SNATH
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Onboard Internet --- Oh, The Possibilities...

Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:59 am

I was watching the other day an episode of Alias (great series BTW), during which Sydney and Marshall got on a plane. Marshall (the tech geek of the series) was a nervous flyer so he "accessed" the onboard plane computer from his laptop (yeah, right...) to make sure that the captain had set the correct flap settings.

And this got me thinking... Now with products like Boeing's Connexion, which allow people on board a plane to access the public Internet, wouldn't it be cool to also have an onboard Web server which feeds the current state of (at least some of) the plane's systems? So, at any time a passanger could access the plane's rate of climb, speed, thrust settings, waypoint information, weather radar image, radar map showing nearby planes, etc. It could also supply the flight progress (as most airlines show on their TVs/PTVs these days), but allow you to manually customise it.

You might say that, in case of an emergency, this might scare the passangers. But it's the same with Ch. 9 and the captain will be able to turn it off if/when they wish.

I personally cannot think of a better IFE than this.

Tony
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
 
Focus
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 5:46 am

RE: Onboard Internet --- Oh, The Possibilities...

Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:20 am

You actually answered it in your question.

The system you're describing may really be cool, but has great potential for trouble.
Imagine: this nervous, afraid-to-fly passenger actually checks the system to make sure the captain has set the correct flap settings. Within seconds the passenger starts yelling "we're all gonna die!!!" causing chaos in the cabin. Why? Because he did not approve the captain's actions, and made himself believe he knows better.

As much as I'd personally like to know everything when I'm flying, let's let the professionals do what they're best at. I'll sit back, relax, and settle for the "Airshow"...
 
afay1
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RE: Onboard Internet --- Oh, The Possibilities...

Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:20 am

Unfortunetaly for us, a link allowing us to see data, would also open up possibilities for someone to hack into the plane's systems.....data pipes unfortunetaly go both ways...
 
SNATH
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RE: Onboard Internet --- Oh, The Possibilities...

Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:36 am

Focus,

First, laptop use is not allowed during take-off and landing (sadly, this would have been the most exciting times to use this system). Second, it'd be the same problem when a nervous passanger misunderstands something on Ch 9 and panics.

Afay1,

There are definitely ways to deal with this, e.g. allowing only one-way data flow from the plane's systems to the WWW server. And a plane's computer is not a PC so that you can just "hack into".

Tony
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
 
stlgph
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RE: Onboard Internet --- Oh, The Possibilities...

Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:52 am

Well, didn't the AA crash in Chicago 1979 have the video going where passengers could watch through a screen what a camera in front of the plane or in the cockpit pointing out was filming?

On the other hand....chat rooms and onboard hook ups...a thing of the future with onboard internet. :P
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
geoffm
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RE: Onboard Internet --- Oh, The Possibilities...

Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:55 am

Afay1, I second SNATH here. Safety critical systems are designed not to be hacked and can be written to only output data on a certain link. No matter what you pump down that link, there's nothing on the other end to respond to it. It's not like Windows where there is something on every port, just waiting for commands... in any case, data pipes do NOT go both ways if I, as a programmer, decide that they don't.

Anyway, waypoint information would be useful, maybe superimposed on the airshow map. I'm not sure about the control indications for reasons already mentioned, and also nearby aircraft and weather, for the same reasons.

Geoff M.
 
nudelhirsch
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RE: Onboard Internet --- Oh, The Possibilities...

Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:01 am

As it was mentioned - the possibility of a panic - did Ch9 ever cause something like that?

I remember flying UA and listening to Ch9 intensively... was kinda funny to hear how the PNF always forgot the callsign...hehe... but I know people, they would have been scared by that...

So did ever anything like a panic or stir-up happen, due to something on Ch9?
Putana da Seatbeltz!
 
jfkaua
Posts: 972
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 7:42 am

RE: Onboard Internet --- Oh, The Possibilities...

Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:07 am

does this channel 9 work on all airlines? Have I been missing out on this for years?!?!
 
SNATH
Topic Author
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RE: Onboard Internet --- Oh, The Possibilities...

Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:21 am

Nudelhirsch,

I remember flying UA and listening to Ch9 intensively... was kinda funny to hear how the PNF always forgot the callsign...hehe... but I know people, they would have been scared by that...

Once, I was listening to Ch. 9 and all communications with ATC were lost. The pilots started talking with each other wondering whether it was only them who couldn't talk with the ATC. It turned out that everyone had that problem. A bit later ATC came back on and said that they had a problem with their radio. It was fun.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

So, I don't buy this panic thing. Most people who would actually understand what the numbers / indications mean, are not the ones that will panic. But, you do ask a good question. Have there been any cases of someone panicking due to Ch. 9? If someone knows, please share!

Jfkaua,

Only UA has it and it's up to the captain to turn it on or off. All the UA flights I've been on recently had it on.

Tony
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
 
airgeek12
Posts: 725
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:02 am

RE: Onboard Internet --- Oh, The Possibilities...

Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:34 am

You actually answered it in your question.

The system you're describing may really be cool, but has great potential for trouble.
Imagine: this nervous, afraid-to-fly passenger actually checks the system to make sure the captain has set the correct flap settings. Within seconds the passenger starts yelling "we're all gonna die!!!" causing chaos in the cabin. Why? Because he did not approve the captain's actions, and made himself believe he knows better.

As much as I'd personally like to know everything when I'm flying, let's let the professionals do what they're best at. I'll sit back, relax, and settle for the "Airshow"...


Yea, I agree. As cool as it would be to be able to check out all that stuff; it would probobly just cause unfourtunate passenger dissarrest.

does this channel 9 work on all airlines? Have I been missing out on this for years?!?!
Nope, unfourtuantly the only US carrier (that I know of) that does this is UA. And, as previously stated, it is up to the captian whether to turn it on or off.

Unfortunetaly for us, a link allowing us to see data, would also open up possibilities for someone to hack into the plane's systems.....data pipes unfortunetaly go both ways...
Yikes! I don't think those kind of systems are meant to be hacked though, as previously stated.

...All the UA flights I've been on recently had it on....
Yea, it's usually the same here. Since captians are always trained pros they figure they have nothing too loose. I've never been on one UA flight where they didn't have the ATC Ch9 or > or at least that I can remember of.

Does anyone know what international airlines offer this 'listen into atc' service/program?

Thx,

geek
 
SNATH
Topic Author
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RE: Onboard Internet --- Oh, The Possibilities...

Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:38 am

I've never been on one UA flight where they didn't have the ATC Ch9

I have, but not recently. And I'm not complaining!!!  Big thumbs up

Tony
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.

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