Aircell, which currently owns and operates the Airfone air-to-ground telephone network, is on track to shut down the system at the end of this year. While some operators may hope that Aircell will keep Airfone running a bit longer so they can avoid having to replace their systems, Aircell has made it clear that Airfone is going away. According to John Wade, Aircell executive v-p and general manager, “The December 31, 2013, shutdown date is firm.
Android-based devices are the least secure platforms for pilot electronic flight bags and onboard entertainment systems, according to EFB and cabin avionics solutions provider Allegient Systems. The company cited a recent DHS/FBI study showing that 79 percent of mobile device malware/viruses are for the Google Android operating system, due to its market share and open-source architecture.
Aircell said its Gogo Biz service–launched in 2009 as an Internet-only service for the business aviation market–is expanding to include voice capabilities that will allow crewmembers and passengers to text and call in flight from their own smartphones, using their existing mobile numbers, starting October 1.
Gulfstream Aerospace launched an iPhone- and iPad-compatible application that provides customers with access to its worldwide product support network. The 24-hour support app serves as a source for direct access to Gulfstream technical operations, 19 company-owned and -authorized service centers, 13 company-authorized warranty facilities, 43 field service representatives, spare part sales and other key contacts. The app includes phone and fax numbers, email addresses, location information and operating hours.
This week at LABACE, Execjet Mobile announced the release of the latest version (4.0) of its Bizjet Mobile service, which allows passengers aboard any telecom-equipped aircraft with an onboard Wi-Fi network to send and receive text messages and emails. Bizjet Mobile 4.0 requires that one Apple iPad mini be set up to run the app, which creates its own Bluetooth/Wi-Fi network that other Apple devices can then access. Anyone on board can tap into that network to send text messages of up to 600 characters and emails of up to 1,500 characters (without attachments).
In accordance with the NBAA bylaws, the nominating committee has proposed five people for election to the board of directors at the next annual meeting of the association, to be held on October 23 in Las Vegas. Paul Anderson of UTFlight, David Everitt of Harsco and Douglas Schwartz of ConocoPhillips were nominated for re-election to the board, each for a three-year term. Leslie Kenne of Oshkosh Corp. and Richard Walsh of Hewlett-Packard were nominated for initial election to the board, also for three-year terms.
This week at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, John and Martha King of King Schools have announced release of a free iOS app that connects to King Schools Online Knowledge Test Courses, allowing customers to download the course video lessons. The means the video lessons can be viewed at any time, with our without an Internet connection, which King Schools said is “a great solution when traveling or when connected to a cellular data service with a limited data plan.”
Rockwell Collins unveiled new customizable features for its Airshow 3-D moving-map app for the Apple iPad, including the ability to add company logos and customized place names, as well as access high-resolution city maps. In addition, text in the app can be displayed in up to six languages. The new features are available now through the Apple iTunes App Store as a first-time download or as an Airshow Moving Map app update.
Dassault Falcon is offering a new app for mobile and tablet users. The Falcon Customer Service app offers instant touch-call features for AOG hotlines, the technical center, spares and field service. The app also helps operators locate service centers and Falcon pilot contacts.
Wireless loading of avionics data is coming to Honeywell’s Primus Apex and Epic avionics suites, beginning with the Pilatus PC-12 NG. For the PC-12 NG the new wireless data loading system requires installation of an Aspen Avionics CG100P connected gateway device. In aircraft equipped with Epic avionics, hardware upgrades built into the aircraft’s avionics will facilitate wireless data loading, but a common interface for all Honeywell avionics suites will be a database loading application installed on Apple’s iPad.