Honeywell, Lufthansa Technik and Rockwell Collin are here at the show with the best cabin networks that money can buy. But aircraft operators shopping for integrated in-flight entertainment and cabin environment controls should also call in on Intheairnet, whose CabFlex is designed for high performance and flexibility at a reasonable price.

To develop CabFlex, California-based Intheairnet drew on the expertise of 2004 acquisition IEC International, which specialised in cabin control and entertainment systems and components for large VIP aircraft with multiple staterooms, offices and entourage seating. “We took the best products and technology developed by IEC and boiled them down into a simplified yet highly sophisticated system for business aircraft,” says Intheairnet Americas sales and marketing director Martin Hamilton. “The resulting network is highly flexible, scaleable and affordable.”

CabFlex made its market debut at the 2005 NBAA show. It is designed to give the cabin crew and each passenger fingertip control over a variety of entertainment functions, lighting and other cabin environmental functions. Neat LCD touch panels can be installed at every seat to allow passengers to select from several optional entertainment sources, including a five-disc CD changer, a digital audio/video multi-media server, and a moving-map system with satellite imagery.

The system can be scaled to fit aircraft ranging from helicopters and light turboprops to long-range business jets with 16 or more seats. It is also easy to install, Hamilton says: “We focused on ease of installation when we designed CabFlex – the result is something that’s very simple for installers and modification centres to work with.”

High maintainability was another design objective. A full suite of test and diagnostic software allows authorised users to see the entire system from either the galley-mounted crew control panel or the primary in-seat LCD touch panel. This makes it possible to troubleshoot problems without removing cabinetry, fixed furniture or interior panels, and to reroute power and signal switching without any need for physical rewiring.

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Source: Flight Daily News