Embedded computers in aircrafts

Posted: September 27th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Debugging | 3 Comments »

I am back from vacations and had a 11 hours flight with AirAustral. On board each seat has an embedded computer. With this computer, you can watch movies, play games, …

This machine is running on Linux which is downloaded and executed using Redboot as you can see in the following picture:

Embedded computer downloading the image with RedBoot

The hardware appears to be from Panasonic Avionics Corporation, probably a Panasonic X Series:

Booting Linux

How did I made this picture?: I found a bug that caused the computer to deadlock. I tested it on 4 machines in 2 different aircrafts: 100% reproducible.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Go in the Games section.
  2. Start the game ‘Who wants to be Millionaire?’.
  3. Play one game.
  4. Quit the game.


The machine will display a message “Please wait…” and a deadlock will occur.
You then need to ask a stewardess to reboot your machine. The reboot is quite slow and takes around 5 minutes.

PS: I don’t know where to send the bug report 🙂

3 Comments on “Embedded computers in aircrafts”

  1. 1 Philou said at 5:03 am on September 28th, 2009:

    Sale geek.

  2. 2 Marcus Langendorff said at 7:22 pm on March 29th, 2015:

    Do you still remember which airline you flew with that day?

  3. 3 Timac said at 8:51 pm on March 30th, 2015:

    Sure this was a regular flight from ‘Air Austral’.

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