Bombardier will be the first manufacturer to offer high-speed Ka-band in-flight Internet conductivity in a business aircraft, with Honeywell’s new JetWave satcom system to be available for delivery aboard the Canadian aircraft manufacturer’s Global series starting in 2016, the companies announced this morning.
Airbus has again brought the largest aircraft to the annual JetExpo show at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport, an Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) based on the A320 airliner family.
Airbus Corporate Jets doesn’t do small business jets. The entry level into the ACJ world is the ACJ318, based on the 100-plus-seat A318 airliner. The top end of the range reaches right up to the ACJ380 based on the world’s largest commercial aircraft. And such aircraft do not come cheap, especially when outfitted to a luxurious standard.
The first Inmarsat-5 Ka-band Global Xpress satellite was launched successfully on December 8. The satellite was expected to reach its final position in a geo-synchronous elliptical orbit by the end of last month. This is the first of three satellites that will create the seamless GX Aviation high-speed satcom network, with performance up to 50 Mbps that can deliver streaming video. GX Aviation mobile broadband service is slated to begin next year, after two other satellites are sent aloft this year. Each satellite weighs more than six metric tons and can provide 89 Ka-band beams.
With increasing numbers of Airbus A380s in their fleets, Asian and Middle East airlines are growing impatient to start deploying the super-large widebodies on services to and from India. But the Indian government’s policy of sheltering national carrier Air India from competition is preventing carriers such as Lufthansa, Emirates and Singapore Airlines (SIA) from using aircraft larger than the Boeing 747 under the terms of existing air services agreements.
Satcom Direct (Booth 455) has signed an agreement with Honeywell to be a distributor for the Inmarsat GX Aviation Ka-band service, for which Honeywell itself is a value-added reseller. The Florida-based communications specialist will also be a distributor of GX avionics equipment. The service is scheduled to be commercially available early in 2015 and is designed to offer “consistent, high-capacity broadband coverage around the world.” For example, users should be able to stream Internet content live or hold uninterrupted video calls from 30,000 feet.
Satcom Direct (Booth 455) has signed up to become a reseller of OnAir’s in-flight GSM mobile phone service. The U.S.-based company will market the Mobile OnAir product to business aircraft operators.
A Dassault Falcon 7X operated by Swiss-based Amjet Executive has become the first aircraft of its type to be fitted with OnAir’s in-flight mobile phone and Wi-Fi equipment. The charter operator started offering passengers the connectivity services on May 1, just five months after Dassault announced the availability of Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir as line-fit options on the long-range 7X in December 2012. Amjet took delivery of its 7X from Dassault’s completions center in Little Rock, Arkansas, on April 26.
At MEBA 2012 (Stand 588), OnAir announced that it has selected PATS Aircraft Systems of Georgetown, Del., as an OnAir completion center. PATS specializes in Boeing BBJ completions and auxiliary fuel tank installations and is installing Mobile OnAir in a 737-900ER BBJ. “We are seeing a high demand from VIP jet operators for in-flight connectivity,” said John Eichten, PATS senior vice president of sales and marketing. “PATS prides itself on finding innovative and industry-leading ways to satisfy our customers’ requirements, and our partnership with OnAir is a good example of that.”
Buyers of Dassault Falcon 7X jets can select the option for installation of OnAir’s mobile telephone and Internet equipment on aircraft delivered in 2014 and beyond.
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