21 November 2019

Etihad Engineering and partners test intelligent cabin on Boeing's ecoDemonstrator

German Ambassador to the UAE, His Excellency Ernst Peter Fischer (third from left) celebrates the launch of the intelligent cabin on board Boeing’s Flying Testbed with (left to right) Shevantha Weerasekera, Etihad Engineering Head of Engineering, Jeff Roberts, Boeing Director of Cabin Programmes, Bernhard Randerath, Etihad Engineering Vice President Design, Engineering and Innovation, John Craig, Boeing Chief Engineer Cabin, Kourosh Hadi, Director Boeing Product Development, Jeanne Lu, Boeing Director Eco Demonstrator Programme

Frankfurt, Germany: Etihad Engineering along with its consortium partners tested and presented its revolutionary intelligent and smart cabin, i+sCabin, for the first time on Boeing’s 777 flying testbed, the ecoDemonstrator on 19 and 20 November in Frankfurt. The eco-Demonstrator was flown in by Boeing to Germany’s largest airport for two days as part of its flight test programme.

The i+s Cabin has been developed by an international consortium initiated by Etihad Engineering and enables the exchange of cabin health and significant operation data through a new intelligent communication standard. This leads to faster dispatch times, higher reliability of cabin functions and enhances operations for crew and maintenance teams.

The key goal of this project is to facilitate the collection and exchange of information to generate a real-time overview of the status of all aircraft cabin areas. This information will be used to create correlations and algorithms to predict potential faults by individual functions and the corresponding maintenance works that would be required – a revolutionary concept considering the fixed maintenance cycles that the industry currently has to contend with.

A major pillar of this research was the creation of a new standard protocol for cabin communications, in which cabins can be equipped with new and improved functions. Innovative products and applications will be integrated more quickly and additional maintenance and operation predictions will be available. New software applications are envisaged for the different user groups such as maintenance teams, cabin crew, network operators, maintenance planners and more.

The research project is in line with the industry’s focus on the future role of the cabin in the aerospace industry. The consortium partners in addition to Etihad Engineering include Boeing, Diehl Aviation, Jeppesen, KID Systeme, Bühler Motor, the Safran company and university partners - Baden Württemberg Cooperative State University and Hamburg University of Technology. The project was funded by the German Ministry of Economy and nominated as a cornerstone for further cabin developments.

The i+s Cabin is progressing on schedule since its launch in 2018, with the main milestone of implementation and testing of the first version of the cabin communication standard at the end of this year, and project finalisation planned for 2021.

On 20 November, Etihad Engineering was also invited to bilateral meetings between UAE and German representatives to discuss future projects. The ecoDemonstrator’s technology mission will be presented to government officials, industry representatives and universities to help inspire the next generation in aerospace leadership.