Arinc’s new slimmer Ku-band antenna for its Skylink satellite in-flight broadband service is now available. The antenna, originally created for Gulfstream, now comes in a size that fits a wider range of tail-mounted radomes on other aircraft, including Falcons, Globals and Challengers. The structure of the antenna is the only change from the original Skylink package.
Hoping to avoid a repeat of the congestion delays that have plagued users of its Swift64 aero satcom data network, Inmarsat plans to limit use of its forthcoming SwiftBroadband service by business jet passengers. Users will be allowed access to just two channels of SwiftBroadband at a time, the company said, providing passengers with maximum download connection speeds of 864 kilobits per second.
The new TopFlight satellite data unit (SDU) from Thales is set to be installed on a new-build business aircraft later this year by an as yet unidentified manufacturer. According to the France-based electronics group, the equipment should be certified to support wireless communications for passengers by the second quarter of next year.
The U.S. Air Force last month reiterated its intention to choose a single contractor for a new constellation of global positioning satellites known as GPS III. Teams led by Lockheed Martin and Boeing are competing for the contract to launch eight Block A GPS III satellites by 2013. The Air Force invited bids last month for these first satellites, the foundation for an enhanced system scheduled to start operating in 2018.
Business jet passengers will be the biggest users of in-flight broadband data services over the next four years, according to a report released last month by an Arlington, Va. research firm. Analysts at Freesky Research said that despite growing interest by airlines exploring data connectivity choices, the majority of broadband hardware installations in the study period will be aboard large bizjets.
After years of losing market share to cross-town rival Garmin, Honeywell’s Bendix/King division is fighting back with two all-new products for general aviation.
Embraer is getting closer to flying its Phenom 100 VLJ, having rolled out the first prototype on June 16 from the company’s headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil. With a fresh coat of paint, Phenom 100 number one will undergo ground tests to prepare for first flight. Embraer and its 50 suppliers were able to use serial production tooling to manufacture the first Phenom 100 because engineers employed Catia V5 engineering software.
As preparations continue for the construction of Honda Aircraft’s new world headquarters building in Greensboro, N.C., Honda engineers are refining the aircraft design and laying the groundwork for more prototypes.
Los Angeles-based Cloud Nine Aviation received the first Learjet 60XR this week, following an entry-into-service delivery ceremony at the Learjet manufacturing facility in Wichita.
The FAA last month made good on a longstanding promise to provide Airworthiness Directives (AD) and Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins (SAIB) only via e-mail. According to the agency, operators can sign up at the designated Web site (http://rgl.faa.gov) and receive the service by aircraft, as was the case with paper copies.