Calgary, Canada-based Flyht Aerospace Solutions has developed the Dragon, a low-cost Iridium-based portable satcom system that draws on the company’s expertise in airborne telecom. Selling for less than $10,000, Dragon allows pilots and passengers to communicate using voice or data, without the need for an expensive certification and installation approval program.
The Dragon device is not just for voice and texting, however, but also taps into Flyht’s flight-following and aircraft situational display (ASD) capabilities. Pilots and passengers use Apple iPads to connect to Dragon, which also plugs into the pilot’s headset or the aircraft’s audio panel. The Dragon iPad app allows users to make phone calls and send and receive email and text messages anywhere in the world via the Iridium satellite network. Operations departments can also use Dragon to send information to pilots, such as notams and weather updates.
For commercial operators, Dragon automatically records out, off, on and in times for accurate flight-time recordkeeping. Dragon can also feed ASD systems for flight-following purposes. Chinese company Aircraft Data Communication has tested and approved Dragon for input into its global aircraft management system, according to Flyht.
Flyht also announced two new automated flight information reporting system (Afirs) contracts. One contract is with an Asian charter airline and calls for Afirs 220 system installations in four Bombardier CRJs. The contract is for five years and is valued at up to $452,000, excluding optional services. A Middle East cargo airline contracted for Afirs 228B systems for four Boeing 757s. Both airlines will use Afirs “to provide real-time flight data monitoring…including automated out, off, on and in times, airframe and engine exceedances, flight tracking, automated engine data collection for real-time trending, fuel management and satellite voice communications,” according to Flyht.