Teledyne Introduces Iridium Upgrade for MagnaStar Phones
Midcoast Aviation in St. Louis last month was busy installing the first Teledyne Iridium Units (TIU) in Challenger 604s operated by Boeing’s executive flight department. Designed for use with MagnaStar air-to-ground telephone systems, the TIU from Teledyne Controls allows buyers to use their existing MagnaStar handsets to place voice and data calls anywhere in the world. The complete upgrade kit, including antenna, transceiver and installation materials, carries a list price of $30,000 for a single-channel system and $42,000 for a dual-channel setup, according to Mark Shoemaker, director of business aviation sales with Teledyne Controls. He said business aircraft operators flying with MagnaStar telephones can add the Iridium kit and an HSD-128 high-speed-data satcom system for worldwide voice and Internet capability at a fraction of the price of a traditional Aero-H/H+ satcom system. About 4,000 MagnaStar units are already in the field, Shoemaker said, and any of them would be candidates for the upgrades, which could also include wireless LAN and other computer networking equipment.