AirCell reports it has successfully completed the initial phase of flight testing for a new airborne telecommunications link, which is claimed to provide average data speeds in flight of 300- to 500 kilobytes per second and peak rates up to 2.4 megabytes per second.
The TopFlight satellite communications terminal that Thales launched at last year’s Farnborough airshow will be installed later this year on new-build corporate aircraft produced by an as-yet unidentified OEM and should be certified to support WiFi-based passenger use by the second quarter of next year.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided to keep in place the rule requiring passengers in the U.S. to turn off cellphones before takeoff. But the ruling might not be enough to end the debate thanks to new mobile telephone technology that is designed to circumvent traditional cellular ground networks.
Engineers from Rockwell Collins are immersed in the task of redesigning a satellite direct TV antenna to bring Boeing’s broadband Connexion service to super-midsize and larger business jets. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa avionics manufacturer anticipates initial flight tests of a prototype of the new antenna in the coming months and commercial introduction of Connexion hardware late next year.
As most of its customers know by now, AirCell no longer actively markets airborne cellular systems, mainly because new digital cellular technology is rendering much of its existing analog-based ground network obsolete–but that doesn’t mean the AirCell name is a misnomer.
OnAir, the inflight voice and data communications joint venture among Airbus, SITA and Tenzing, will not pursue business aircraft installations for the time being. The company has said that it will focus exclusively on the airline sector.
Matsushita Avionics Systems might not be a company with which many people are intimately familiar, but chances are most of the business aviation industry will know quite a lot about MAS soon enough. A top supplier of in-flight entertainment systems to the airlines for more than 25 years, the Bothell, Wash.-based cabin avionics supplier this year is making its first serious foray into the business aviation IFE market.
During a short trip aloft from Newcastle International Airport in Northern England, passengers along for a demonstration flight aboard a Boeing Business Jet were treated to a sampling of top stories from BBC World News, courtesy of in-flight entertainment system supplier Airia. But they weren’t able to switch over to watch their favorite sitcoms or game shows.
Aircraft passengers should be able to use their own cellphones in flight safely and conveniently before the end of this year through a new service developed jointly by satellite operator Inmarsat, aircraft communication systems specialist Arinc and mobile telephone service provider Telenor.
Today’s world, including the business jet, is all about being connected. The executives now moving into the cabins of these aircraft are more aware than any previous generation of the need to stay in touch with events below.
These are customers for whom being isolated for just a few hours can cost a deal. Every day, in every way, they are connected–to the office, the broker, the stock market, the clients, and to the wife and kids.