French aerospace group Latecoere will at the upcoming Paris air show use an Air France cabin mock-up to demonstrate its light-based LiFi data transmission system for in-flight entertainment and communications.
The system, developed in partnership with Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance, uses optical signals – rather than radio waves, as in conventional wi-fi systems – to transmit IFE data throughout the cabin.
Latecoere says LiFi's multimedia data throughput is 100 times faster than that of existing wi-fi systems.
Additionally, the manufacturer asserts, installation of LiFi equipment can reduce aircraft weight as it requires less copper cabling than conventional systems.
AFI KLM E&M handled the equipment's certification and developed solutions for the cabin installation.
Latecoere will demonstrate the system in an Air France Airbus A320 cabin mock-up. Tablet computers will serve as viewing devices.
The demonstration will involve a competition based on Ubisoft's video game "Trackmania". A final round of the online racing tournament is to be held on a one-off commercial Air France flight in September.
Some 12 seats on that flight will offer access to LiFi.
Latecoere chief executive Yannick Assouad states that LiFi technology "will shake up how passengers and cabin crew receive and share data during flights over the next five years".