Avionics Update: Talk is cheap with Blue Sky Network satcom
San Diego-based Blue Sky Network, a developer of low-cost airborne voice and data satcom services for business aviation, now expects to have its first satcom system certified and available this quarter. The single-channel system uses the Iridium network of 66 low-earth-orbit satellites and refurbished Motorola 9500 ($595) or 9505 ($995 to $1,495, depending on features) airborne telephones. Jon Gilbert, CEO of Blue Sky, said the company’s C-1000 cabin kit is priced at $6,495, while the BlueSky Link portable satcom system sells for less than $2,000. Initial activation fee is $50, with monthly fees ranging from $40 for 10 min of service to $300 for 200 min. Additional minutes are charged at $1.50 each. Blue Sky said the system is designed for piston airplanes, helicopters, turboprops and light jets.