Arinc Direct, which provides flight-planning services online, continues to develop functionality for both its PC-based and newer iPad-based service. Company director James Hardie told AIN last month that the service offering has been enhanced, with synchronization of data between two iPads in the cockpit now possible using Bluetooth, plus real-time Cloud synchronization of data.
Furthermore, the Arinc Direct Connect service, announced at the NBAA Convention in November last year, has moved to the pre-production certification stage. A small portable device facilitates Acars messaging, use of an iPad (with app) as the user interface, voice (using iPhone or Android device) and e-mail. It can use the Iridium or Inmarsat satellite networks for global coverage that both pilots and passengers can tap into, and there are two channels so users can carry out simultaneous voice and data or two simultaneous voice calls.
Hardie added, “We are in the process of obtaining RTCA DC-160G environmental qualification, U.S. FCC approval, European Community Mark and Iridium certifications.” Arinc Direct expects to demonstrate the device at the EBACE show next month, with the unit moving into full production this summer.
The company is also working to enhance the capabilities of Arinc Direct, which can be accessed via its iPad app, rather than using a computer. The original app focused mainly on flight planning and weather briefing, but Arinc said that “in the near future” the app will “form part of the flight-deck communications infrastructure with support for messaging [as well as] additional flight-planning and filing functionality.”