Airline Services Interiors completes design and integration of new Panasonic IFE modification kits into first British Airways 747

Wednesday 4th November 2015

  • Airline Services Interiors
  • B747 New IFE economy Class

Airline Services Interiors, the dedicated interiors division of Airline Services Ltd has completed the design and integration of Panasonic's next generation eX3 In-Flight Entertainment system into the first of 18 British Airways Boeing 747 aircraft. The upgrade, which took nine months to complete, features on all classes of passenger seating from World Traveller (economy) through to First Class. It is anticipated that all 18 Boeing 747's will be refitted by August 2016.

Led by Lenny Gray, Head of Engineering, Airline Services Interiors was responsible for the design, and integration of the new Panasonic IFE mod kits into all classes of cabin seat, design and manufacture of the seat mod kits as well as certification of the mod kits into the seats. Airline Services Interiors worked with British Airways Maintenance Cardiff (BAMC) who carried out aircraft installation work and Zodiac NAT who certified the installation into the aircraft.

Following the inaugural flight in September, British Airways passengers were treated to a choice of over 1500 hours of entertainment programming on larger, hi-resolution screens featuring tablet style touch and swipe controls. As an added advantage, the lightweight design of the system also helps to save fuel.

As part of the upgrade, Airline Services Interiors has integrated new universal power sockets on every seat in World Traveller Plus (premium economy) together with individual USB sockets to allow customers to power their phones and tablets.

The cabin interiors of the British Airways 747s have also been refreshed so they match those on the airline's new A380 and 787 aircraft and Airline Services Interiors has developed new fitted seat covers to improve comfort and appearance.

Lenny Gray said: "We are extremely pleased to have completed the first new IFE integration with the support of our colleagues at British Airways, Panasonic and Zodiac NAT. We are delighted with the results. British Airways passengers can now enjoy the benefits of many hours of programming on the newly installed entertainment system not to mention the comfort and elegance of the newly refreshed interior."

Trial integration and First Article seat build was carried out at Airline Services Interiors Passenger Seating Centre of Excellence, which is co-located with the design and manufacturing teams in Manchester, UK.  Airline Services Interiors is supporting the seat modification programme by British Airways Interiors Engineering at its facility in Blackwood, Wales where the first aircraft was refurbished by British Airways.

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