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Widebodies W/o IFE - Is It Possible?  
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6433 posts, RR: 2
Posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10299 times:

I was wondering, is it possible to have a widebody aircraft without an IFE system? The reason why I ask this is because on most widebodies, the reading lights and FA call buttons are controlled by the IFE system.

I believe the only exceptions are some (but not all) A300s and A310s which had those functions on overhead buttons like on most narrowbodies (I know AA's A300s had overhead buttons). However, I believe that all A330s, A340s, and A380s have them part of the IFE system either in the armrest, remote, or touchscreen interface. I know all 747s, 767s, and 777s have the reading lights and FA call buttons controlled by the IFE system as well.

So, on widebodies where the reading lights and FA call buttons are controlled by the IFE system, how would those functions work if there was no IFE system?


The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinedelta763 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 287 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 10039 times:

Widebody aircraft have been around far longer than IFE systems.

DL's 763s have buttons for the lights and flight attendant calls, and there's lots of those still flying. I'm sure that's not the only example.


User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6433 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9921 times:

Quoting delta763 (Reply 1):
DL's 763s have buttons for the lights and flight attendant calls, and there's lots of those still flying. I'm sure that's not the only example.

However, they are together with the IFE controls in the armrests, not buttons overhead on the PSUs like most narrowbody aircraft. Just because an aircraft doesn't have PTVs doesn't mean it cannot control the reading lights and FA calls. Even Delta's 762s (and the domestic 763s prior to AVOD installation) had buttons in the armrests for the reading lights and FA calls, while the channel and volume were controlled by analog dials.

Quoting delta763 (Reply 1):
Widebody aircraft have been around far longer than IFE systems.

That is completely wrong. Yes, widebody aircraft predate PTVs, however, they don't predate IFE systems in general. Many airlines had in-seat audio on their 707s and DC-8s. On widebody aircraft, the first video systems were reel flim projectors.

[Edited 2010-10-15 17:00:32]


The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineBOACCunard From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 864 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9892 times:

I don't believe the Il-86 or Il-96 had/have IFE.


Getting There is Half the Fun!
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6433 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9663 times:

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 3):
I don't believe the Il-86 or Il-96 had/have IFE.

I wonder how the reading lights and FA call buttons were controlled on those aircraft then. Looking at photos, there doesn't appear to be any overhead buttons on the PSUs. I think the Airbus A300/A310 were the only widebodies to offer them as an option.



The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3607 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9640 times:

If you're going to consider audio "IFE", then I suppose it's rare to have seen a widebody without it.

However, there is nothing to say it couldn't happen. There's certainly nothing tying the pneumatic audio system on early widebodies with the lights or f/a call buttons.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineKFlyer From Sri Lanka, joined Mar 2007, 1226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9533 times:

CS-TQI, the Luzair 763ER which recently was wet leased by UL, did not have any kind of IFE - perhaps audio ( if you still consider that as IFE ), but I doubt that too.
The definition of IFE, whether simple audio systems too are included, matters. But I'm quite sure that at least some early 747s were quasi-IFE.



The opinions above are solely my own and do not express those of my employers or clients.
User currently offlineukoverlander From United Kingdom, joined May 2010, 363 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9464 times:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
I was wondering, is it possible to have a widebody aircraft without an IFE system?

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your question but the answer is surely 'Yes'. 747's have been around for 40 years. the earliest PTV's I think only for around 15 years (the first 777's generally as I recall made this mainstream at least on Continental).

To use a very recent example until the recent refurb United's 747's were flying around with ceiling mounted aisle video moniotrs (just in the last couple of years), Continental's DC-10's had projection screens only in the 90's - both had overhead light and call buttons for their seats in economy. The buttons if I recall were on the overhead panel - not in the armrests. Nothing to do with the IFE installation.

As far as I'm aware Airlines choose their IFE systems for installation independently on a case by case basis. They are an 'option', not an integrated part of the Boeing or Airbus aircraft manufacturing process, but a post production installation along with other interior aspects of the aircraft. This is why IFE systems vary significantly between airlines.

I believe you could certainly order a wide body without IFE and still have call buttons and overhead lights. This is probably some of the most basic technology in an aircraft. For anyone old enough to remember the days (not so long ago) when we didn't have little screens in the seat backs in front of us we still had call buttons and reading lights.


User currently offlineDL_Mech From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1926 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9376 times:

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 5):
There's certainly nothing tying the pneumatic audio system on early widebodies with the lights or f/a call buttons.

That's a true statement if you do not include the B-747, DC-10 or L-1011.



This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
User currently offlinebrons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3007 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9321 times:

AA763, what IFE?? None in coach, at least. Yes there is audio but it's pretty lame. Pretty sure the controls for the reading lights are overhead.


Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2264 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9265 times:

Quoting brons2 (Reply 10):

AA763, what IFE?? None in coach, at least. Yes there is audio but it's pretty lame. Pretty sure the controls for the reading lights are overhead.

Many here are confusing IFE to mean PTVs. PTVs are part of an IFE system, but they are not the only form of IFE. As others have said, simple audio systems and/or overhead monitors/projectors are also IFE, no matter how dated. AA had movies on their 707s. As for AA's 767s, yes, they do have IFE in coach, and the reading light/FA call button are in the armrest along with the volume control and channel selector.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineMeCe From Turkey, joined Oct 2009, 164 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 8912 times:

IFE system has been integrated with PA system on years 90's. Before this like most other systems PA (light control hostess call) and music systems has separate wiring controls etc. Because of this a widebody plane can be without IFE system build in 70's or 80's. But I am not sure anyone want this option.

User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 8777 times:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 2):
That is completely wrong.

I would strenously debate that in the context that you are, I believe, confusing 'widebodies' with long haul flying and they are not mutually exclusive by any means. Also, what are you actually defining as 'IFE'? The original poster (who you are disagreeing with) has a very correct point in that long haul flying has certainly been around much longer that what you are referring to as IFE.....and it still had in flight entertainment . Indeed, your quote below indicates to me that you are completely on the wrong track with this and seem to be thinking that 'widebody' aircraft, long haul flying and what YOU term as IFE are something that has been invented only in your young lifetime:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 4):
I wonder how the reading lights and FA call buttons were controlled on those aircraft then.

At the end of the day, surely you or anyone else, are not suggesting that neither Airbus or Boeing can make 'widebody' aircraft without F/A call lights, reading lights etc being controlled solely by what you term as the IFE system!
Of course they can, so the simple answer to the question is OBVIOUSLY YES!


User currently offlinecharliecossie From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 479 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 8433 times:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
So, on widebodies where the reading lights and FA call buttons are controlled by the IFE system, how would those functions work if there was no IFE system?

You are assuming that just because the control buttons for the reading lighs/attendant call are on the IFE handset, then the lights/chime system is controlled by the IFE system. That is a completely incorrect assumption.
The lights/call system is an aircraft system. That system interfaces with the IFE system for signalling functions. A basic example is this (typical 747/777 system):-
You press reading light button on IFE handset. Signal sent to seat box. Seat box signals IFE box in charge of that zone. IFE box signals cabin area controller (aircraft system). Cabin area contoller signals overhead unit controlling that particular set of seats. Overhead unit turns on reading light.
So, with no IFE system present, the armrest controls would simply interface directly with the aircraft system.


User currently offlineVasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3856 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 8252 times:

Am I right in thinking that with a lot of widebody aircraft, the ceilings are simply too high to comfortably incorporate push-button controls?

User currently offlinejayeshrulz From India, joined Apr 2007, 1027 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 8153 times:

The UA 747's? do they have IFE? I doubt.
There are many airlines in china too who have no IFE. The FA call is at the top. Right?



Keep flying, because the sky is no limit!
User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7521 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7364 times:

As one of the other posters mentioned there is no connection in the in-armrest controls for the audio systems and the lights/FA call buttons.

The primary reason why the light / FA call button is in the arm rest is because of the height of the cabin above the seats. It was found to be a good location to locate the controls but the systems are not dependent of each other.


User currently offlineDL_Mech From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1926 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7187 times:

Quoting charliecossie (Reply 14):
You press reading light button on IFE handset. Signal sent to seat box. Seat box signals IFE box in charge of that zone. IFE box signals cabin area controller (aircraft system). Cabin area contoller signals overhead unit controlling that particular set of seats. Overhead unit turns on reading light.

I would consider the handset (PCU), seat box (SEB) and associated cables all part of the IFE system.



This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6433 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6955 times:

Just to let everyone know though, on Delta's widebody AVOD aircraft (with the exception of the A330 I believe, which use a different IFE system), the reading light and FA call buttons appear on a menu on the PTV touchscreen. To open this menu, you press the button on the right below the screen.


The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineSSTsomeday From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 1276 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6283 times:

I can't remember which U.S. airline this was, but a few months ago I was not able to turn on my reading light because the IFE system was down, and so they finally rebooted it - but the whole process took about 45 minutes whilst I sat in the dark, not able to read or do my work.

Since these systems are prone to needing to be rebooted, I think there should be a separate, mechanical reading light.

Sorry I can't specify the airline or A/C - but I'm sure this arrangement exists in more than one A/C type or airline configuration. It appeared to me to be a pretty new installation.

It was so counter-intuitive to me that a reading light would be completely dependent on the IFE working properly, that I asked if I was just not seeing the alternative mechanical button for the reading light, but I was told "we're trying to get the system working as soon as possible."

Seems like a very bad set up to me, and somewhat oblivious to how often these entertainment systems freeze up.

Further, once the system was working - the screens seemed to need really forceful tapping (rather than "touching) in order for the on screen icons to respond, so there was somebody thumping on the back of my seat for the whole flight.

Some re-designing is in order.

My   



I come in peace
User currently offlinecalibansa333 From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 208 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5328 times:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
I was wondering, is it possible to have a widebody aircraft without an IFE system? The reason why I ask this is because on most widebodies, the reading lights and FA call buttons are controlled by the IFE system.

Yea, it's possible. Until Recently, LH never had PERSONAL IFE on their widebody aircraft, which I believe is what you are referring to. It was possible to use call buttons and reading lights in this configuration.


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Photo © Frans Zwart



Yes I know, the picture clearly displays IFE, but I believe the OP was describing personal IFE. Correct me if I'm wrong.


User currently offlineIMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6278 posts, RR: 34
Reply 21, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5255 times:

Televisions on airplanes, further proof that western society is full of brainless zombies.    But I'm really not joking about it. Sorry, Zombies are not really brainless.


Quit calling an airport ramp "Tarmac" and a taxiway "runway".
User currently offlineMarkam From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 441 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5245 times:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 18):
Just to let everyone know though, on Delta's widebody AVOD aircraft (with the exception of the A330 I believe, which use a different IFE system), the reading light and FA call buttons appear on a menu on the PTV touchscreen. To open this menu, you press the button on the right below the screen.

With all respect, I think you are confused here. IFE is not equal to PTV, as you have correctly pointed out, as many planes have IFE which consists of a few main screens scattered through the cabin. However, that the reading light control or FA call button are in the armrest doesn't mean that they are controlled through the IFE, and actually generally this is not the case, and t is possible to have an aircraft, widebody or narrowbody, without any IFE whatsoever that will still have (or not) light controls or FA call buttons overhead, or on the armrest, or somewhere else. Take into account that widebody ceilings are many times higher than in narrowbodies, and therefore it is sometimes more convenient to put any controls on the armrest instead than above the passenger. However, those buttons have generally nothing to do with IFE, with or without PTVs installed. It is only relatively recently that aircraft have started to merge the two by allowing to control the reading light, call the FA, order items in-flight, etc. from within the interactive IFE on a PTV (AVOD is not necessary for this, as far as I know). This is aimed at providing extra convenience to the passenger by removing physical buttons that can sometimes be a nuisance (although, as it has been mentioned, if the IFE on PTVs is not very reliable, it can actually be a nuisance in itself because when the system is down it is impossible to control the light, call the FA, etc.).

Summing up, the answer to your question is "Indeed", it is possible to have widebodies without IFE (and without light controls or FA call buttons, for that matter). IFE through PTVs is becoming more and more common, and probably so will extra functionalities like controlling ligths and calling FAs directly from the IFE interactive system. However, if you fly extensively, especially with more exotic airlines, you will see yourself that there are still many commercial aircraft, widebody or narrowbody, without interactive IFE on PTVs (or even without any IFE), and that the light or FA call buttons might be controlled separately from the interactive IFE on a PTV, and located in many different places (if any).

I hope that clarifies the question.

-Markam

[Edited 2010-10-16 11:24:38]

User currently offline9V-SPJ From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 749 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5144 times:

Yes, I think we need a definition of 'IFE' from 1337Delta764.

9V-SPJ


User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6433 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5144 times:

Quoting calibansa333 (Reply 20):
Yes I know, the picture clearly displays IFE, but I believe the OP was describing personal IFE. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Nope, I was referring to any IFE system. What I was wondering was how would the reading lights and call buttons work without any IFE system of any kind on most widebody aircraft.



The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
25 Post contains images TravellerPlus : Yes, they fly cargo.
26 delta763 : The same way they work on aircraft without PTVs. You can rip the IFE system out of a DL 763 and still be able to operate the lights and call buttons
27 VIR744 : The simple answer is that if no IFE system was installed then the aircraft would have to have a Passenger Services System (PSS = Attendant call &
28 SSTsomeday : Well people are confined on airplanes and cannot do a multitude of things they would normally do. Play with their kids, do their hobby, ride a bike,
29 Post contains links and images fanofjets : I would have to add that IFE is as old as the Fokker Tri-Motor. Well, even earlier than that, because Aeromarine Airways showed passengers a short fil
30 Markam : Well, both the reading light and the call button are just a small bulb, so in essence all is needed is a cable connected to a button switch, either u
31 strandedinbgm : I can't take it any longer. People... .please learn how to properly use the apostrophe!
32 Viscount724 : Correct. Every 747 I've been on has the reading light switch in the armrest. Few passengers are tall enough to even reach the reading lights in the c
33 1337Delta764 : I guess that is the main reason. However, I have been on AA's A300s which had them overhead. However, I have heard that not all A300s/A310s were made
34 IADCA : I'm pretty sure that on VN's (only) 333, they're overhead, at least on the outside seat pairs in Y. I can't imagine they'd be overhead in the middle,
35 spacecadet : What? You're saying the reading lights are somehow tied into the pneumatic audio system on these planes? That doesn't make any sense.
36 1337Delta764 : Every L-1011 I remember flying on had them in the armrests. However, DL did upgrade the L-1011 IFE systems in the early 1990s, replacing the analog c
37 pylon101 : In IL-86 F/A call is in the armrest. No personal light. In IL-96 the reading lights are in the seat in front of you. In both aircraft projection scree
38 Post contains links DL_Mech : Reading Light, F/A Call and Gasper Air Solenoid control (some A/C) are commands that are generated by the passenger by using the passenger control un
39 Post contains links and images DL_Mech : What year did CO introduce PONG? From: www.calmemories.com http://www.calmemories.com/Something%20Special.html
40 DLD9S : They indeed have PTVs in business and first, and personal audio/projection screen in economy. In fact, all mainline UA flights have some sort of IFE,
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