Package set for certification by year-end, with proposals submitted to aircraft makers

Thales Avionics is expecting certification of its TopSeries Executive business jet cabin management system by mid-2004. The company has submitted proposals to at least two aircraft manufacturers, which together could require more than 1,000 systems over the next 10 years.

TopSeries Executive is based on a core system that is common with Thales' I-series in-flight entertainment (IFE) equipment for airliners. This provides an open-system backbone based on an Ethernet high-speed network connecting the server with cabin controls, passenger displays and other equipment.

The system can provide audio and video on demand, web access, email and moving maps. Options include high-speed data and live television via satellite, as well as a wireless local-area network in the cabin and electronic flight bags in the cockpit. Thales is also offering its TopEffects content management service.

Thales says the I-series IFE range offers substantial weight savings over its competitors. Using technology already proven in the air-transport market also provides reliability, while still accommodating customisation, the company adds.

Thales is pursuing opportunities to become the cabin systems integrator during aircraft production or completion. TopSeries Executive is also aimed at the retrofit market. The system includes IFE and audio equipment provided by DeCrane Aircraft company Audio Inter-national, including amplifiers and DVD, video cassette and CD players.

Source: Flight International