AirCell Inc. and Iridium Satellite LLC have reached an agreement that would allow AirCell to offer Iridium-based satellite communications products and services. As part of the agreement, AirCell is expanding its airborne telecommunications product line by developing new Iridium-based products to be offered through AirCell’s existing network of U.S. dealers, as well as through a newly formed and expanding network of international dealers.
Air France has started a six-month trial aboard an Airbus A318 with communications provider OnAir to provide cellphone services to passengers flying in Europe. For now, passengers can use their mobile phones to send and receive text messages,
e-mail and photos. After three months Air France intends to expand the service to allow passengers to make and receive phone calls as well.
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.
MedAire and AirCell have teamed to provide a low-cost airborne communication system that links passengers directly with doctors in the event of an in-flight medical emergency. “The physicians within our MedLink Global Response Center are managing upwards of 60 in-flight medical emergencies daily,” said MedAire president and CEO Joan Sullivan Garrett.
Raytheon Aircraft has selected airborne telecommunications equipment company AirCell’s ST3100 Iridium-based satcom system as standard equipment on the Beechcraft King Air 350 and as an option on the B200.
In 1999, Motorola’s ill-starred Iridium satcom venture declared bankruptcy and was on the verge of maneuvering the service’s 66 satellites to burn up in the atmosphere. Today, officials at the re-established satcom operation are promoting the company’s rapidly growing customer base and line of service offerings.
AirCell has received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for its Axxess EZ satcom system on Bombardier’s Challenger 600, 601 and 604. Introduced late last year, the system was designed to reuse the MagnaStar system’s existing aircraft wiring and component locations, reducing installation downtime.
Elliott Aviation recently completed its first transformation of a Hawker 700A cabin
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified AirCell’s Iridium-based Axxess EZ cabin communications system in the Bombardier Challenger 600, 601 and 604, adding to the list of business airplanes approved to fly with the gear.