Avionics News May 2012 - 20
WIRELESS CONNECTIONS IN THE COCKPIT
Connection Options on the Grow
he young man viewing an exhibit of 20th century life seemed awed at the sight of a teenage mannequin talking on a wired handset of a wall phone, its spiral cord stretched nearly 20 feet. “Phones had cords?” Wow – yes, they did. It sounded all “once-upon-a-time” ancient until one realized the period depicted was only 25 years ago. Cords. For those who grew up with nothing but cordless and wireless phones, imagining the constraints of cords and wires seems quaint. We see the same advances with smartphones, iPhones and tablet computers capable of wirelessly connecting to networks and each other. Pilots take notice. The era of wireless cockpit staples is upon us, and we are headed toward a no-cords cockpit world. The uses and capabilities of wireless cockpit accessories are enhancing some functions as well as cleaning up what, at times, was becoming a cockpit world entangled with a spider web of wires.
S T O R Y
D A V E
H I G D O N
The Direct-Current Umbilical Cord
The Bose A20 Aviation Headset
Decades ago, the audio headphone and cockpit microphone first introduced free-floating wires to airplane cockpits. Prior to that, cockpit communications – if there was any – consisted of sound tubes or people merely screaming to be heard above the exhaust din of the powerplant.