In the past, waiting months to troubleshoot a broken light switch or a DVD player on the fritz or other similar cabin electronics problems would have to be diagnosed at the aircraft's next visit to the avionics shop. Passengers were forced to use or eschew the faulty equipment for weeks or even months.

The people at Flight Display Systems figured that there had to be a better way. So the company has developed and recently introduced the new Cloud CMS Support Software to give Flight Display Systems customers virtual hands-on assistance immediately and anywhere in the world.

“Our staff of engineers can access the aircraft using any PC laptop with a Wi-Fi or 3G connection,” said David Gray, president of Flight Display Systems. “With the Cloud CMS Support Software, we can troubleshoot, upgrade or modify all aspects of the cabin management system. This is truly an industry first.”

The launch aircraft for “operator lifeline” is a Gulfstream GIV operated by Gulf Coast Aviation in Houston, fitted with a complete CMS by Flight Display Systems. The Cloud CMS Support Software is available, free of charge, to all new customers of the Select Aircraft Cabin Management System (Select CMS) from Flight Display Systems.

Meanwhile, in an effort to accommodate the tech-savvy passenger who is attached to their iPad but has to put up with juggling it on a food tray or balancing it on their lap during flight, Flight Display's engineers developed the iPad Arm Mount. According to Gray, the new hardware replaces outdated LCD monitors on any aircraft.

“Now business jet operators don't have to put up with whatever legacy LCD monitors the airplane was originally fitted with. They simply remove the existing LCD and arm mount, dock the new iPad Arm Mount, adjust the viewing angle to whatever is comfortable — up to 15 deg. in portrait or landscape modes — then sit back and relax. And their iPad charges as they go,” added Gray.

“That means our iPad Arm Mount is a drop-in replacement. You can swap out your old displays with new iPad Arm Mounts in under 10 sec. — literally anyone can do it. No waiting for complicated and irreversible wiring changes. “We're confident that there's nothing like that on the market right now,” said Gray.

Arm mount base receptacles are standard on most private aircraft produced between 1996 and 2011, including all models of Gulfstream, Global Express, Citation, Falcon, Hawker Beechcraft and Learjet aircraft. Jet owners can purchase the $2,533 iPad Arm Mount by contacting their local avionics dealer. It's available in both black and almond text color to match standard aircraft interiors, and comes with a two-year warranty. Tall and long versions of the iPad Arm Mount also are available.

And there's an Android software app for use with Select CMS. The 7-in. Android-powered tablet controls all cabin functions, such as lighting, window shades, Blu-ray player, movie library and the Flight Display Moving Map. The wireless system operates via Bluetooth for full control anywhere inside the aircraft cabin. The software is available for all Select CMS customers.

The company also has been busy with orders for its new high-definition-optimized Select CMS for a Boeing BBJ, VIP B757, Gulfstream GV and GIV, Hawker 800 and a Citation Bravo..