Battery anxiety. It’s not an ailment that our grandparents would have recognized, but it preoccupies many of the present generation, who live in fear of their personal electronic devices (PED) running out of power.

Astronics believes it has remedies for the condition in the form of its new USB “C”-type charger and a wireless recharging pad.

The C-type charger is the new type of powerpoint that is found on many new-generation PEDs, especially Apple products. It tends to co-exist alongside the rectangular slot “A”-type charger with which most people will be familiar.

“We’re in a transition at the moment, Astronics sales manager Adam Beach said at the AIX event in Hamburg. “People are so concerned with their phone running out of charge, they start panicking.”

Astronics is showing a new, dual charging point that combines A and C-type sockets. “We’re line-fit-offerable and can also provide it as a retrofit option,” Beach said.

And whereas a traditional seatback ‘A’-type socket will provide only 10 or 0.5 watts, the new C-type can dispense 60 watts, recharging a device more rapidly.

Additionally, Astronics is showing a new wireless charging pad that it says is one of the first to reach the airliner market. The module will likely be installed initially in first- and business-class cabins, said business development manager, cabin power solutions EMEA, Conor Hamilton.

The company is now also working on ways to make the unit, which can be fitted to any type of seat, available for economy class.

Whereas such pads typically only contain a single charging coil, the Astronics version has three, which makes it easier for the PED to find the sweet spot for recharging. The pad delivers 15w, compared to the more typical 5w found today, Hamilton added.

The pad has been through the industry’s DO160G airline industry test requirements and is now with both Airbus and Boeing, which are conducting their own tests on the unit.

Airbus is likely to be first to pass it for use in its aircraft and Astronics believes that the pad should be suitable for line-fit.

Alan Dron