The Airbus “Open Software Platform” (OSP) is now ready to fly. Conceived as a core part of the Airbus Connected Experience concept, the OSP uses Airbus-supplied hardware to facilitate networking on board, allowing airlines and suppliers to focus on the content and user experience while ensuring that the gear is fully integrated to the aircraft manufacturing process.
Titan Airways took delivery of the first aircraft fitted with the system in late October. The A321LR (G-XATW) includes Bluebox Wireless IFE software running on the OSP kit.
The OSP solution includes Airbus’ embedded servers, routers, Wi-Fi access points, and a software platform designed to be extensible and usable by existing IFE/C suppliers. A handful of players, including Bluebox Aviation Systems, Inflight Dublin, Collins Aviation, and Display Interactive, are already signed on to participate. Others are expected to join.
The hardware comes pre-certified by Airbus and, if chosen by the customer, installed at the factory as part of the aircraft final assembly. Having the system integrated into the aircraft build also means it no longer consumes valuable overhead bin space in the cabin.
Wireless IFE companies often competed on factors like battery life, device size, and the number of streaming clients supported in the cabin. With a common hardware platform in use all those considerations are wiped away leaving the end-user experience as the true differentiating factor.
It also reduces the friction associated with changing suppliers. Because OSP can run w-IFE systems from multiple suppliers an airline can switch out providers without changing any of the gear on board. Even compared to a small, portable box in the overhead bin this is an improvement.
Titan Airways is one of five launch customers for the offering.
Going forward, Airbus and its partners intend to extend the platform’s scope for IoT-based value-adding services as part of the Airbus Connected Experience –previously showcased as a mock-up demonstrator at APEX EXPO.
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