Upgrades to the cabin of charter operator Fly Comlux’s 767 BBJ are complete and the aircraft is back in charter service. The Bahrain-based jet’s interior enhancements include re-upholstered seats in the executive cabin and entourage section, and new in-flight entertainment system, humidification system and carpeting. SwiftBroadband satcom for high-speed Wi-Fi Internet and a GSM onboard system has been installed throughout the cabin.
One of a number of maritime patrol aircraft being promoted at the Singapore Airshow is the Saab 340 MSA, which is undertaking a demonstration tour to several countries in Asia. As part of its mission suite the aircraft is fitted with Cobham Satcom’s Aviator 350 SwiftBroadband solution, which utilizes an HGA-7000 high-gain antenna.
Honeywell and Inmarsat have finalized the critical design review of the GX Aviation avionics, which is promised to bring “home equivalent” high-speed broadband service to both business jets and airliners. Certification of the avionics is expected later this year, followed by product introduction during the first half of next year.
Cobham Satcom (Booth M87) recently appointed Jianmin Cui to the new role of regional sales director for China with its aeronautical sales team. The Denmark-based satellite communications specialist sees strong prospects for growth in China’s general aviation market; the Shanghai-based sales executive will also focus on the air transport sector. The group’s main product is the Aviator SwiftBroadband series of communications systems.
Business aviation stands to be one of the beneficiaries of Cobham Satcom’s new Aviator S family of satellite communications systems, which should be FAA-approved some time in 2015. The UK-based group, which last year acquired satcom specialist Thrane & Thrane, unveiled the Aviator S technology at June’s Paris Air Show. The key breakthrough is the company’s success in reducing the number of boxes required for the system from three to two, by incorporating the amplifier and diplexer into the antenna unit.
Duncan Aviation (Booth No. C8543) recently received supplemental type certification (STC) for installation of broadband connectivity on three Citation 525A models.
Looking to tap the growing Russian market for in-flight connectivity, Satcom Direct has announced plans to open an office in Moscow. The U.S. company is here at the JetExpo show this week demonstrating its latest capability, including the new Satcom Direct Router (SDR), its first certified hardware product.
Satcom Direct has signed an agreement with Honeywell to be a distributor for the Inmarsat GX Aviation Ka-band service, for which Honeywell itself is a value-added reseller. The Florida-based communications specialist will also be a distributor of GX avionics equipment. The service is scheduled to be commercially available early in 2015 and is designed to offer “consistent, high-capacity broadband coverage around the world.” For example, users should be able to stream Internet content live or hold uninterrupted video calls from 30,000 feet.
The era of the Airfone air-to-ground radiotelephone system comes to an end on December 31 when Aircell, the new owner of the Airfone network, plans to shut the service down. Aircell purchased the Airfone network from LiveTV earlier this year and will use the Airfone frequencies to expand and meet growing demand for its Gogo and Gogo Biz airborne broadband Internet services. The Airfone frequencies are adjacent to those used by the Gogo service.
Honeywell has entered the detailed design phase of the satellite communications (satcom) system hardware it is developing for Inmarsat’s new Global Xpress Ka-band satellite network. The company aims to secure Inmarsat network access approval for the satcom system in 2014.
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