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Boeing Drops Wireless IFE for 787; Thales Unaffected

NEUILLY-SUR-SEINE, France --- Since 2004 Thales has been working on the design and development of both a wireless and a wired IFE system and therefore is well positioned to support Boeing’s shift from a wireless to a wired in flight entertainment system for the 787 Dreamliner.

The decision will not have an impact on Thales’ ability to complete the development of its IFE system for the B787 aircraft. After three years of planning and testing wireless technology with Boeing, Thales will now bring forward its wired version of the TopSeries i-8000 system. Still called the i-8000, the wired IFE system will deliver with full functionality to the many airlines that selected the Thales system.

“We are in full support of providing excellent IFE on the B787 aircraft. Our commitment to both our airline customers and Boeing remains very strong,” said Brad Foreman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thales’ aerospace business for the United States. Moving the i-8000 from a wireless system to a wired system requires the simple replacement of the stand-alone wireless access points with data cables.

The i-8000 is based on Thales’ reliable, state-of-the-art TopSeries in-flight entertainment family of systems, particularly the i-5000. Both systems utilize a gigabit ethernet data distribution all the way to the seat, ensuring that the data ‘pipe’ is large enough for the most data intensive activity, including full aircraft AVOD using MPEG 1, MPEG 2 and MPEG 4.

Thales is an international electronic and systems group serving defense, aerospace and security markets. A worldwide leader in prime contracting, systems integration and equipment manufacturing, Thales employs 70,000 people worldwide and generated revenues of $13 billion in 2006. With industrial operations in the United States and nearly 30 other countries, Thales is recognized as a world leader in cutting edge technology.

Thales is one of two major IFE system suppliers and the only company that elected to design and develop a new system intended for both Entertainment & Communications. The system is called TopSeries. Thales has enjoyed total satisfaction in tests on the early long flights and route proving flights on Airbus’s innovative A380 aircraft (MSN2 aircraft) and as a close partner of Boeing, is chosen as a preferred supplier for IFE systems for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. Thales’ IFE systems have been selected by over 30 airlines worldwide, flying a total of over 600 aircraft.

Thales Addresses Boeing's 787 Decision to Move to a Wired IFE System