Airbus has started in-flight trials of IoT-connected cabin technologies on board an A350-900 Flight Lab aircraft, the first aircraft manufacturer to do so.
Unveiled last year, the platform dubbed Airspace Connected Experience promises a new personalised experience for passengers and provide opportunities for improving airlines’ ancillary revenues and operational efficiencies.
An initial set of working elements have been installed, including prototypes of the connected iSeat (Recaro), the Connected Galley (gategroup), a remote wireless cabin management control system, a large OLED display and importantly, the first step of Airbus’ new “IoT backbone” which includes an open software platform.
These innovations are all now being tested in flight, together with others to be revealed in due course to customers. The connected cabin ecosystem is expected to enable significant value-adding services for passengers, airlines and crews.
It is expected that passengers will enjoy pre- and remote ordering of preferred meals, booking of private bin space, setting of individual seat positions as well as tailor-made inflight entertainment.
Airlines will be able to improve their operational efficiency applying predictive maintenance, avoiding waste and making crew services more efficient. Other opportunities can easily be created and applied via apps.
Crews will find a better working environment and more efficient tools, digitally enabled by real-time data from the IoT platform throughout the cabin. A mobile smart device will allow crews to monitor and operate all components.