DN - Defence Notes

Aircraft Interiors: Thales TopSeries for JAL and BA Boeings

3rd April 2009 - 12:12 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Thales announced at the show that Japan Airlines (JAL) and British Airways had placed orders for the TopSeries audio/video-on-demand (AVOD) inflight entertainment system.

JAL wants TopSeries for installation in all seats in its Boeing 767s and 777s. The airline is also considering a Thales proposal for the supply of TopCare product support. Last year JAL selected TopSeries for the Boeing 787s it is due to receive in the coming years. In the 787 TopSeries will feature larger in-seat screens and a new slimline passenger control unit.

British Airways plans to retrofit 18 Boeing 777s with TopSeries. Last November BA selected the system for the Airbus A380s and Boeing 787s and 777-300ERs that it has on order.

On the first day of the show Thales revealed that Saudi Arabian Airlines had selected its new Digital Single-Aisle (D-SA) version of TopSeries for 42 Airbus A320s. D-SA will deliver advanced broadcast entertainment with a measure of interactivity in economy and full AVOD in business. The carrier already has TopSeries on 22 Boeing 777s.

Thales also unveiled two new software and content developments for TopSeries. A suite of applications from Montreal-based DTI Software is about to be added to the system. Development started in the last 12 months with the aim of introducing a dozen new applications over the next few years. They are intended to give passengers a personalised on-screen environment and to provide advanced crew and inventory management capabilities.

Thales has partnered with content management and distribution specialist ExtendMedia Corporation to develop a new platform for that purpose. It will be designed to eliminate traditional manual processes and provide a flexible and secure automated solution. Benefits will include reductions in errors, cost and time between content procurement and delivery to the airline.

The company has introduced an advanced IFE training kiosk for cabin crews and maintenance personnel. Comprises a fully functioning IFE system packaged into a compact cabinet for storage and transport, it supports hands-on training in a non-operational environment.

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