Cabin Electronics Manufacturers

Buyers' Guide » 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009 - 5:00am

For years, the goal of cabin electronics manufacturers has been to offer passengers the same level of communication, connectivity and entertainment that they'd enjoy at home or in the office. That goal has never been closer to reality.

You can now access true broadband Internet service on your business jet. In-flight use of your cellphone is just over the horizon and Wi-Fi cabins are here. So is near-global, in-flight satellite-direct television coverage, not to mention on-demand video servers that can hold hundreds of hours of movies and music. High-definition Blu-ray DVD players are available for the cabin, and iPod and MP3 docks are common features in the latest upgrades. The moving-map display, meanwhile, has evolved from a simple airplane icon creeping across a map to a 3-D depiction of your own aircraft and terrain derived from satellite imagery. You can even select a view through the pilot's heads-up display on approach to the airport.   

Here's a list of firms that contribute to this world of connectivity and entertainment.

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““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”

-—actor and comedian Ricky Gervais