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.
Arinc Direct customers will soon be discovering new horizons. The business division of Annapolis, Md.-based Arinc expects to expand coverage of its Skylink in-flight satellite Ku broadband service to include the Caribbean, the North Atlantic and a “substantial” portion of Central and South America before year-end. Skylink service over North America has been available since 2005, and service over Europe was added last year.
Inmarsat, the global satellite-communications company, is preparing the next generation of its geostationary satellites, which a spokesman said will be far more capable than those now in orbit supporting voice, fax and Swift64 data services.
For operators clamoring to take full advantage of Inmarsat’s new Swift64 airborne data service, Honeywell and Thales announced that the new MCS-7000 satcom system has received FAA approval. The first MCS-7000 has been shipped to Gulfstream’s Appleton, Wis. completion center for installation on a Gulfstream IV-SP owned and operated by Phillips Petroleum.
“The launch of a new era in space travel” is the bold claim of EADS Astrium for its Spaceplane, a model of which stands at the company’s booth (C220). Unlike space tourism proposals that involve a space element taken aloft beneath a ‘mother’ aircraft, the Astrium Spaceplane would operate from any airport or airfield that grants permission.
operators in the PACIFIC RIM Phoenix Fuel has formed Phoenix Japan Aviation Group, based at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, to provide ground-handling services for Pacific Rim business aviation operators as well as commercial and cargo companies. Phoenix’s services include contract fuel, permits, slots, ground transportation and a direct link to international trip planning, according to the company.
Wall Street analysts now say the proposed merger between XM Satellite Radio and Sirius should have little difficulty winning approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice. That could spell trouble for buyers of aviation weather datalink gear.
A bustling airport in an otherwise desolate landscape served as the backdrop for the unveiling of what’s been hailed as the world’s first private space venture.
For most pilots, the attention-grabbing feature of the newest entries in the small-aircraft general aviation market, such as the Cirrus SR22, is probably their large-format cockpit displays. They’re colorful, bold and big, and they offer capabilities undreamed of in this class of aircraft even two or three years ago.
EMS Technologies announced last month that it has been selected by Honeywell and Thales Avionics to supply satcom components for the companies’ joint HS-720 high-speed-data satcom system. Under the terms of a seven-year agreement, EMS will develop custom avionics components for the Honeywell/Thales MCS-4000/7000 satcom systems.