Re: A brief commentary

From:         faurecm@halcyon.com (C. Marin Faure)
Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.
Date:         16 Jul 96 13:59:48 
References:   1 2 3 4
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In article <airliners.1996.1261@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Pete Mellor
<pm@csr.city.ac.uk> wrote:

> Michael Bain <meb4593@webevt01.ca.boeing.com> wrote
> on Wed Jul 10 20:58:25 1996:-
>
> > The cabin interior and entertainment systems are purchased by the
> > airline separately.  Entertainment systems can be installed after
> > delivery, and often are.
>
> This statement surprises me. I am not familiar with the A340 entertainment
> systems, but just about everything on the A3xx family is computer
> controlled and integrated into the on-board network. On the B777, my
> understanding is that the in-flight entertainment systems are totally
> integrated into the computer network, and their design (not to mention
> ensuring that a failure in the entertainment software could not propagate
> to affect a more critical system) consumed quite a lot of Boeing's
> effort.

The entertainment and interior items in the 777 are specified by the
airline, not by us (Boeing).  We worked closely with several vendors to
develop the entertainment systems, and there are a relatively few number
of seat, lavatory, galley, and closet suppliers, so the airline's choices
are limited, but what goes inside is pretty much up to them.

Things that DON'T change are the overhead bins, the position of the seat
tracks and primary bulkheads, and the cabin management system (lighting,
heat, air conditioning, PA systems, etc.)  But everything else is up to
the airlines.  Some airlines use Hi-8 for their video playback, some use
laser disc, and so on.  United has one type of seat and arranges them in
coach in 2-5-2.  British Airways uses another type of seat and arranges
them in 3-3-3.  Galley supplier and cabin placement can vary.  The 777
incorporates flex zones in which galleys, lavs, closets, stow bins, and
seats can be rearranged within 72 hours to expand or shrink coach,
business, or first class cabin areas as market demands change.

So while Boeing, Airbus, and McDonnell/Douglas build the planes, the
experience you have on the airplane as a passenger (stable entertainment
system, comfortable seat, easy-to-get-to lavs, etc.) is pretty much due
entirely to what the airlines had us put into the plane, or what they put
in themselves after the plane was delivered.

C. Marin Faure
   author, Flying a Floatplane