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March 10, 2011

Wi-Fi Systems Cause Cockpit Monitors to Go Blank: Report

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Boeing has confirmed that certain Honeywell avionics displays have shut down as a result of interference from onboard wi-fi systems, according to a report from FlightGlobal’s RunwayGirl blog.

No aircraft have been delivered containing the affected equipment, and Boeing has halted installation of the defective gear.

The problem was discovered during FAA certification testing of a new broadband wi-fi product by Aircell on-board Boeing 737 aircraft fitted with Honeywell Phase 3 LCD display units. It appears that the issue is with the Honeywell display and is not unique to the Aircell system or wi-fi systems in general, according to the report.

Honeywell says the displays blanked only when the wi-fi systems were being tested at elevated power levels required by the FAA during the certification process — power levels that would not be seen during normal in-flight usage. Other Honeywell displays are not affected, the company told FlightGlobal.

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