Deals like this one don’t come along everyday. Satcom maker EMS Technologies announced a large price reduction for its HSD-128 high-speed data satcom terminal at the NBAA show last month, from a suggested retail price of $182,750 to a new list price of $135,000. But buyers had better act soon–the almost $50,000 drop in price is effective only through the end of the year, according to the Ottawa, Ontario company.
Thrane & Thrane last month introduced to the North American market Aero-HSD+, a data satcom system noteworthy for being the first such product the Danish firm will market and sell under its own name after providing core technology for airborne satcom systems to Honeywell, Thales and Universal Avionics.
Iridium took a big step toward its goal of providing en route aeronautical safety services to airliners operating on transoceanic and polar routes after an ICAO panel accepted a draft standards and practices document the company submitted last year. The endorsement makes Iridium a viable alternative to Inmarsat for aeronautical mobile satellite route services (AMSRS) and Acars messaging.
Completion and refurbishment centers are racing to bring the latest technology into cabin entertainment with crisper, sharper pictures and better sound, user-friendly controls and improved reliability. On the cabin communications side, high-speed-data connections are finally poised to enter business aviation’s mainstream this year.
Teledyne Controls is leaping into the corporate-jet passenger information marketing scene as an equipment and software integrator, promising services “so powerful you’ll think you never left the ground.” These include worldwide voice and broadband data, real-time Internet and e-mail under the umbrella SmartCabin Office.
The HST-900 data satcom from Rockwell Collins has received STC approval for installation in the Falcon 50, 900 and 900EX. The installation permits the use of Inmarsat Aero safety services in the cockpit and simultaneous voice and high-speed data in the cabin, a first for business aircraft, said Collins.
The FAA awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin last month that will add a third leased geostationary satellite to the two existing satellites used for the wide-area augmentation system (WAAS). Acquisition of a third satellite follows a recommendation from an independent review board study that concluded it was too risky to depend on only two satellites for the availability of the WAAS signal.
TrueNorth Avionics has completed integration testing with Chelton of an Inmarsat data communications link for business jets using TrueNorth’s Simphone airborne telecom system. Jet Works in Denton, Texas, installed the first TrueNorth cabin communications system in a business jet last summer, a Simphone Chorus system in a Challenger 604.
Honeywell last month said it has installed on the company’s Gulfstream G550 a Wi-Fi com gateway that will allow passengers to use Blackberrys to send and receive e-mail in flight. The exercise is serving as a testing ground for new Wi-Fi services from Honeywell through its OneLink satcom service.
At the NBAA Convention last month, EMS Technologies announced that it will begin delivering its new four-channel HSD-400 satcom data terminal early next year. The product initially will support four channels of Inmarsat Swift64 and, according to the Ottawa, Canada-based company, can be upgraded to handle SwiftBroadband (formerly BGAN) service when Inmarsat launches its new I4 satellites in early 2006.