Boeing is boosting the in-flight connectivity options available on its new aircraft, installing internet and mobile systems on all B747-8s and B777s during production.
By the end of next year, all new models of these twin-aisle aircraft will be equipped with the capability to provide in-flight mobile phone use, Wi-Fi connectivity, internet access using in-flight entertainment (IFE) system and live television broadcasts. The US planemaker also revealed that connectivity systems are being evaluated for the single-aisle B737 that could be available in the near future. The B737 already includes wiring provisions for these connectivity systems.
In addition, the B787 Dreamliner offers a post-delivery retrofit of systems that provide in-flight use of personal devices and Wi-Fi connectivity, and Boeing said it is working toward a full set of connectivity offerings as part of its standard set-up by the end of this year.
“We’re always working to ensure that our products offer the airlines of the world the most modern and robust technologies available to provide their passengers with an exceptional flying experience,” said Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s Senior Chief Engineer for Airplane Systems. “Passengers want the option of staying connected to email and the internet and other online offerings when flying. We’ve looked across the industry and are partnering with several connectivity system providers across our family of airplanes.”
The prime connectivity systems currently in development at Boeing are the Panasonic Global Communication Suite and Thales TopConnect system. Wireless media streaming is expected to be available on all new Boeing aircraft from 2014.