Aviation Modification Leaders (AML) has completed the first installation of its high-speed AML 200 aircraft cabin router in a Piaggio P-180 turboprop. With the new router, up to 10 passengers can have broadband Internet access and Wi-Fi connectivity on any personal electronic device, according to AML.
Introduced as the OOM-200 system at NBAA last year and priced at $20,000, the router is a carry-on, carry-off device that requires no supplemental type certificate (STC) for use on an aircraft. In fact, AML reports that a Fortune 500 company plans to use the device in emergency ground vehicles for connectivity during disaster situations. It can be used with various attached or remote antennas.
The AML 200 has the same footprint as Honeywell CNX-100/200 routers, which it can replace in existing installations using an interface plate. AML (Booth No. C11948) is promoting the device to update and replace first-generation CNX routers currently installed on business jets. The upgrade, it claims, offers operators two advantages. Since the AML 200 router fits into the existing slot in the avionics rack, it saves on having to rebuild and rewire the rack. Secondly, the AML 200 is software-enabled, whereas older routers are hardware dependent and must be changed out and replaced for repair and upgrades. AML expects certification this quarter to the RTCA DO-160 software standard.
AML is licensed with satcom service provider Satcom1, which provides airtime through Inmarsat, Iridium and other systems. AML executives say the AML 200 can aggregate or “bond” channels to provide wider bandwidth, although the aggregation is transparent to users. The company is also looking into adding Ku-band connectivity.
The AML 200 was installed on a Piaggio P-180 owned by aircraft dealer The Jet Collection, of Chicago, which had a compatible Thrane & Thrane (now Cobham) Aviator 200 satcom system. During a flight test in mid-July, the company successfully tested functionalities of the router on multiple electronic devices, including e-mail, Internet access, streaming videos, video conferencing and cell phone calls. “Installation of the AML router on [Piaggio] serial number 1062 yields full Internet connectivity and makes it much more desirable than competitive P-180 offerings,” stated Jason Zilberbrand, managing partner of The Jet Collection.
AML has provided the router to a number of European airlines, which use it as a backup system in the event their main router malfunctions. The company said routers are already installed or under negotiation on Boeing, Airbus, Gulfstream, Bombardier and Dassault aircraft. It said it has multiple orders for future installation on Bombardier CRJ, Learjet and Pilatus aircraft.
AML is also developing a compact, cigarette box-sized version of the router that will provide Wi-Fi connectivity in smaller aircraft.