DN - Defence Notes

WAEA: ?We can help IFE to lighten up,? says AP Avionx

11th September 2008 - 00:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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"WE believe we can extend the engineering capabilities of the major IFE and communications vendors," Eric Tarter, commercial products director of AP Avionx, said here yesterday.

The company has just been set up as a business unit of San Diego-based AP Labs, which has specialised in the supply of major electronic subsystems to the US military since 1984. "That history has given us skills that we can use to cut the weight, volume and power demands of current-technology IFE systems," said Tarter.

AP Labs itself first addressed the IFE/communications market four years when it was contracted to produce airborne equipment for the terrestrially based broadband service planned by the now defunct Verizon Airfone. "Many of the people involved in Verizon Airfone went on to help develop today's Row 44 Ku-band satellite and Aircell terrestrial broadband systems, for which we now supply several pieces of airborne equipment," Tarter said.

The decision to set up AP Avionx was taken towards the end of last year and the new identity was unveiled on the eve of the show. "We see the IFE/communications market as a tremendous growth opportunity for a company like us," said Tarter. "We believe we can be of service to several layers of the industry - the airframers, the top-tier IFE vendors, and smaller suppliers lacking deep engineering expertise."

The new company is targeting 20 per cent year-on-year revenue growth. "We've already had some very interesting conversations with potential customers at this show," Tarter said. "Our Row 44 and Aircell programmes have really opened some doors for us."

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