Photos: Flying on cloud nine
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Airlines showed off their new passenger comforts at the Airline Interior Expo held in Hamburg, Germany, earlier this month.rn
One of the biggest highlights of the show was the unveiling of the new cabin area for the Airbus a350. At a minidesk in the business corner, a passenger can get the same connectivity as on the ground. The Airbus a350 will be able to seat more than 300 passengers in three levels when it takes off in 2010.
The Airbus a350 will already have a competitor, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, due in 2007. It will feature an on-board wireless in-flight entertainment system with a new configuration designed to reduce weight and let passengers easily conduct business and access entertainment while in flight. Windows on the Dreamliner will also be larger.
The lighting on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner works with arrays of light emitting diodes. The crew can control the lighting and color to give passengers a sense of daylight or simulate a nighttime sky.
Not to be outdone, the Airbus a350 ceiling in business class will offer clouds and other skyscapes.
Contour Premium Aircraft Seating unveils a new perk for business class. The “Solar” seat can be a 6-foot 3-inch long bed with up to 31-inches of space at the shoulders. It also has a fully integrated in-flight entertainment system, in-seat power for portable entertainment devices and a massage feature. Air Canada will receive the first Solar seats this month.
For entertainment, Digecor’s DigeplayerXT features an 8-inch TFT screen, a 60-gigabyte or larger hard drive, and a built-in credit card swipe. The player has two headphone jacks and optional 802.11 wireless for content uploads.
OnAir announced that it plans to release a GSM network for aircraft that will allow passengers to use their own mobile phones to send and receive calls and text messages. TAP and Air France has signed up for the service which is scheduled to begin operations in 2007. OnAir is a joint venture of Sita Inc. and Airbus.
Rockwell Collins highlights its Total Entertainment System, for twin aisle aircraft. This provides audio/visual options for passengers at their seats.
Rockwell Collins has the SAT-906 SATCOM System and HST-900 high-speed transceiver system that will enable 64kbps connectivity. It includes Internet and e-mail access while in flight.
More than 450 exhibitors kept 11,000 visitors informed of their new cabin innovations, technologies and services at the 2006 show in Hamburg, Germany.
The infinity dome on the Airbus a350 enhances the feeling of space in the entrance area.
For the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing has enlarged and opened the entryway with arches that immediately direct the eye upward.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner cabin was designed with well-defined architectural boundaries to provide passengers with defined areas in more roomlike proportions.