Latest In Moving Map And Display Technology
Something new Wednesday at the World
Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) conference and exhibition
in Seattle: Rockwell Collins introduced its new line of moving map
and in-flight information products for commercial aircraft. The new
Airshow 4200 is a distributed video-based product, and Airshow
4200i is an in-seat interactive product. Both products integrate
with the leading IFE systems to provide content that is highly
customizable and tailored to meet the needs of each airline
"The new Airshow 4200 continues the heritage of the Airshow 420
and 210, but dramatically raises the bar for visually compelling
in-flight information," said Tim Rayl, senior director, Airshow
Systems. "The new 3-D maps in the Airshow 4200 generated a lot of
excitement with early customers, and the interactive Airshow 4200i
map product positions us for the next generation of digital,
in-seat IFE systems.
"The Airshow 4200 has been developed with a major advancement in
features, functionality, and look-and-feel over previous map
products. It is a full-featured multimedia platform, incorporating
a wide variety of capabilities, including 3-D route maps, real-time
news feeds, connecting gate information, and point-of-interest
media libraries. For the first time, the Airshow 4200 can be used
for full-motion MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video displays, such as safety
briefings, short subjects, advertising, duty-free, and other
non-encrypted content. The Airshow 4200 outputs two channels of
NTSC video in a distributed mode to overhead or in-seat monitors.
This allows the distribution of map and flight information on one
channel and connecting gate information, news feeds and similar
content on the second channel.
The Airshow 4200i in-seat interactive moving map incorporates
many of the same options available with the Airshow 4200, but
instead of "pushing" video to all cabin monitors, 4200i lets each
individual passenger "pull" maps, news, and other content to their
seat. Simulations of 3-D route maps are included, along with all of
the other map and flight information. Intended for digital
Ethernet-based IFE systems, the Airshow 4200i uses HTML and
Macromedia Flash to optimize distribution.
Both versions of the new map products capture real-time flight
information from the aircraft's flight management computer,
long-range navigation system and aircraft communication systems.
Both products also use the on-board ACARS connection to retrieve
current airport terminal information. For Airshow Network news
feeds (including WSJ, CNN, BBC, Bloomberg and others) the Airshow
4200 and 4200i connect to the aircraft's NATS, Satcom, or Iridium
In fact, almost simultaneously with the product unveiling came
the 4200's first customer: Air New Zealand. Eight new Boeing 777
aircraft and seven existing Boeing 747 aircraft will be installed
with the Airshow 4200. Initial installation is set for mid 2005.
This follows the airline's recent decision to install Rockwell
Collins' eTES in-flight entertainment equipment on these
Initial shipments of the new Airshow 4200 and Airshow 4200i will
begin the second quarter of 2005.