After years of development and months of anticipation, Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband satellite aeronautical data service is finally poised for takeoff.
Flight Options’ paperless cockpits are so well-liked by its pilots that those who end up with airplanes not yet equipped with electronic flight bags (EFBs) feel slighted.
James Miller, v-p of Flight Options, said here yesterday that the two “hot things for us this year” are installing EFBs in the remainder of the fractional giant’s 200-plus fleet of airplanes and putting AirCell satcom phones in all of its aircraft.
AirCell is introducing two new airborne telecommunications products, the AST 3500, which combines cellular technology with the Iridium satcom system, and the ST 3100, which relies exclusively on Iridium. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in November.
DeCrane Aircraft Holdings’ e-Cabin.Connect system, featuring long-awaited 512-kbps high-speed in-flight Internet access, is in the final stage of testing and the El Segundo, Calif.-based company expects to begin deliveries by late December.
Aircell announced that it will charge a flat monthly fee of $1,495 for unlimited access to its air-to-ground broadband data service by business aviation users. “We believe all-you-can-use pricing makes the most sense for the business aviation market,” said CEO Jack Blumenstein, adding that per-passenger pricing models will be rolled out for fractional jet owners after the broadband service debuts later this year.
The Aircraft Electronics Association’s annual convention, held April 23 through 26 near Washington, D.C., served as a bustling venue for more than two dozen new-product introductions, many of them geared toward satisfying the entertainment and communications needs of passengers.
Airborne cellular communications provider AirCell has announced a partnership with Control Vision, a Pittsburg, Kan. developer of airborne weather information products. The agreement calls for Control Vision to provide graphical weather data downloaded to a pilot’s personal digital assistant (PDA). AirCell said its ground cellular network is now compatible with Control Vision’s Anywhere Wx software.
Following a somewhat protracted rollout, the availability of end-user airborne broadband services now appears ready to meet the burgeoning demand from business aircraft operators and their passengers. And much of this technology is being demonstrated here at EBACE this week.
Passengers flying on the company jet may soon be allowed to use their personal cellphones to make and receive calls.
Broomfield, Colo.-based AirCell has introduced two new airborne telecommunications products based on Iridium satcom technology. The first, the AST 3500, combines an air-to-ground cellphone with an Iridium satellite receiver and antenna, while the second, the ST 3100, relies exclusively on the Iridium link. Deliveries of the new products, said AirCell, are scheduled to begin next month.