LHT’s broad range of cabin systems was originally developed with high-end operators in mind. But now the company is broadening its horizons. BRENDAN GALLAGHER reports 

Luft Technik W445

Although Lufthansa Technik (booth 744) is Europe’s best known maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and completions provider, its cabin systems capabilities are something of a well-kept secret to the average business jet operator. But not for much longer, says innovation engineering director Andrew Muirhead.
Australian Muirhead heads the Hamburg-based Innovation Centre that over the last two or three years has poured out a stream of high-quality cabin electronic systems – usually straight into the hands of VIP and top-end corporate. A case in point is NICE, the company’s powerful and elegant Ethernet-based cabin network, which is installed in a couple of VVIP Boeing 747-400s and a number of BBJs.
At last year’s National Business Aviation Association show in Orlando, LHT announced that St Louis-based modification and completions provider Midcoast Aviation would make NICE available to its own customers. “That opened a door for us in the main market for NICE,” says Muirhead. “And we’ve got another similar relationship cooking as part of a process to get NICE into the mainstream of the business jet market.”
Designed as a common high-speed network to support previously separate in-flight entertainment, connectivity, office and cabin management functions, NICE is offered in two versions: one operating on the 115V AC/400Hz power typical of air transport-class aircraft, the other working on the 28V DC standard for business jets. “The deliveries to Midcoast will be the first 28V examples,” says Muirhead. “Midcoast has customers for those installations, but we can’t announce them yet.”
A typical NICE installation could incorporate a wide variety of devices, including a universal DVD/CD player, an audio/video-on-demand file-server, smart LCD displays, and touchscreen passenger and cabin-crew control.
The Hamburg works continues to develop these products and to turn out new ones, according to Muirhead. In the past six months LHT has launched bulkhead-mounted 15in (380mm), 20in and 30in high-definition LCD displays with built-in MPEG decoding, image processing and picture-in-picture, as well as an in-seat 10in display. For cabin crew it is now offering a NICE cabin management station based on a 10in touchscreen. “This can be used to control all the cabin environmental functions and the IFE,” says Muirhead. “And it has a video preview facility that allows the attendant to check the quality of video from multiple sources before they are made available to passengers.”.  

Source: Flight Daily News