Boeing has delayed issuing a service bulletin (SB) to addressthe susceptibility of Honeywell Phase 3 displays to EMI,but that is not stopping the USairframer from prepping to deliver 777s equipped with in-flight connectivitysystems.
Sources tell RWG that Boeing executives have internallyaccepted placarding of 777 cockpits as an interim solution until the Honeywellproblem is resolved. The placards, like those used on Emirates’ 777s and myriadBoeing 737NGs in the United States, will bear strict instructions thatpilots are not to use connectivity on the flight deck.
Asked to comment on the situation late last month, a Boeingspokesman said: “It looks like the SB will be delayed until next year. I wouldcontact the FAA about your placarding question.” He noted that the FAA “decideswhat is acceptable and what isn’t”.
So, which carrier will see connectivity fully linefit to its777s first? Right now, Turkish Airlines is pacing to be the first.Certification of Panasonic Avionics’ Ku-band satellite-supported eXConnectin-flight Internet solution is being done on the line and the data is expectedto be handed off to Boeing CAS so that they can offer the service bulletin.
There is also light at the end of the tunnel for Panasonicpartner AeroMobile, which saw linefits of its GSM/GPRS connectivity system -branded as eXPhone – stalled when the news about Honeywell Phase 3 displays cameto light.
Apparently comfortable with the placarding solution, theFAA, I’m told, is not throwing serious roadblocks in the way of linefitting eXPhone,which is good news for Turkish and other eXPhone customers, which have beenwaiting for the schedule to get back on track.
And what does the FAA say? Silence is deafening.