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MAX fleet plans update [New type; IFE screens!]

MAX fleet plans update [New type; IFE screens!]

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Old Aug 14, 19, 7:32 am
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Back in the IFE Groove

Looks like, among other things, embedded In Flight Entertainment screens will be coming back to some narrowbody aircraft, including the B737 MAX!

https://paxex.aero/2019/08/united-ai..._campaign=3199

This would be a really nice development all around....
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Old Aug 14, 19, 7:33 am
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MAX fleet plans update [New type; IFE screens!]

United Airlines appears poised to adjust its 737 MAX order book, as well as change the way the aircraft interiors are fitted. Multiple internal documents reviewed by PaxEx.Aero suggest that the carrier will add the MAX 8 to its fleet. Not only has a fleet type code been added to internal documentation, but some interiors layout materials also reference the MAX 8 for the company. It is unclear if this will be an incremental order of conversion of existing backlog.

Separate from the additional aircraft type, the documents suggest that the carrier will also change the way its inflight entertainment system is fitted on the new MAX 8 and MAX 10. While all recent deliveries and retrofits offer only streaming IFE to passenger devices (i.e. "dark" planes) it appears that at least some aircraft of these new types will see embedded screens installed.

More details in the story I published on my site, linked above. But this appears to be a very interesting development in terms of how United plans to grow up and in to the MAX fleet moving forward.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 7:39 am
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This assumes the Max 8 will continue to exist, a question that is far from resolved.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 14, 19 at 10:32 am Reason: cleanup ater merging threads
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:18 am
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
This assumes the Max 8 will continue to exist, a question that is far from resolved.
+1

A part of me wonders if UA is doing/considering this to make the MAX more appealing because of the grounding issues (the tell tale would be if it is just limited to the MAX planes)
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:23 am
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Originally Posted by NikoGoutakolis View Post
Looks like, among other things, embedded In Flight Entertainment screens will be coming back to some narrowbody aircraft, including the B737 MAX!

https://paxex.aero/2019/08/united-ai..._campaign=3199

This would be a really nice development all around....
Not just premium transcon as the article states but perhaps getting them more suited for eventual TATL use as well?
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by NikoGoutakolis View Post
I just wanted to discuss IFE, haha.
You and me both, bro! I can and have streamed UA's movies/videos on my iPad and iPhone, and I HATE it. Trying to balance the stupid thing when having a meal, having to hold it or have my tray down otherwise--it's all a big pain. And a lot of times I want to do some work things while having a movie going in the background--streaming IFE makes that very difficult.

Normally, UA only copies DL's negative things. I've been more than impressed with the hardware DL has ADDED to their fleet--I've been quite entertained by their offerings on A320s and 737s (haven't been on many other aircraft to know what, for example, their MadDogs have).

Maybe UA is realizing that DL is doubling down on 'real' IFE and they might need to play a little catch-up.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:37 am
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It may be my own unpopular opinion - but I personally really dislike the streaming process. I'm all for watching the movie on a bigger screen and not using my own battery.

Beyond which I can't help but wonder if a sizable portion of United's demographic isn't actually streaming oriented.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:42 am
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From my limited experience, it seems that streaming is quite often broken whereas seat back IFE is very rarely broken. Or perhaps that's because, if the seatback IFE is broken, normally only one passenger is affected whereas if streaming is broken, every passenger wanting to watch rather than read is affected.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by jhayes_1780 View Post
A part of me wonders if UA is doing/considering this to make the MAX more appealing because of the grounding issues (the tell tale would be if it is just limited to the MAX planes)
I believe the work was underway to add screens/USB power for the MAX 10 before the grounding hit.

There are some lesser updates coming to the Airbus fleet vis a vis power outlets as part of the retrofits, but not screens. But the MAXen are going to be around much longer than the used Airbus planes joining now. That sort of investment probably doesn't make as much sense given route profiles and expected longevity of that fleet.

Originally Posted by JimInOhio View Post
Not just premium transcon as the article states but perhaps getting them more suited for eventual TATL use as well?
Range on the MAX 10 makes it less than ideal for TATL, especially with a proper premium cabin added. I'd be surprised if that happened broadly.

Instead I expect 788s (akin to AA's plan) or maybe eventually the NMA if that ever happens. But the 752s and 763s will need replacing well before the NMA is ready to go.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 14, 19 at 10:35 am Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Aug 14, 19, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
This assumes the Max 8 will continue to exist, a question that is far from resolved.

And someone already beat you to the punch. Back in the IFE Groove
Lol pretty sure the max 8 isnt going anywhere.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by peterk814 View Post
Lol pretty sure the max 8 isnt going anywhere.
As the rebranded 8200, perhaps?
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Old Aug 14, 19, 9:40 am
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So I know IFE used to have those giant boxes under some of the seats, which adds to weight and complexity for the system. With the newer systems (especially with streaming around) is that still the case? If those boxes are no longer needed then deployment would be reduced to just having the screen and not needing those boxes anymore. Don't know how those screen would be their data; I could see it being doing wirelessly if their streaming tech already works for personal devices (might as well use the same system to scale to IFE).

I guess the screen is still additional weight but maybe removing the box is enough and the seats got lighter where they can take some of the screen weight?

Or tech in general has improved enough to the point where the cost savings aren't as big as they used to be, or this is just a make customer happy move or something else...

I'm happy for this (personally I would rather use IFE vs PDE), but wondering why financially they're doing this.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
As the rebranded 8200, perhaps?
The 8200 name is not new, see https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...ly-new-459666/
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Old Aug 14, 19, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
As the rebranded 8200, perhaps?
Not really a rebrand; the MAX 8-200 was a model designed/branded for Ryanair to maximize the seating capacity. You don't want UA flying that model.

Originally Posted by quantumslip View Post
So I know IFE used to have those giant boxes under some of the seats, which adds to weight and complexity for the system. With the newer systems (especially with streaming around) is that still the case? If those boxes are no longer needed then deployment would be reduced to just having the screen and not needing those boxes anymore. Don't know how those screen would be their data; I could see it being doing wirelessly if their streaming tech already works for personal devices (might as well use the same system to scale to IFE).

I guess the screen is still additional weight but maybe removing the box is enough and the seats got lighter where they can take some of the screen weight?

Or tech in general has improved enough to the point where the cost savings aren't as big as they used to be, or this is just a make customer happy move or something else...

I'm happy for this (personally I would rather use IFE vs PDE), but wondering why financially they're doing this.
Delta Flight Products (a DL subsidiary) and Gogo both have systems that deliver the IFE content to embedded screens via WiFi today. That reduces the wiring and weight of the system significantly. It also reduces the need for the box somewhat, though the box also handles some of the power distribution. Fortunately the newest seat designs allow for the "box" to be installed up under the pan rather than on the leg riser. Plus the screens are much lighter now than they were a generation ago. That also helps.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Delta Flight Products (a DL subsidiary) and Gogo both have systems that deliver the IFE content to embedded screens via WiFi today. That reduces the wiring and weight of the system significantly. It also reduces the need for the box somewhat, though the box also handles some of the power distribution. Fortunately the newest seat designs allow for the "box" to be installed up under the pan rather than on the leg riser. Plus the screens are much lighter now than they were a generation ago. That also helps.
I think that's the game-changer (you've pointed this out before), and also that pax surveys seem to bear a strong consumer preference for embedded IFE rather than an all-streaming solution.

I'd be interested to see if UA goes with embedded IFE on the 4 777-222ERs rumored to be converted to 77G.
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