Thales, Recaro partner on new integrated IFEC/seat

Philadelphia
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Thales has partnered with Recaro to integrate new in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) into a popular slimline seat.

Under the arrangement, Thales' new seat-centric TopSeries smart video displays will be fitted to Recaro's award-winning Comfort Line (CL) 3620 economy-class seat for long-range travel.

"We are responding to market demands by integrating the new IFE technology in our successful seat," says Eckhard Behnert, director product group management at Recaro.

The seat is based on the unique single-beam principle that replaces the two conventional support beams with a single beam giving the seat a much leaner profile.

"The flexible material in the headrest, the foot net, the ultra-thin backrest and other innovations all add up to an exceptionally comfortable experience for airline passengers," says Behnert.

Thales' new passenger display is, in of itself, an IFEC system, he notes. With high capacity local storage and no seatbox to be found anywhere, "the monitor is a modular design that offers airlines tremendous flexibility in terms of what they want to offer their passengers".

The monitor in the featured Recaro seat is available in various colours. The screens are 11in and 12in-class with a popular touch-screen navigation capability much like today's smart phones.

"What's more, the modular design of the display improves serviceability and reduces cost of ownership. No longer are maintenance crews required to manage cabling between the seat box and display in order to replace the entire monitor for repair. The new TopSeries enables module component replacement, which allows the airline to swap-out only the module that requires attention in far less time and at a much lower cost," says Recaro.

"Plus, the same holds for upgrades. The monitor accommodates up to four modules (audio jacks, USB, PED interface and an optional fourth slot for future features) that interface between the passenger and the system. With this design, an airline can add, subtract or exchange interface modules in a timely cost effective manner. In short, components can be exchanged on-wing without removing the entire display."