Aircell received STC approvals from the EASA for installation of in-flight connectivity and entertainment systems on Bombardier Challenger 300s. Specifically, the certifications cover the Aviator 300 datacom system and UCS 5000 “smart” router and media server. The company said the Aviator 300 STC data package is being offered to Challenger 300 operators for a “nominal fee” when they install the system at an authorized Aircell dealer and activate a new SwiftBroadband service plan. Aircell entered the European market in 2002 and the region is now its second-largest market.
Elliott Aviation has received FAA STC approval for the activation and use of all Aircell Wi-Fi products in the Hawker 800/850/900/1000. The approval includes the newly announced ATG 2000 and ST 4300, as well as the ATG 5000, ATG 4000, Aviator 200/300/350 and Gogo Vision with UCS 5000 media server.
“Cost of the Aircell ATG 2000 for these Hawkers starts at approximately $57,000, not including installation,” said Conrad Theisen, avionics sales manager for Elliott Aviation. Downtime is eight to 10 days.
The Citation CJ3 is the latest member of Cessna’s CJ series to be upgraded with the Garmin G3000 avionics system, following the M2 (née CJ1) and CJ2+. The CJ3+’s new avionics include improved turbulence-detecting weather radar, Tcas II, advanced Taws, a wireless media server, Garmin integrated cockpit and cabin Iridium phone and Aircell high-speed Internet system, as well as ADS-B capabilities. Besides the new glass cockpit, the CJ3+ also has an all-new interior with a redesigned cabin and cockpit and new pressurization and diagnostics systems.
Today Aircell unveiled the ST 4300, a global in-flight communications system for business aircraft that is expected to be eligible for Fans certification. The ST 4300 combines voice, narrowband data and cockpit datalink services into a single unit. Available with one, two or three Iridium voice/narrowband data channels, as well as a dedicated Iridium data channel, the system allows business aircraft operators to configure cabin and flight-deck communications to suit their specific needs and budgets.
More than 2,000 Gogo Biz on-board broadband systems have been installed in business aircraft, Aircell announced today. This milestone was reached 4.5 years after the Gogo Biz service was introduced, which Aircell said makes “it the most rapidly adopted broadband service in business aviation history.” Jet Aviation performed the first Gogo Biz installation in June 2009 for the launch customer, a corporate aircraft operator based in the Midwest U.S. Gogo Biz allows passengers and crews to have Internet access above 10,000 feet in the continental U.S.
A no-reserve auction held on Friday in a warehouse just a mile from Avantair’s former Clearwater (Fla.) Airport headquarters raised a “couple of million” dollars for the estate of the bankrupt fractional aircraft company, according to auctioneer Starman Bros. Auctions. Citing rules under bankruptcy laws, auctioneer president Steve Starman told AIN that he couldn’t provide a more detailed account of the funds raised.
The first Inmarsat-5 Ka-band Global Xpress satellite was launched successfully on December 8. The satellite was expected to reach its final position in a geo-synchronous elliptical orbit by the end of last month. This is the first of three satellites that will create the seamless GX Aviation high-speed satcom network, with performance up to 50 Mbps that can deliver streaming video. GX Aviation mobile broadband service is slated to begin next year, after two other satellites are sent aloft this year. Each satellite weighs more than six metric tons and can provide 89 Ka-band beams.
Aircell will shut down the Airfone air-to-ground communications network as scheduled on December 31, and after that date Airfone users will no longer be able to make calls. Business aviation Airfone users have been using MagnaStar systems to make calls, and a variety of options are available to upgrade or replace those systems.
Beechcraft recently certified a range of wireless in-flight connectivity equipment to fit low- and high-occupancy aircraft and has begun installations.
ATG 2000, a new Aircell equipment package that provides Gogo Biz Internet and voice service, is available with certified Wi-Fi as an upgrade through Hawker Beechcraft Services (HBS) for most Beechcraft and Hawker aircraft.
Travel Management Company completed activation of the Aircell ATG 2000 onboard system on its charter fleet of 37 Hawker 400XPs, providing wireless high-speed Internet service from a passenger smartphone or tablet via Aircell’s Gogo Biz.
The Elkhart, Ind.-based operator claims to be “the largest charter operator and owner of Hawker 400XPs and 800/850XPs in the country.” The fleet of 30 Hawker 800/850XPs was previously equipped with a mix of Aircell’s ATG 4000 and ATG 5000 packages and Gogo Biz, also allowing a wireless connection via smartphone or tablet.