Image: Lim Kok Wee

Virgin Australia will be trialing BAE Systems’ IntelliCabin in-seat power solution over a one-year period (placement is subject to change). Image: Lim Kok Wee

APEX Insight: BAE Systems’ IntelliCabin in-seat power solution is lighter and smaller than competing systems, making it a boon for passengers vying for some extra legroom. Virgin Australia will be trialing IntelliCabin over a one-year period, and may install the the in-seat power solution on its entire Boeing 737-800 fleet in 2018.

Thanks to BAE Systems’ IntelliCabin in-seat power solution, passengers on Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737-800 fleet will soon be able to plug in their devices while enjoying more legroom.

“Our system is lighter and smaller than competing systems,” says Jared Shoemaker, director of Cabin Programs at BAE Systems. “It takes up less room under the seats than systems flying today.” The solution provides both 110v AC and high-power USB outlets to every seat, utilizing a central power converter, smart controllers and outlets that fit into existing seats.

“We are excited to partner with BAE Systems for this trial to provide an in-flight charging solution to our guests to support our popular wireless in-flight entertainment system.” — Ben Asmar, Virgin Australia

“We are excited to partner with BAE Systems for this trial to provide an in-flight charging solution to our guests to support our popular wireless in-flight entertainment system,” says Virgin Australia’s head of Product Development Ben Asmar. “This will also help us define the future of our in-flight product as we evaluate enhancements and fleet updates.”

Virgin Australia currently offers wireless entertainment on select Boeing 737-800 and Embraer 190 aircraft via Lufthansa Systems’ BoardConnect platform. Its subsidiary Tigerair Australia also offers wireless entertainment on Boeing 737-800 aircraft, supported by Arconics’ CloudStore.

The first installation of the system in the cabin, galley and cockpit of a Virgin Australia 737 will occur in the first half of 2017. Based on the results of a one-year trial to gauge customer demand, the airline may install the IntelliCabin in-seat power solution on its entire 737-800 fleet in 2018.