Recaro seats - on the first of many FlyDubai Boeing 737s.
But the story of how the retrofit was accomplished is fascinating, and worth highlighting.
Because the Lumexis system is not (yet) linefit offerable, Boeing delivered the 737 to FlyDubai with a full set of Recaro seats sans IFE (the aircraft boasts Boeing's new 'Sky Interior').
Then the aircraft was taken to third party MRO facility ATS in Seattle, where the Recaro seats were removed, along with the floor panels and sidewall linings. The Lumexis glass fiber wiring was fitted above the windows (not under the floor) and run to the head-end server units in the IFE rack. See photos below and then read on.
After the technicians closed everything up, the new integrated IFE/seats were installed. Isn't the finished product sweet?
And what became of the standard Recaro seats that were delivered with the aircraft? They are being recycled back to Boeing for the next FlyDubai 737 delivery, and subsequent removal by ATS for the next retrofit.
Lumexis discussed the retrofit project at last week's APEX technical committee meeting in Los Angeles (a meeting that was, by all accounts, a great success).
A special thanks to Lumexis for the pictures accompanying this piece, including this graphic illustrating an important difference between conventional IFE systems and the Lumexis design.
Also during the meeting, APEX approved MPEG-4 Part 10 standard for video compression at long last.
Attendees also learned that the 'iPads as IFE' concept isn't all it's cracked up to be because studios are not granting early window content for iPads. Notably absent from the committee meeting were BlueBox and Stellar Inflight, which got the whole iPad ball rolling when they revealed a deal with Jetstar.
Makes you wonder what BlueBox was going on about in May when it said: "And with our proprietary bluebox security solution, the Ai is fully approved for early-window IFE content, just like all other products in the bluebox range."