Want to fly first class but can't afford it? BAE Systems' IntelliCabin offers economy similar comforts to upper

BAE Systems has revealed its IntelliCabin aircraft cabin system that will allow airlines to offer economy customers similar creature comforts to those in business, first or upper classes. And it could be implemented as soon as next year.

The system provides a modular, scaleable architecture for airlines to integrate in-seat power, LED lighting, dimmable windows and wireless tablet-based in-flight entertainment on its planes, at lower cost than ever before. The cabin crew can also control the features using handheld devices.

They can adjust temperature and light settings to optimise passenger comfort. And the in-seat power solution is lighter and more efficient than alternatives currently used, distributing power intelligently based on the needs of passengers, thereby ensuring all cabins can use it, not just in the higher classes.

"Flying can be stressful at times, especially when there are differing time zones at play or a long haul flight to contend with. We set ourselves the task of designing new technology that could provide the ultimate flying experience for passengers and crew from keeping you connected to helping ease the transition from one environment to the next," said Jared Shoemaker, director of cabin systems at BAE Systems.

"We believe IntelliCabin does just that. It helps to acclimate you and ease you into a more comfortable atmosphere throughout the flight, helping you to feel more refreshed on arrival."

BAE Systems currently supplies the cabin systems for all Boeing 777 aircraft and the attendant control panel for the Boeing 737. It hopes that its new system will start to appear in planes from 2015.