There are now more ways than ever to connect to the Internet in flight thanks to the growing number of airborne data services available for installation in business jets. From Aircell’s GoGo Biz and Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband services to ViaSat’s Yonder Broadband and others, Web-addicted passengers no longer have to worry about being able to log on after takeoff.
TrueNorth Avionics has introduced a plug-in hardware module that lets owners of several brands of airborne telephone use their personal smartphones to send and receive e-mails worldwide over the Iridium satcom network.
Flexjet last month announced plans to offer Aircell Gogo Biz in-flight Wi-Fi connections as a standard amenity on its fractional program aircraft at no additional charge to shareowners. The system will allow Flexjet customers to use any Wi-Fi device to access the Web at broadband speeds while they fly. Installation of GoGo Biz will begin on Flexjet’s 25 Challenger 300s and seven Challenger 604/605s.
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport-based Constant Aviation
recently installed in a Gulfstream IV an Aircell ATG 4000 high-speed internet system complete with the Aircell Axxess cabin communications systems with Wi-Fi provisions. The installation was completed in conjunction with a 72-month inspection and was the fourth Aircell high-speed internet system Constant Aviation has installed this year.
Las Vegas oddsmakers don't keep track of such things, but if they did Garmin would have been a safe bet to retake the overall number-one ranking in AIN's 2010 avionics product support survey. After ceding the top spot last year to upstart cabin entertainment equipment maker Flight Display Systems, which dropped to second place overall this time around, Garmin is once again back in first place.
Fractional provider NetJets will equip more than 250 of its midsize and large-cabin aircraft with Aircell GoGo Biz high-speed Internet service, with installations set to begin this month.
Constant Aviation, a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility headquartered at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, is offering a supplemental type certificate (STC) for the Aircell high-speed Internet with Wi-Fi system for the Gulfstream IV. "The addition of Wi-Fi to corporate aircraft has been on the rise as an increasing number of passengers want access to the Internet and e-mail in flight," said company president Stephen Maiden.
San Carlos, Calif.-based charter operator XOJet is installing Aircell high-speed Internet equipment on its entire fleet of Bombardier Challenger 300s and Cessna Citation Xs. The company says the equipment will be available on all its airplanes by the end of this month, making XOJet the first business aviation fleet operator to offer wireless service on all its U.S. flights.
Aircraft charter hybrid XOJet said it will install airborne high-speed Internet to its fleet of five Bombardier Challenger 300s and 19 Cessna Citation Xs. XOJeT is currently installing Wi-Fi-capable Aircell high-speed Internet systems and expects that more than 70 percent of its fleet will be equipped by the end of this month, with the rest scheduled for completion next month.
Avanti Gets Pro Line 21 Retrofit
Rockwell Collins has teamed with Ruag Business Aviation of Switzerland on a Pro Line 21 cockpit upgrade for the Piaggio Avanti turboprop twin. The retrofit