Flying Colours regards its 13th and most recent CRJ conversion as its most ambitious–“an aircraft completely personalized to [the client’s] requirements.” The company worked with Harry Schnaper (the private owner’s designer), lead in-house designer Kate Ahrens and its engineering team to create “externally and internally, its most complex, bespoke ExecLiner yet.”
American Airlines officially grounded 47 of its fleet of 102 Boeing 757s last Thursday for faulty cabin seats. Earlier in the week, American said the carrier believed it had identified faulty clamps as the cause of seats breaking loose on as many as six of its 757s, some in flight.
Inmarsat and OnAir have finalized a contract appointing OnAir as the initial aviation distribution partner for Global Xpress, a cabin communication system its developers describe as “the first global Ka-band network to provide in-flight broadband connectivity for the aeronautical market.” OnAir currently uses Inmarsat SwiftBroadband to provide the connectivity for Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir.
Thales’s in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) division has opened a new facility near London Heathrow Airport. The new premises will serve as the base for its sales and marketing operations in the UK and Ireland, as well as for its maintenance, repair and onboard services team covering Europe and Africa.
Business aircraft operators are beginning to follow the growing ranks of airlines that provide passengers with on-board connectivity for telephony, message and Internet-access services. Indeed, this sector now accounts for about 10 percent of Airbus/SITA joint venture OnAir’s 45 aviation customers, although not all clients have yet deployed the service.
Private aircraft makeover specialist Flying Colours is embarking on what may well be the company’s most ambitious project. Known for its Execliner renovations, which turn Bombardier’s CRJ family of regional airliners into well-appointed business jets (also known as Challenger 850s), the Canadian cabin completions specialist has begun work on what it describes as its first “fully loaded” CRJ200 conversion.
Nextant Aerospace has been awarded several new supplemental type certificates for the 400XT, including STCs for the Rockwell Collins Venue in-flight entertainment system and the Aircell Axxess cabin communication system featuring high-speed wireless Internet connectivity and dual-channel satellite phone service. Nextant also received STCs for additional avionics options, many of which help to pave the way for final certification by the EASA.
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport-based Constant Aviation has completed an STC for Aircell’s Gogo Biz in-flight Internet and Wi-Fi system in the Phenom 300. It is the first such approval for the Phenom 300 and includes a satellite phone.
With support from StandardAero’s Springfield, Ill. completion facility, Associated Air Center of Love Field, Texas, has won a supplemental type certificate (STC) for installation of an Aircell ATG 5000 wireless Internet package on a Boeing 757-200.
“In-flight connectivity is critical to manage the lightning-fast pace under which today’s global businesses operate,” said Associated v-p and general manager Troy Jonas.
OnAir is working on a supplementary type certificate for the Dassault Falcon 7X, which will be the first purpose-built business jet to receive the on-board cell phone service specialist’s system. So far, the system had been installed only in “bizliners,” such as Boeing BBJs or Airbus ACJs.