Nowadays, the use of mobile devices – tablets, phones, laptops – is widespread. Airlines must acknowledge the new traveller’s behaviors and provide the corresponding on-board solutions. ISPS is one of them, delivering in-seat power to passengers to enable them to continue to enjoy their connected lifestyle inflight.
A leading European airline requested Flitetec provide a modification upgrade to make their seats more technology friendly and improve customer experience during short and medium haul flights. The airline had identified the need to re-design the Cabin in order to make the IFE more compatible with the new technology devices (Portable Electrical Devices (PED), e.g. Tablets, iPad's, Laptops & Mobile Phones). A powered USB 2.0 port installation within the original seat was the airlines goal to enhance the customer’s experience during flights.
The ISPS power unit was provided by KID Systeme GmbH and the major engineering challenge was to incorporate their design within the existing space envelope of the B/E Pinnacle seat. Flitetec were responsible for the design and manufacture of the 4 major aspects of the modification to complete the task:
Escutcheon – The escutcheon was completely redesigned to incorporate the USB 2.0 port whilst maintaining its locking interfaces with the existing passenger seat arm and able to withstand a significant stress test.
In-Seat Power Supply - ISPS Mounting Plate The ISPS mounting plate had to be designed to fit to existing fixing positions on the seat leg. It also had to incorporate mounting bracketry for the ISPS Box that allowed sufficient ventilation as per the manufacturers specifications. The design also required stress testing simulating passenger abuse and possible damage caused by under seat luggage.
ISPS Cover - The design of the ISPS cover had to fit within the size envelope beneath the seat and provide the correct ventilation for the ISPS Box, as per the manufacturers’ specifications. It was a design requirement that the cover would be tamper proof and water tight to ensure no fluid ingress. A final design incorporating a rubber seal and moulded channels to disperse fluids was proven to meet the requirements of the water test, demonstrating that all the electrical components were protected.
Cable Routing - A major challenge for the Flitetec engineering department was the routing of the cables. The solution had to provide routing of the USB Cables from the ISPS box to each passenger position ensuring all cables were controlled in accordance with the specific requirement of the design data. The installation of the cables also included, where necessary, the addition of protective sleeving for the cables to avoid any damage/chaffing of the cables.
Flitetec produced a detailed installation manual and service bulletin for the third-party installers to work to during final installation of the units.
More than 50 installations have already been supplied and successfully fitted and have received outstanding feedback from the Airline’s customers leading to follow on orders to upgrade the remaining fleet.