Bluebox Aviation Systems has announced the company has successfully delivered the first integration of wireless inflight entertainment (W-IFE) software into the Airbus Open Software Platform (OSP).
The system was part of a line-fit OSP installation on Titan Airways’ first new Airbus A321LR which was delivered to Titan on 26 October.
OSP is Airbus’ standardised onboard hardware and software infrastructure available as both line-fit and retrofit for the Airbus A320 and A330 family aircraft. OSP enables a number of onboard digital services including integration of W-IFE from a certain vendors.
According to Bluebox, the company was the first W-IFE partner selected by an airline customer for the Airbus OSP programme in 2019 which kicked off the core integration work and a series of system tests to ensure Bluebox’s wireless base software suite passed Airbus’ quality standards.
Titan Airways holds a worldwide Air Operator’s Certificate and additional licences to operate aircraft in the US, Canada and Australia. Being able to provide browser-based IFE for passengers is yet another way Titan is providing value for its customers. Along with movies, TV, games and music, passengers on Titan’s A321LRs will also be able to access the internet either for free or as a paid service.
In addition to the IFE portal Bluebox developed for Titan, Titan’s first customer for its new aircraft is TCS World Travel. TCS requested additional IFE functionality to support its tour programme and upgrade its inflight enrichment opportunities. This included adding comprehensive destination-driven modules which interface with real-time flight route information and enabling TCS to manage bespoke content for these modules via Bluebox’s content management system.
Final system testing took place on 28-30 October 2020 at London Stansted, with the test flight (G-XATW) from Stansted on 29 October 2020. After several ground-based tests, the two-hour flight involved testing various elements of the system under live flight conditions. 150 iPads were set up on the aircraft set to test functionality, performance and reporting, including content streaming, moving map, third-party application integration and connectivity.
“Despite the challenges of Covid-19 during development, the tests ran very smoothly, and we are really happy to have achieved this significant milestone,” said James Macrae, chief technology officer of Bluebox. “To be the first IFE vendor with a proven working W-IFE system on Airbus OSP is a really exciting position to be in right now – especially within the context of something as significant and complex as Airbus’s overall IoT programme.
“It was a strategic investment for us before Covid-19 and remains so as W-IFE is set to make real gains in the post-Covid world thanks to the ease of deployment and emphasis on touchless travel solutions. Enabling that final link to passenger devices – for entertainment, retail, and other in-flight engagement applications – from the point of aircraft delivery will become the new standard, and we’ve proven we can deliver it.”