Lufthansa Technik develops new IFE concept with Qantas

Integrated tablet use throughout the flight

Qantas Airways – Australia's largest airline – has partnered with the product division "Original Equipment Innovation" of Lufthansa Technik AG to develop and implement a new inflight entertainment concept using a tablet to replace the traditional seat back screen.

Following successful completion of approval testing (Head Injury Criteria/HIC tests), visitors to the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg will be able to see the product.

Qantas – which uses iPads* to deliver hundreds of hours of in-flight entertainment content – currently requires passengers to hold the device during taxi, take-off and landing to comply with aviation regulations.

The innovative solution allows for a tablet such as an iPad to be fitted to the back of a seat inside a secure holder that allows the device to be used for all stages of flight.

The tablet solution has been integrated with aircraft seat manufacturer ZIM Flugsitz, allowing the tablet to be safely secured while delivering all of the functionality of a seat back touch screen device.

The new tablet holder device will be installed in the Business Class cabin of Qantas' Boeing 717 aircraft and gives customers access to IFE at all stages of their journey.

"The cooperation between Qantas, ZIM and Lufthansa Technik has produced the very first wireless in-flight entertainment solution (IFE) that can be used during any phase of the flight to combine the airline's inflight entertainment offers with modern consumer technology," says Andrew Muirhead, Head of Product Division "Original Equipment Innovation" at Lufthansa Technik. "In view of the fact that innovation cycles in IFE are growing ever shorter, our solution offers airlines enormous benefits: it is less expensive and easier to maintain than a built-in seat back monitor, and at the same time, airlines can always offer their passengers state-of-the-art technology in their IFE systems," says Franziska Voerner, project manager at Lufthansa Technik.

The entire system was developed within about ten months. "That was a real challenge, and one we could only meet because the teams at Qantas, ZIM and Lufthansa Technik worked so closely together and with such a high level of trust," says Qantas Executive Manager Customer Experience Paul Jones.

* iPad is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.