Telecommunications provider AT&T plans to build a new air-to-ground network in the continental U.S. to support faster, fourth-generation (4G) inflight broadband service for airliners and business jets. Avionics manufacturer Honeywell has an agreement in principle to be the exclusive supplier of onboard hardware, the companies said on April 28.
Satellite communications solution provider Satcom Direct (Booth No. N4107) announced Monday that its avionics-grade Satcom Direct Router (SDR) will have 3G cellular data connectivity built in, enabling pilots to update onboard systems on the ground as well as allowing other new functions.
Flightcell International (Booth No. C4014) is exhibiting its new Flightcell DZMx–“the world’s smallest, lightest, and smartest satellite communication and tracking system”–here at Heli-Expo. Weighing just 1.4 pounds and significantly shallower than the company’s previous DZM3 satcom (at 4.95 by 2.18 by 4.72 inches) the DZMx includes both Iridium and 3G broadband connectivity and Ethernet, USB and Arinc-429 capabilities. New Zealand’s Garden City Helicopters will be the first company to use the DZMx when it goes into production later this year.
Information in the form of an electromagnetic wave travels through coaxial cable at approximately 66 percent of the speed of light, or about 111,769 miles per second. While aircraft cabin electronics technology moves at a considerably slower pace, it is nevertheless moving fast enough to send today’s marvels into tomorrow’s trash bin in as little as a year.
For at least a decade, the business aviation industry has looked forward to a seamless transition from the office or home to the private jet, with all the same electronic amenities, in particular high-speed Internet connectivity.