Boeing Commercial Airplanes has started working with Lumexis to evaluate and qualify the inflight entertainment firm’s fiber optics-based IFE system for potential installation on the airframer’s 737-800 and -900 production line, the APEX Editor’s Blog can reveal.
A technical services agreement (TSA) signed by Boeing and Lumexis represents an important milestone for Lumexis, as it brings the Irvine, California-based company ever closer to seeing its fiber-to-the-screen (FTTS) IFE system made ‘linefit offerable’ – i.e. installed by Boeing at the factory – on these 737NG types.
Confirming the agreement Boeing VP and chief project engineer – 737 Program, Scott Pelton says, “Boeing is working with Lumexis to develop and ultimately apply the FTTS technology on Boeing 737 platforms as an offering which can be selected and brought to market by our airline customers worldwide.”
Part of the driver behind this TSA is that low-cost carrier flydubai has been successfully – and quickly – installing FTTS on its 737NGs through post-delivery retrofits. New flydubai aircraft go straight from Boeing to Everett-based Aviation Technical Services (ATS), where seats and the IFE system are installed.
“Boeing has had access to the [flydubai] aircraft and saw the post delivery modifications being done, which gave them quite a lot of confidence. We worked closely with Boeing,” notes Lumexis VP, sales Jon Norris.
Norris says Lumexis sees this TSA as a first step. “We would eventually be looking at getting linefit offerability on the 777, the 787 and the 747-8. We understand the 777-200 and -300 because we’ve done retrofits on Transaero’s fleet, and we’ve done retrofits on the 747-400 for Transaero as well.”
Lumexis CEO Doug Cline, who previously revealed that Lumexis was making headway in its talks with various airframers, says his team “is obviously delighted to be working closely with the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM’s) highly capable engineering and production teams to qualify our truly leading-edge inflight entertainment product for installation on Boeing’s manufacturing line.
“I have been extremely proud of the accomplishments of our people in developing, delivering and supporting it for our 737-800 launch customer, and they are once again demonstrating exceptional competence during the TSA for this major OEM’s demanding qualification process. We look forward to successfully completing it as soon as possible.”
A timeline for making FTTS offerable on the 737-800 and 737-900 has not been announced.
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