60 Seconds With J. Chris Beckman of Boeing Commercial Airplane

Ahead of his presentation, Applications to Leverage Commercial OLED Displays Into Commercial Airplanes And Other Industries, we reached out to J. Chris Beckman, Technical Lead Engineer of Boeing Commercial Aircraft, to get his take on where the OLED market is heading with regard to use in the aviation industry, and find out more about what Boeing hopes to achieve at the 2018 OLEDs World Summit.


Smithers Apex: Why have you decided to support the 2018 OLEDs World Summit?

Beckman: OLED is a new leading technology and the Boeing company wants to look into how to support the application of new technology to possibly improve airplane efficiency and to enhance the flying experience to passengers.

Smithers Apex: Where do you see the OLED market is heading with regard to use in the aviation industry?

Beckman: We see there being definite opportunities to explore given that OLED is lightweight, has a low profile, has a low energy consumption, is flexible and has wide viewing angles.

Smithers Apex: What industry barriers/challenges exist, technical or otherwise, that prevent progress? How does the OLEDs World Summit help to address those challenges?

Beckman: We would like to see all OLED suppliers from Tier I to the material science companies to continue to work to reduce complexity in producing the OLED displays with a goal of being able to produce in any quantity, any size without major impact to the cost, equipment and processes.  Right now, the monitor and mobile production runs are high volume.  Aerospace is relatively low volume in comparison.  There will also be qualification and certification issues if we are to finally deliver this product on a plane, but we look forward to this kind of challenge!

Smithers Apex: What steps are you taking or do you plan to take to combat these challenges?

Beckman: Well, we will need to open up dialogue with OLED manufacturers who are willing to produce in our kind of volume.  We believe this will start to open up as cost of OLED continues to come down.

Smithers Apex: What do you hope delegates will take from your presentation, “Applications to Leverage Commercial OLED Displays Into Commercial Airplanes and Others Industries?” 

Beckman: We hope they are excited as we are about looking closer at the prospect of having OLED displays on aircraft and how that could potentially really change the flight experience and bring a number of benefits to not only the operators but to the airframe manufacturers and the passengers as well.  We would like for the manufacturers to think about the end users who would not use the same volume of OLED displays as the mobile companies or the big display companies.

Smithers Apex: You’ve been in the aviation industry for some time – what progress have you seen with regard to lighting and display and what are the key challenges ahead?

Beckman: Seeing lighting progress from incandescent lamps throughout the cabin and cockpit to the utilization of LED in the entire plane within the past few years, and now we are looking at the benefits of OLED; things are exciting right now.  Having an all LED cockpit on the 787 was a challenge with the instrumentation, but there are huge benefits.  The airplane environment is difficult to qualify equipment for.  Things like 3 axis dynamic vibration, EME, extreme temperature variations and humidity, flammability, and altitude testing all make the testing process difficult and unlike the commercial product testing regimen. 


Hear more from J. Chris Beckman at the 2018 OLEDs World Summit in his presentation    Applications to Leverage Commercial OLED Displays Into Commercial Airplanes and Others Industries.