In-seat power installations.
In-seat power installations are fast becoming the norm rather than the exception in the airline industry. Most major airlines, if not already installing power ports, at least are looking to do so. It is best to install throughout the cabin when the aircraft are manufactured rather than retrofitting later.
A power distribution system with a continuous power bus is used to supply power or data to seats in a mobile platform or fixed structure. The power distribution system generally includes a bus strip that, in a mobile platform, extends along the length of the passenger cabin and a connector placed to provide a connection between the bus strip and the passenger seats. Power and data can be transmitted between the bus strip and the passenger seats, via the connector, at any point along the bus strip, thus eliminating the need to wire connections to each seat.
Laptop power in first and business classes, with slow migration to economy, primarily on narrow bodies, has been the pattern.
FAA Transport Airplane Directorate advice.
For the approval of in-seat power supply systems which connect aircraft electrical power to passenger's personal electronic devices, PEDs, there are conditions that must be met:
The in-seat power supply system must be designed to provide circuit protection against system overloads.
Each system must be designed to prevent electromagnetic interference (EMI) to aircraft systems. This is done with EMI filters.
The ISPSS, as the system is known, should be deactivated at below 10,000 feet above ground level (AGL).
The burden of establishing the suitability of use of a portable electronic device on a particular aircraft will remain with the operator as per 14 CFR Part 91, Section 91.21 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
In-flight entertainment equipment installations.
Of course, these developments have a bearing on in-flight entertainment equipment installations and Audio/Video On Demand Systems on Boeing 757-200 Fleets. Continental Airlines, for example, now have Audio/Video on Demand (AVOD) inflight entertainment systems available to economy class customers on all its Boeing 757-200 aircraft. In seats equipped with Laptop Power Port Type AC Power, typically 110V AC, there features a semi-universal receptacle that accepts most US and European types of plugs. There is also Laptop Power Port Type Cigarette DC Power, 15V DC Power at up to 75 watts per outlet.
Some manufacturers specialise in solutions for linefit and retrofit in-seat power installations, FAA certified and DO-160D compliant.
Anticipated future upgradeability includes additional function and features such as Wireless LAN, noise canceling, seat power control card and more power, less weight.