PXCom:

This week we have a lot of stories that will interest you and we thought we would start our offering with a light interview we recently had with a really nice guy, Cyril Jean of PXCom, located in France. Some three years ago, we met Cyril at an APEX luncheon where he joined our table with an introduction, a business card, and a conversation loaded both with future hope and enthusiasm. Whats not to like? So, after the few years of starting an inflight entertainment company we asked via email how it was going and he wrote the following answers. We thought you, our readers, might find them interesting:

1. Cyril, how many airplanes do you have service on today?

Answer: “We have 71 for Eurowings and 20 for Iberia Express.”

2. OK, what airlines can you mention that you are providing service to?

Answer: “For the moment Eurowings & Iberia. I think that within one month we will be able to operate on 3 new airlines.”

3. Please tell our readers how long have you been in the IFE business?

Answer: “PXCom was created 3 years ago, and yet we have been working in the IFE business for 10+ years.”

4. Cyril, could you please name you products/services for our readers.

Answer: “Our destination guides (see the image above) do not have a specific name. Also, the advertisers pay for a PXPage (interactive page integrated directly in the guide) or for a PXApp (microsite that can be accessed directly from the guide).”

5. Perhaps you could tell our readers where are you located and if this affects whom you service?

Answer: “We are located in Bordeaux (FRANCE), but our first customers (advertisers) are within Europe. With the upcoming additional airlines we intend to develop in Asia, Middle East and Americas.”

6. Please more completely identify your “products” or services for our readers as we know you are developing some interesting IFE solutions?

Answer: “We supply destination related services: from informative content (destination guides) to destination services (taxi booking, hotel pre-checking) – when we have the opportunity to supply onboard aircraft equipped with connectivity. We have also a second activity, soon live on the first airlines, which is Digital Inflight Advertising. Please note that this latter mentioned product will be subject to a specific PR release when it becomes live.”

7. Can you now give our readers an updated airline/product picture?

Answer: “For the moment it’s Eurowings our launch airline for the interactive guides, and we also provide Iberia Express with destination related advertising offerings. We have currently 7 other airlines in process for product integration, among which, 3 of them will be unveiled before end of September.”

Thanks Cyril! IFExpress will stay tuned to your growth… and you can reach him at cyril.jean@pxcom.aero and we are sure he would be happy to show you his IFE offerings! Or check out www.pxcom.aero


IFPL:

IFPL celebrated a major milestone this year supplying their two-millionth industry part to a key Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Now in their 20th year of trading, IFPL reached their two-millionth unit, just four years after the first million, demonstrating their continued sustainable growth in leading the way in IFEC peripherals. Chief Operating Officer, Tim Young, proudly accepted the two-millionth unit from the company’s Head of Production, Marcus Baker. Tim says, “It is a testament to the whole IFPL team, that the two-millionth part followed so soon after reaching our first million. IFPL investments in quality systems, manufacturing and product development capability combined with the development and introduction of new NFC, USB, audio jacks and passenger control units, means that we aim to reach our three-millionth unit even sooner.” The innovative IFPL two-millionth unit is IFPL’s Noise Cancelling Audio Jack (p/n 1155). IFPL’s Integrated Noise Cancelling Audio Module (INCAM) technology is designed to minimize cabin background noise – ensuring that aircraft passengers enjoy a more relaxed and restful journey, while also benefiting from clarity of sound via the passenger Inflight Entertainment (IFE) system. Passengers may still use their own noise-cancelling headphones, however IFPL’s INCAM enables the airline to provide noise cancelling to all its passengers by simply relocating the costly and complex headset electronics into the jack module. Therefore noise-cancelling headsets are not required, only the addition of inexpensive microphones in the ear cups that are used to pick up the ambient noise. This improved technology enables all aircraft passengers to benefit from a more enjoyable and enhanced in-flight experience. The 1155 Noise Cancelling Audio Jack is part of an extensive range of IFPL products and IFEC solutions, which includes the new reversible USB power and data module, Dual-pin MagSignal audio and the latest in NFC contactless payment technology.


HONEYWELL:

Honeywell has achieved final certification from Inmarsat for JetWave, the company’s package of exclusive hardware that will allow pilots, passengers, operators and maintenance personnel to connect to GX Aviation, the revolutionary new in-flight broadband service from Inmarsat. Users can consistently and more quickly surf the internet, check emails, stream music and videos, and shop online without drop-off throughout their flight, even when flying over oceans. The final type approval certificate confirms that the system functions as designed and completes the process to bring GX Aviation to the aerospace market. The certification centers on operation in all environmental conditions with Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network, which comprises three satellites already launched and functioning. This ensures that passengers, pilots and other airline personnel have access to high-speed, consistent and reliable broadband service by GX Aviation on flights worldwide, with speeds similar to those experienced at home or in the office.


FTE:

The Future Travel Experience Global show is “Vegas” on Sept 7 – 9 and you can get all the info here.  Noted Daniel Coleman: “It has taken a lot of work, but I am very proud and excited by the plans for FTE Global 2016, with our valued event partners making great contributions to bringing the event to life: McCarran International Airport, APEX, ACC, AAAE and Airport Terminal of the Future.”


SITA:

AeroMod International and SITAONAIR today jointly announce a partnership to install SITAONAIR wireless inflight entertainment (IFE) services on Philippine Airlines. The rapid installation program will see AeroMod International deploy a consistent cabin experience across Philippine Airlines fleet and implement the systems in record time. This industry leader in avionics and airplane structural modification and repair services commenced installation of the SITAONAIR wireless IFE system on Philippine Airlines’ Airbus A321 fleet in July. Under the program, Philippine Airlines will have one wireless IFE-installed aircraft returned to service every day. Market analysis by AeroMod reveals that only 13 percent of non-U.S. airlines have wireless IFE fully deployed. Despite this, a recent SITA survey of passengers worldwide showed IFE is now more commonly consumed via Wi-Fi on a personal device, rather than on the aircraft’s seat-back screen (46% vs 44%, with 10% using both). Additionally, two thirds (65%) of passengers would choose to access it via their own devices if wireless IFE was available. “86 percent of passengers take a smartphone onto a plane and they would prefer to also use them to access IFE. These networks therefore need to be highly robust in order to deliver HD quality video to all passengers,” said David Lavorel, CEO of SITAONAIR. “AeroMod has an enviable track record for installations that are both of exceptional quality and are turned around quickly, getting the planes back in the air as soon as possible.”


Satcom Info:

We wanted to point out one writer who weekly features the present and future of satcom usage and his name is Tim Farrar… a writer, speaker, and aficionado of that venue of connectivity. We thought you might find one chart that he has posted and since it talks about “who has what” in the satcom universe, you might find it interesting… a little bit of research on his site might also be useful… especially the SES chart he has included on the above mentioned link. But, there is a lot more there.


GEE:

Global Eagle Entertainment has entered into a global distribution agreement between GEE’s Entertainment in Motion and The QYOU, a leading provider of curated and hosted online short-form content for the Video Everywhere age. The broad-based deal gives GEE and its affiliated companies access to The QYOU catalog and new production targeting distinct passengers with peppy morning, family afternoon and late-night styled content. The video segments will cover various categories including extreme sports, artist spotlights, dance, beauty, and comedy. Content will be accessible on airline seatback portals and personal entertainment devices enabled by airlines and cruise liners. The agreement grants exclusive and worldwide airline and maritime distribution rights, and non-exclusive distributions rights in other U.S. and Canada non-theatrical markets.

On another GEE front, Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today launched a new interactive data dashboard designed to provide the traveling public with access to aggregated flight operations information for U.S. airlines and airports across the country. The dashboard, displayed at airlines.org, was produced in partnership with Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (GEE) and will provide the current operation status for the top 30 U.S. airports by passenger volume.
A4A partnered with GEE to develop this dashboard as a resource for industry partners and others who have a need for aggregated on-time performance data at the airport level or based on current weather patterns. The dashboard, tapping into GEE’s unsurpassed aviation data analytics capabilities, is complete with scroll-over maps, real-time flight departures, completions, cancellations, on-time performance and weather conditions at the national and local airport level. This new resource also provides a detailed, rolling 30-day analysis of completed and canceled flights. GEE’s solution will enhance this offering by adding current analysis tools of all U.S. flight operations.

 

Phoenix, AZ | August 22, 2016– Honeywell (NYSE: HON) achieved final certification from Inmarsat for JetWave™, the company’s package of exclusive hardware that will allow pilots, passengers, operators and maintenance personnel to connect to GX Aviation, the revolutionary new in-flight broadband service from Inmarsat. Users can consistently and more quickly surf the internet, check emails, stream music and videos, and shop online without drop-off throughout their flight, even when flying over oceans.

The final type approval certificate confirms that the system functions as designed and completes the process to bring GX Aviation to the aerospace market. The certification centers on operation in all environmental conditions with Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network, which comprises three satellites already launched and functioning. This ensures that passengers, pilots and other airline personnel have access to high-speed, consistent and reliable broadband service by GX Aviation on flights worldwide, with speeds similar to those experienced at home or in the office.

JetWave has also been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency for safety, environmental and installation standards.

“Inmarsat’s certification of our JetWave hardware means that customers don’t have to wait for a high-speed, global connectivity service. It’s available and ready for installation now,” said Carl Esposito, vice president of Marketing and Product Management, Honeywell Aerospace. “A recent Honeywell survey found that 84 percent of travelers say that it is important to have an in-flight Wi-Fi experience identical to what they have at home or in the office, and airlines around the world will now be able to meet their customers’ demands with GX Aviation.”

“GX Aviation is the ultimate broadband solution for the skies. It is a truly global service that has been engineered with aircraft mobility in mind, ensuring that airlines, business aviation operators and leading aircraft companies can offer high-quality connectivity even at 40,000 feet, using a single network from a single provider,” said Leo Mondale, Inmarsat Aviation president. “We are delighted with the performance of Honeywell’s JetWave terminals, which have been designed for ease of installation and maintenance to ensure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market. This final certification is an essential part in opening the doors to this exciting new era of in-flight broadband, available to our customers anytime and anywhere, with absolutely no limits in terms of deployment to their fleets.”

GEE/Universal Suit
Perhaps the on big news release today was found on Digital Music News. They note that after a couple years of litigation, UMG settled for a $15 million dollar payment with an additional 1,360,544 shares of GEE stock. Some 4,500 songs were allegedly infringed as well as videos. Earlier, we estimated that worst case, the deal could hit GEE with a deal worth hundreds of millions, however, we now have a settlement with the lawsuit dismissal and no admission of guilt or liability. Actually, GEE will survive this story and we think they will continue to do well. We also note that GEE’s PR folks did not respond to our request for information (no surprise). Here is the whole story. And here is another link with a different spin.


Panasonic:

Panasonic Avionics (Panasonic) and Yahsat today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore new ways to offer a broadband connectivity solution serving several mobility markets in the Middle East within the next three to five years. In addition, while final terms are still being negotiated, the MOU allows both parties to further investigate the launch of a Yahsat satellite constellation that would serve Panasonic’s general mobility needs in aviation, maritime and terrestrial transportation, and also give Yahsat the ability to use Panasonic communication related technologies and services where practical. Moving forward, Yahsat and Panasonic will assess the various technical requirements for such an offering. The companies will explore a wide range of factors including the type of frequency to be used, the coverage and capacity needed to serve flight routes in this region, the type of antenna and radome to be used, and the certification requirements of such a solution.

In addition to the previous news story, Virgin Atlantic builds on in-flight entertainment innovation by adding live TV to 787s. Customers travelling with Virgin Atlantic this summer will now be able to tune in to live television onboard its 787’s, thanks to a partnership with Panasonic Avionics and IMG. This new service will be available to customers travelling on the state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner and initially three channels will be available – Sport 24 for all the live sporting action from around the world, and BBC World News and CNN International for breaking news around the clock. Sport 24 will be showing action from the Rio 2016 Olympics Games, Premier League, NFL, UEFA Champions League, NBA, Tennis Grand Slams, Bundesliga, Formula 1, Golf Majors, MotoGP, and the Ryder Cup.


Honeywell
Recently, the folks at Honeywell conducted an interesting IFE Survey that begins: “In Honeywell’s third connectivity survey passengers shared increased frustration with current in-flight Wi-Fi offerings. It’s clear that consistent, faster in-flight Wi-Fi is a must.”

Here is a quick review of the situation: “Nearly 3 of 4 passengers are ready to switch airlines today to have access to a faster and more reliable Wi-Fi connection. In addition, out of more than 1,000 American travelers polled, annoyance is growing, with just 22 percent reporting their in-flight Wi-Fi to be extremely reliable over the past 12 months, a dip from 27 percent in 2014.” The survey revealed three key reasons airlines need to act quickly or risk losing business:

1. Wi-Fi is the Premium Service Travelers Demand.

  • Lack of in-flight Wi-Fi has become intolerable as passengers shared they’d be disappointed or frustrated without access to this service.

2. Wi-Fi Should Be Like Breathing. Simple, Reliable and Not Something Travelers’ Worry About.

  • Reliable connections on flights anywhere in the world and fast speed to stream audio or video to sites like YouTube or Netflix are essential to passengers’ Wi-Fi experience.

3. Millennials Mean Business When it Comes to Wi-Fi.

  • More millennials than older generations have switched from their preferred airline to an airline that has better in-flight Wi-Fi options.

Here is how the study unfolded: A survey of airline passengers by Honeywell (NYSE: HON) reveals more than increased frustration with current in-flight Wi-Fi offerings compared with the company’s 2014 study. Nearly 3 of 4 passengers are ready to switch airlines today to have access to a faster and more reliable Wi-Fi connection. In addition, out of more than 1,000 American travelers polled, annoyance is growing, with just 22 percent reporting their in-flight Wi-Fi to be extremely reliable over the past 12 months, a dip from 27 percent in 2014.

If you don’t want to sort out their findings, the following is a summary: 1. Traveler Loyalty Lies With Wi-Fi, 2. Consistent Connections Are Critical Everywhere, 3. Millennials Value Wi-Fi More Than Most.

IFExpress really found some results interesting enough to ask a few more questions of Honeywell’s Gwennie Chung.

1. We would like to know more about the questionnaire?

ANS: The Honeywell Aerospace Connectivity 2016 Survey was conducted between April 11th and April 20th, 2016 among 1,008 Americans ages 18 and over who have used in-flight Wi-Fi in the last 12 months.

2. Where were they interviewed – on-line, mail?

ANS: Using an e-mail invitation and an online survey.

2. Are you talking about working Millennials or any other factors?

ANS: In this survey, Millennials are (travelers) born between 1982 and 1998.

3. Was travel price/cost involved. If not, why not?

ANS: Yes, we did have a question on pricing but the way it was framed, we find that it may not be relevant/accurate relative to the current landscape and decided not to use this data.

4. Domestic vs International connectivity preferences?

ANS: We did not distinguish domestic vs international for every question but… For a majority of travelers, it’s essential to experience a reliable connection throughout their entire flight anywhere in the world (90%), and fast speed to stream audio or video from sites like YouTube or Netflix (83%). (I myself, also don’t care where I’m traveling too, I would like to have the same service anywhere I’m going to.)

6. Preferences (when I did this stuff) were: 1.Airline, 2. Price, Time….IFE and Connectivity was 5th or 6th…and
I realize that was when planes had props, however, I would be interested in today’s preference order.

ANS: We did not have this ranking.

7. Did you get any results for old timers (like me)?

ANS: We did compare Millennials to older generations.
More millennials than older generations (73 percent versus 63 percent) say Wi-Fi availability impacts the flights they book. Because they value a connected experience more than older generations, more millennials find it important to have fast speed to stream content (89 percent versus 77 percent), and more than 1 in 4 have switched from their preferred airline to an airline with better in-flight Wi-Fi options (27 percent versus 15 percent).

8. Can you get any validation of the required bandwidth for a full plane of connectivity mavens… I am trying to figure out how much is “enough”!

ANS: Most travelers find it essential to experience a reliable connection throughout their entire flight anywhere in the world (90 percent), and one that is fast enough to stream audio or video from sites such as YouTube and Netflix (83 percent).

We don’t have any information to share on this as there are too many variables.

9 Did you separate demand/price for staggered connectivity – 1. Texting, 2. Email, 3. Surfing, 4.Streaming. Does Honeywell see
a variable pricing as a solution – “The more you pay, the more you get”?

ANS: No, we did not.

10. So here is the bottom line: Will people change airlines, regardless of flight or connectivity cost, just to have Internet?

ANS: As the survey data shows, more than 1 in 5 (21 percent) have already abandoned their preferred airline for an option with better in-flight Wi-Fi (up from 17 percent in 2014).”

(Editor’s Note: A “Thank You” to Gwennie and the the entire Honeywell team and we would like to add one thing – while the study focused on Wi-Fi because that is the connectivity of today on aircraft, we are aware that cheaper, non-WiFi solutions are in the works and we suspect technology like Bluetooth, which is on the horizon just might cause the term “connectivity” to be used instead of just Wi-Fi!)


Gogo
Gogo is announcing that they have received regulatory approval from various Chinese regulatory bodies through their local partner China Telecom Satellite, and will work with China Telecom Satellite to offer in-flight connectivity service on international flights operating in and out of China starting in October. “This is really a ground-breaking moment as we expand our global reach as an organization into China and other parts of the world. For passengers on Gogo equipped flights currently flying into China, this means they will be able to enjoy seamless service once they reach Chinese air space,” said Gogo’s president and CEO, Michael Small. “We believe China Telecom Satellite will be a very strong and effective partner for China’s in-flight communication market and both parties will extend the cooperation to Chinese airlines in the future.” We also note, Gogo currently has one International airline partner operating with service to China, and recently announced it has signed a term sheet with Beijing based Shareco Technologies to install its 2Ku in-flight connectivity technology on 50 commercial aircraft for Shareco’s airline partners, including Hainan Airlines and Beijing Capital Airlines. In addition to in-flight connectivity, Gogo will also provide its wireless in-flight entertainment solution – Gogo Vision – for Shareco to install on these aircraft. Noted Michael Small: “For passengers, this means on Gogo equipped flights currently flying into China, they will be able to enjoy seamless service once they reach Chinese air space.” You can read more about this partnership on here on Concourse.


Sadly, we report: “I Just wanted to pass the news to you that I am leaving Thales for family reasons. I am moving back to TN and will be leaving the Aviation industry. Its been a great run but it is time to focus on my family after the last 10 years of much travel. Mike Moeller, Vice President, Business Development.”

(Editor’s Note: Mike, we will miss your animated presentations for sure, but mostly, we will miss your wonderfully fun and valuable show booth designs!)

  • Ground-breaking solution, engineered to meet the needs of complex and evolving airline route systems, passes rigorous testing of European Union’s aviation safety agency
  • Latest STC supports expected go-live of GX Aviation on first Lufthansa aircraft in October 2016
  • GX Aviation on track for linefit and retrofit certification on every major Airbus and Boeing airframe

United Kingdom | June 27, 2016– Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has announced that its advanced Global Xpress (GX) Aviation in-flight connectivity service has been certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for the Airbus A320 aircraft family, bringing it a step closer to being available as linefit or retrofit on every major Airbus and Boeing airframe.

The Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) authorises GX Aviation’s Ka-band antenna to be installed on Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft, which form the backbone for around half of the world’s aircraft fleets. In total, more than 6,500 Airbus A320 family aircraft are currently in operation, representing over three quarters of the overall Airbus aircraft currently being flown worldwide.

Inmarsat’s partner Lufthansa Technik obtained the STC after its design team developed a highly efficient installation process that includes all required electrical modifications inside and outside the aircraft fuselage. Installation can be completed within only four days or during regular maintenance schedules, with components integrated into the cabin infrastructure in such a way that they are virtually invisible to passengers and easy to operate by cabin crew.

Inmarsat secured a contract in October 2015 to provide GX Aviation on Lufthansa’s European continental fleet of over 150 aircraft, with additional Lufthansa Group aircraft being added in due course. After obtaining the STC, the first of these aircraft is expected to offer the service in October this year and Lufthansa’s entire A320 fleet is scheduled to have the technology installed by mid-2018.

GX Aviation is the world’s first in-flight broadband solution with seamless global coverage, delivered through a single operator. It will allow Lufthansa’s European passengers to browse the internet, watch videos, connect to their company’s Virtual Private Network (VPN), download files and more, with a similar quality of fast and reliable connectivity as they receive on the ground.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “GX Aviation is a game-changer that trumps all other connectivity solutions in the market today, allowing airlines to significantly enhance their passenger experience and gain a valuable competitive advantage. EASA’s certification is an important milestone towards the service launch this year, as the A320 family is a popular workhorse for many airlines, business aviation operators and aircraft lessors. In addition, single-aisle aircraft as a whole are expected to account for 70% of new deliveries over the next 20 years. This highlights the vast market opportunities opened by this STC, especially as Inmarsat is positioned as the only provider that can serve A320 aircraft on a global basis throughout their lifecycle.

“It is also concrete evidence of the service’s growing maturity. We have developed GX Aviation over the past five years as the only end-to-end solution in which every component, from the satellites, ground network and terminals to the cabin networks, internet features and support, has been engineered with mobility in mind to provide a high quality experience for airline passengers. With all key components now in place, we are in the final stages of testing and as a single network operator, we can commit to a uniform high quality of service wherever the aircraft may go.”

TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION LEADS TO STEP-CHANGE IN AIRLINE CONNECTIVITY

The GX mobile satellite network entered commercial service in December 2015, providing seamless global coverage. Inmarsat has reinforced its commitment to building additional network capacity, with plans already announced to increase its dedicated Ka-band payloads to seven.

Airlines will connect to the GX network using next-generation JetWave terminals produced by Inmarsat partner Honeywell Aerospace, with over 300 aircraft already committed to the system and more to come. The exclusive new terminals are designed for ease of installation and maintenance to assure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market, allowing installation with minimal labour and using standard tools available in maintenance hangars.

JetWave has been fully optimised to deliver full performance across Inmarsat’s coverage of almost every airline route in the world, including at northern and southern latitudes above 40⁰, where competing terminals see substantial performance deterioration, and even service outages. In addition, it is the only aircraft terminal to include dual receivers, enabling critical ‘make before break’ handoffs between satellite beams. Other solutions have built-in outages every time a terminal needs to be handed off, adding significant service interruption and downtime for users.

The latest STC, which follows certification for GX Aviation on the Boeing 757 and Bombardier Global 5000 and 6000 aircraft, has also highlighted the success of a long-term partnership established between Inmarsat, Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Systems. The companies have combined their market-leading capabilities to provide Lufthansa with a multifunctional, end-to-end connectivity solution that will enhance the airline’s passenger experience and brand value.

With many years of experience in aircraft modification, Lufthansa Technik is responsible for installing the systems and components required for GX Aviation on Lufthansa aircraft, as well as the required work for aeronautical and statutory regulations. In addition, Lufthansa Systems, as the aviation IT specialist, makes the required infrastructure available onboard the aircraft and provides the innovative FlyNet portal for passengers based on its BoardConnect product line.

“Other airlines can also benefit from this partnership solution,” added Mondale. “It offers today’s passengers what they want – connectivity, content and services on their own wi-fi devices – and complements the aviation industry’s current in-flight entertainment model, which is often impacted by obsolete technology that delivers dated content with high installation and operational costs.”

  • Certification of Honeywell’s first airborne JetWave hardware for Boeing 757 marks start of global, high-speed Wi-Fi revolution

Phoenix, AZ | January 2016– Honeywell Aerospace’s (NYSE: HON) JetWave™ wireless in-flight connectivity system has received U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval for the Boeing 757. Honeywell’s JetWave is the exclusive hardware for aircraft to connect to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress, the only high-speed broadband satellite network spanning the globe that will provide fast, seamless and reliable connectivity over both land and water.

The certification validates the reliability and capability of Honeywell’s hardware to connect to Global Xpress (GX) Aviation service to provide passengers with the same high-speed Wi-Fi experience they get at home or in the office while traveling at 35,000 feet. JetWave and GX Aviation will enable fliers to have seamless access to onboard Wi-Fi to browse the Internet, check emails, stay connected on social media, watch videos and more, even on transcontinental flights. It also simplifies the path for U.S. government approval for the use of JetWave hardware on other aircraft.

“The ability to connect with others is not a luxury anymore; it’s an expectation of both passengers and pilots alike,” said Jack Jacobs, vice president of Safety and Connectivity at Honeywell Aerospace. “This first commercial certification for Honeywell’s JetWave hardware is a leap forward in making the system available commercially and accelerating access to reliable and fast connectivity for airlines and passengers traveling across the world.”

“Airlines have previously struggled to meet the expectations of modern-day passengers for reliable, efficient, high-speed connectivity on board flights due to the lack of available technology,” said Leo Mondale, president of Inmarsat Aviation. “However, the entry into service of GX Aviation this year will mark an important turning point, allowing passengers in the air to browse the Internet, download files and watch videos online, just as they would on the ground. The certification of Honeywell’s JetWave hardware is a key milestone in the program and we congratulate our partner on this achievement.”

The certification of Honeywell’s JetWave hardware was achieved following more than 180 flight hours and multiple rigorous tests aboard Honeywell’s Boeing 757 test aircraft, which showed that the system would stay connected to Inmarsat’s GX network at various altitudes, angles and speeds, through several different types of weather, and over land and water.

Broader access to onboard connectivity has increased in-flight productivity and completely changed the modern flight experience. With GX Aviation, passengers and pilots will have access to Wi-Fi speeds that bring the same experience using mobile devices aboard aircraft as on the ground.

  • Expands Honeywell’s space and connectivity portfolio including entry into growing Radio Frequency technology for data networking satellites and communications
  • Builds on Honeywell’s great position with customers and growing demand for wireless connectivity, communications and emerging small satellite components
  • Greater global reach for newly combined company
    Efficiencies generated through the application of the Honeywell Operating System will increase growth and profitability of COM DEV

Phoenix, Arizona | November 5, 2015– Honeywell (NYSE: HON) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ontario, Canada-based COM DEV International (TSX: CDV), a leading satellite and space components provider for an aggregate purchase price of approximately C$455 million ($345 million USD), net of cash and debt acquired. COM DEV’s estimated 2015 revenue is approximately C$210 million ($160 million USD). On an adjusted basis, the purchase price translates to approximately ten times COM DEV’S estimated 2015 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

Honeywell is acquiring COM DEV’s electrical and optical components and subsystems equipment businesses. COM DEV will simultaneously spin-off its exactEarth subsidiary to current shareholders prior to closing. The acquisition of COM DEV will create significant value to Honeywell shareholders as the transaction will be principally funded with non-U.S. cash, and drive deal returns consistent with Honeywell’s acquisition framework. Pending government and shareholder approvals, the acquisition is expected to close by the end of the first quarter in 2016.

“COM DEV is a terrific fit for Honeywell, growing our existing space and connectivity businesses and expanding our global reach to new international customers,” said Honeywell Aerospace President and CEO, Tim Mahoney. “COM DEV’s differentiated technologies and strong position in the growing connectivity industry make the company an attractive addition to our business. We are equally excited about what we can bring to COM DEV, specifically our broad product portfolio, deep industry expertise and relationships, global sales force and brand, and our proven Honeywell Operating System. We are confident that all of our key processes and initiatives will be immediate differentiators for COM DEV.”

Found on more than 950 spacecraft and 80 percent of all commercial communication satellites, COM DEV’s equipment business complements and expands Honeywell’s space product portfolio, its major push into connectivity and boosts the company’s presence internationally.

The acquisition is aligned with Honeywell’s strategy of acquiring business that have Great Positions in Good Industries. COM DEV’s equipment business provides Honeywell with a broader offering to customers launching satellite payloads with demand that in total is growing at mid to high single digit, and near double-digits with certain customers and businesses, and enables further expansion into emerging low orbit and small satellite constellations. COM DEV also provides Honeywell’s space business new, differentiated products including commercial grade, high performance switches and associated equipment.

“Like Honeywell, COM DEV has a deep heritage in space and a flawless track record in delivering mission success to its customers,” continued Mahoney. “Together our experienced teams and proven technologies will strengthen our international positions and provide satellite, space probes and constellation developers an efficient and cost-effective partner to solve their most difficult challenges.”

COM DEV holds over 250 patents and employs approximately 1250 people with facilities in Canada, China, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. Upon closing, COM DEV will be part of the company’s Defense and Space business and grow Honeywell’s connectivity initiatives across the division’s Air Transport, Business Aviation and Helicopter customers.

Let’s face it, Airshow’s are a great place for aircraft sales and where there are aircraft, there are IFE systems! We thought our readers might want a Tuesday summary of the preceding at Paris, so here goes:

So far, Boeing secured B737 MAX orders/order commitments from AerCap for 100 B737MAX aircraft, China’s Ruili Airlines (via Avic International Leasing) for 30 B737MAX planes, and SMBC Aviation Capital for 10 more B737MAX 8s. It also announced plan to roll out the B737MAX by end of 2015 in preparation for first flight in early 2016. Additionally, Korean Air announced the purchase of 30 B737Max aircraft. China’s Minsheng Aviation (Leasing) announced a commitment for 30 B737’s (Mix of NG B737’s and B737MAX aircraft). Sriwijaya Air (Jakarta Indonesia) announced an order for two Next-Gen B737-900ER’s. At the show, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner also provided a progress report on the three programs still in development — the 737 MAX, 777X and 787-10. “We’ve increased airplane production by more than 60 percent over the past five years by building our products on a lean and responsive production system,” said Conner. “Our focus is on executing our production rates and getting airplanes into the hands of our customers. We remain on track to deliver between 750 and 755 airplanes, a new industry record.”

Conner also outlined progress on the company’s Airplane Development programs. For the first time, Boeing announced that the 737 MAX will roll out of the factory by the end of this year and fly for the first time early next year. “Performance of the 737 MAX is meeting all of our expectations, with the airplane being 20 percent more fuel efficient than the first Next-Generation 737,” said Conner. The 777X is on schedule to reach firm configuration this year, begin final assembly in 2018 and be delivered in 2020. The 787 will transition to a production rate of 12 airplanes per month in 2016 and 14 per month by the end of the decade. First delivery of the 787-10 is scheduled for 2018. Further, at the show Boeing announced some R&D and Tech Innovations that should interest our readers – here are a couple: Secure, connected airplane that enables analytics-driven operations; Integrated sound and light inside the cabin that allow airlines to reinforce their branding and uniquely present valuable information to passengers; Entirely paperless flight deck.

Airbus announced orders from Peach Aviation (Japan – Low Cost) for three A320s and EVA Air for four A330-300s. Also, Korean Air ordered 30 A321neo’s with 20 options.

Honeywell Aerospace (NYSE:HON) and Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L) have successfully completed the first phase of hardware and satellite network flight tests for GX Aviation broadband services. Honeywell’s JetWave-branded hardware enables airplanes to connect to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite constellation for GX Aviation global Ka-band in-flight Wi-Fi services. The tests, which included streaming YouTube videos and live radio, online conference calls, downloading files and more, were conducted in the U.K. in June 2015 – validating GX Aviation’s ability to deliver high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity while over land and water.

Another IFE news story comes from Zodiac Inflight Innovations: Airbus has selected Zodiac Aerospace’s Zodiac Inflight Innovations as a Buyer Furnished Equipment supplier for the Airbus High Bandwidth Connectivity (HBC) solution. Zodiac Inflight Innovations is supplying aircraft equipment, and other terminal hardware. As Lead supplier, Zodiac Inflight Innovations will manage the integration of the system and facilitate the Inmarsat Global Xpress service directly.
“High Bandwidth Connectivity (HBC) represents the new generation of connectivity services for both passengers and airlines”, said Matt Smith, CEO at Zodiac Inflight Innovations. “The system provides high speed Internet to passengers, and many other opportunities for airline ancillary revenue for example, and airlines will be able to improve operation via real time aircraft monitoring.” The current scope of this HBC program covers the Ka-band system for A320 single aisle family, the A330 long range family and the A380 aircraft. Larry Girard, Executive Vice President at Zodiac Inflight Innovations states, “The end result will be that airlines will be able to have different HBC options on multiple aircraft types, while providing a consistent service to both passengers and the airlines’ day-to-day operations. As the Lead supplier, Zodiac Inflight Innovations’ role is bringing together all the components for the High Bandwidth Connectivity program, including our own, and matching them to the Airbus process”, continued Girard. Zodiac Inflight Innovations is providing an ARINC-791 compliant radome, adapter plate, skirt seal, antenna, as well as other terminal hardware. The radome and adapter plate have been designed to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate other Ka-band antennas, minimizing the work required for future HBC systems. “We are building very a strong relationship with Airbus,” concluded Girard. “Not only is Zodiac Inflight Innovations a supplier selected to provide HBC equipment, but also our inflight entertainment solutions are approved as line-fit on A330 Long Range, and under study on other aircraft types.” Twenty five airlines around the world with over 200 aircraft in service are already using Zodiac Inflight Innovations Inflight Entertainment which includes our award winning RAVE Centric AVOD system and our latest RAVE Wireless streaming entertainment system

Rockwell Collins’ PAVES Broadcast in-flight entertainment (IFE) and Airshow 3D Moving Map systems will be featured on 15 new Next-Generation Boeing 737 aircraft on lease by China Eastern Airlines. Deliveries are expected to begin in late 2015. Rockwell Collins’ PAVES Broadcast overhead IFE significantly reduces size, weight, and power consumption compared to previous overhead system offerings. The system’s High Definition Media Server (HDMS) offers 160 gigabytes of solid-state digital audio and video storage capability, integrated pre-recorded announcements, and music (PRAM) functionality with embedded Airshow 3D Moving Map. Additionally, with PAVES Broadcast, airlines have the option to handle updates of non-encrypted content themselves or through the Rockwell Collins Content Services Group. This choice gives airlines flexibility in responding to commercial opportunities as they arise, since time-sensitive content can be replaced at a moment’s notice, anywhere in the world.

Thales reports from the show with a new IFE contract with Kuwait Airlines.

A good source of images and news, Aviation Week Paris Airshow 2015 Highlights is here and check daily!


Global communications service provider, Gogo, announced that it will bring its in-flight connectivity services to GOL, the largest low-cost and best-fare airline in Latin America. GOL will be the first Brazilian airline to offer broadband Internet access to its passengers. As part of the agreement, Gogo will outfit GOL’s entire fleet of aircraft with Gogo’s satellite service – 2Ku. In addition to providing In-flight Internet, all of GOL’s aircraft will also be outfitted with Gogo’s wireless in-flight entertainment system, Gogo Vision, and Gogo’s new IPTV solution, Gogo TV – on all of the aircraft. Gogo TV enables airlines to deliver live television content to a passenger’s own Wi-Fi enabled device. The service will initially be available only to airlines that select Gogo’s 2Ku technology and will be delivered through the Wi-Fi system onboard the aircraft using Internet protocol. Gogo believes that 2Ku will be the best solution on the market for IPTV. “This is a major win for Gogo and represents a number of firsts for Gogo. GOL is Gogo’s first airline partner in South America and the first airline to commit to Gogo’s television product. It also represents the largest aircraft commitment to our 2Ku technology outside of North America,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “We believe that 2Ku will be the best performing technology in the global aero market. This performance is expected to be even better near the equator, where a large percentage of GOL’s aircraft operate.” Gogo expects to begin offering connectivity services on GOL towards the middle of 2016. 2Ku, Gogo’s next generation satellite technology, is expected to deliver peak speeds of more than 70 Mbps to the aircraft, which is more than 20 times the bandwidth when compared to Gogo’s first generation Air to Ground solution in the U.S.


Hong Kong International Airport is leading the way in Asia Pacific with trials of beacons to provide key information directly to passengers’ mobile devices, to further improve their journey through the airport. SITA Lab, the technology research team for global IT provider SITA, has installed more than fifty beacons in Terminal 1 at Hong Kong International Airport for one of these innovative trials. Beacon technology triggers the display of location-relevant information on devices at the right time and in the right situation. With beacons, airports and airlines can provide passengers with indoor directions, walk times to gates, lounge access and alerts about boarding. Knowing where a passenger is before sending information enables more effective communication. Beacons can help reduce congestion and bottlenecks, improving the passenger flow in airports by giving passengers accurate and timely information. In turn, that leads to smoother boarding and more on-time departures. Providing way-finding information also means that passengers know how long it will take to get to the gate, increasing the time they spend in the retail area, which is good news for the airport’s tenants. As part of its role of providing value to the air transport community, SITA has established the Common-Use Beacon Registry. Using this directory, airlines, retailers and other service-providers across the world can provide beacon-based services over shared infrastructure. As well as reducing the cost of installing beacons, the IT is simpler and eliminates the need for everyone to manage their own beacons.


Inmarsat, a leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, announced that Hawaiian Airlines is now the first commercial airline to fly with its SwiftBroadband Safety service on its Boeing 767-300 fleet. The first flight took place on June 3 after the Supplemental Type Certificate for the service was awarded.


Wanna see an incredible B787-9 take-off in Moses Lake, WA? Looks like ninety degrees vertical to us – don’t miss this! –


FORECAST INTERNATIONAL projects 26,676 large commercial airliners worth $4,230b will be manufactured by Boeing, Airbus, UAC, Bombardier and COMAC over next 15 years.


Lastly, Trying to learn ABOUT code? This is a great piece of work – Paul Ford: What is Code? | Bloomberg

It seems that each trip we take on an airliner, we have an increased need for connectivity. Whether it is a greater occurrence of email updates, more Wi-Fi streaming video, or just general web surfing. One supposes this is just human nature, or is it something else? On ground wireless usage habits tend toward greater frequency over time and one could guess this is also true in the air if for no other reason than from inflight boredom and/or stress. Regardless of the reason, people want a similar experience in the air as on the ground, because they are not on the ground. Want proof? When was the last time you heard: “I wish the Wi-Fi here was as good as on my last flight?” Frankly, what used to be called fear of flying to the millennials is now called fear of changing Wi-Fi providers to one that is not as good as the one(s) in their ground-life. For frequent travelers it used to be a continuous search for the fastest trip, but today, as one flier told IFExpress, “It is who has the fastest Internet Wi-Fi.”

This demand trend is obviously what the Inmarsat folks had in mind when they developed the spot beamed Inmarsat GX solution that, we note, is roughly two thirds implemented today (for the GX system one satellite is up and operational, a second is up and testing, and the third is being ready for launch next quarter). (See news release) According to Inmarsat, GX Aviation will deliver up to 50 Mbps to an aircraft, and in their words, “It expands the possibilities for in-flight entertainment to real-time TV and TV on demand, as well as, email and web browsing at a much faster speed.” And here is the kicker – GX connectivity will be available almost anywhere in the world, and almost anywhere an aircraft can take you. In case you have forgotten, here are the service bands available for satellite connectivity and the common operating frequencies that define them.

Obviously Ka-band made sense from a signal bandwidth and equipment size point of view, especially when an airborne aircraft is involved… as the frequency goes up, so does bandwidth, and size goes down, but we note, rain attenuation goes up. Above 20,000 feet in altitude, rain attenuation is not a big issue, or at least is, a minimal one. The primary atmospheric region affecting Ka-band communications is the troposphere, which extends from the earth’s surface to an elevation of approximately 50,000 ft. Virtually all precipitation occurs within the troposphere, as it contains about 99% of the water vapor in the atmosphere and the most of that is below 25,000 feet in altitude.

Here is a little Wikipedia help if the Ka-band is new to you: “The Ka-band (“kay-ay band”) covers the frequencies of 26.5–40 GHz,[1] i.e. wavelengths from slightly over one centimeter down to 7.5 milimeters.[2] The Ka-band is part of the K band of the microwave band of the electromagnetic spectrum. This symbol refers to “K-above”: in other words, the band directly above the K-band. The 30/20 GHz band is used in communications satellitesuplink in either the 27.5 GHz and 31 GHz bands,[3] and high-resolution, close-range targeting radars aboard military airplanes.” From a bandwidth data perspective, and based on frequency, Ka-band has 5 times the bandwidth of C band, and roughly 2.5 time that of X Band. But note, The Ka-band is more susceptible to rain attenuation than is the Ku-band, which in turn is more susceptible than the C band, and experts agree, rain fade become more an issue above 11 Ghz, but if you are flying at 35,000 feet talking to a satellite in geostationary orbit.

The first GX Aviation Inmarsat satellite was launched back in December of 2014 and today covers the Indian Ocean region. A recent announcement of the second launch and orbit insertion/testing was made a couple days ago. On March 4, 2015 Inmarsat and Honeywell successfully tested over-the-air performance for Honeywell’s JetWave MCS 8200 onboard aircraft hardware on Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network. This successful test signifies that the next generation of truly global high-speed in-flight connectivity for passengers, airlines and operators is becoming a reality – with one more satellite launch to go for global coverage. GX is already operational in the Indian Ocean Region for government, maritime, and enterprise customers over the first Global Xpress satellite, which was launched last year. The successful launch of the second satellite in February 2015 means Inmarsat’s Ka-band network now covers the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean Region. Scheduled for launch in the second quarter of 2015, the third satellite will cover the Pacific Ocean region; completing the Global Xpress network and providing worldwide spot beam coverage.

As to what testing occurred, here is the news release note: “During the testing, the team was able to demonstrate how Inmarsat’s high-speed; GX Aviation network can support multiple file transfers and video streaming– confirming that passengers will have the same Wi-Fi experience while travelling at 40,000 feet as they would on the ground. Success in this round of testing, conducted from Honeywell’s Tewkesbury, United Kingdom facility means Inmarsat can now start the higher data rate testing. This is not only a milestone for the whole GX Aviation programme, but it’s also a great demonstration of what GX Aviation brings to the table,” said Leo Mondale, President, Inmarsat Aviation. “We are delighted with the performance shown by this round of testing. Both the GX network and Honeywell’s terminal have met and exceeded our high expectations. We’re another step closer.”

With regard to aircraft hardware, the supplier told us: Honeywell’s JetWave MCS 8200 terminal, which enables aircraft to connect to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite network, is in full certification testing, proceeding through DO-160 environmental and electromagnetic interference certifications, in preparation for the start of flight testing in the second quarter of 2015. In addition, work is being done to ensure that the equipment is available for installation on new Boeing aircraft, Airbus A350s and Bombardier’s Global family of business jets.” As a result, we decided to ask the folks at Honeywell a few questions about their product and the program in general:

Q. Please describe the Inmarsat GX solution from your viewpoint.

In 2012 Honeywell signed an exclusive agreement with Inmarsat to provide the SATCOM hardware for its Global Xpress Ka-band service and the program has been in development since then.

The Global Xpress constellation is comprised of three satellites, two of which are already in orbit and the third is slated to launch later in 2015, and will use Ka frequencies to deliver broadband speeds of up to 50 Mbps downlink around the world.

The Inmarsat-5 satellites operate with a combination of fixed narrow spot beams that enable Inmarsat to deliver higher speeds through more compact terminals, plus steerable beams so additional capacity can be directed in real-time to where it’s needed.

Q. Could you describe the tests in a bit more detail?

Initial tests are complete, and considered successful. We are still analyzing the full results.

Q. Were any tests made of the roll angles to determine angular signal sensitivity… was it as expected?

We have performed testing on a motion table to validate that the antenna is oriented correctly during expected aircraft movement. Full aircraft-level testing will be done during test flights in a few months.

Q. How can IFExpress readers get more information on the product – newsletter, email updates, etc.?

Your readers can read more about Honeywell here.

Q. Do you have a schedule of the whole program (3 satellites I believe) and when might the first system be installed and available?

Inmarsat launched the first of three satellites for the Global Xpress constellation in late 2014, the second satellite was launched in February 2015 and the third will launch in Q2 of 2015.

Q. Does Honeywell have any GX product customers to date?

  • We have received great interest from the market.
    The GX system is now offered as a connectivity option along with the Thales In-Flight Entertainment system on the A350 and has been chosen by Qatar Airways for their upcoming deliveries with service being provided by OnAir.
  • Vietnam Airlines has selected GX Aviation Connectivity along with Thales IFE on their upcoming A350 and 787 Deliveries with service being supplied by Gogo.
  • Air China and Honeywell signed an MoU to test GX Aviation on their A330 Aircraft
  • Bombardier Business Aircraft will be the launch business aircraft manufacturer for Honeywell Aerospace’s JetWave Ka-Band satellite connectivity system.

Q. We assume that Honeywell’s management is pretty excited about this product?

“The successful testing of Honeywell’s JetWave terminal proves that we are truly making global high-speed in-flight Wi-Fi a reality,” says Carl Esposito, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management, Honeywell Aerospace. “The combination of Honeywell’s airborne hardware and Inmarsat’s GX Ka-band global network will allow for a seamless experience of connectivity and capability from the time you walk on the airplane until you get off on the other side of the world.”

Q. Can you tell our readers a bit more about Honeywell?

Honeywell Aerospace innovates and integrates thousands of products and services to advance and easily deliver safe, efficient, productive and comfortable experiences worldwide. Honeywell has been in the aviation industry for more than 100 years providing technology, mechanical components and services for the commercial aviation, business aviation, defense and space industries.

Honeywell has created the state-of-the-art integrated Aircraft Environment Surveillance System for the Airbus A380, and our advanced flight management, power distribution, pneumatic, and landing systems will help A380 operators reach new heights of performance and efficiency.

We are a leading supplier of products and systems for Boeing commercial airplanes, and our integrated avionics system for the Boeing 777 sets a new technology and reliability standard. Today, we are part of the team working to define technology concepts for the next Boeing airplane, the super-efficient 777.

  • Inmarsat’s GX Aviation programme one step closer to launching global high-speed connectivity

Des Plaines, IL. & London, England | March 19, 2015– Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, and Honeywell (NYSE: HON) have successfully tested over-the-air performance for Honeywell’s JetWave MCS 8200 onboard aircraft hardware on Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network on 4 March 2015. This successful test signifies that the next generation of truly global high-speed in-flight connectivity for passengers, airlines and operators is becoming a reality.

During the testing, the team was able to demonstrate how Inmarsat’s high-speed; GX Aviation network can support multiple file transfers and video streaming– confirming that passengers will have the same Wi-Fi experience while travelling at 40,000 feet as they would on the ground. Success in this round of testing, conducted from Honeywell’s Tewkesbury, United Kingdom facility means Inmarsat can now start the higher data rate testing.

“This is not only a milestone for the whole GX Aviation programme, but it’s also a great demonstration of what GX Aviation brings to the table,” said Leo Mondale, President, Inmarsat Aviation. “We are delighted with the performance shown by this round of testing. Both the GX network and Honeywell’s terminal have met and exceeded our high expectations. We’re another step closer to bringing a true broadband experience to both commercial airlines and business aviation.”

“The successful testing of Honeywell’s JetWave terminal proves that we are truly making global high-speed in-flight Wi-Fi a reality,” says Carl Esposito, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management, Honeywell Aerospace. “The combination of Honeywell’s airborne hardware and Inmarsat’s GX Ka-band global network will allow for a seamless experience of connectivity and capability from the time you walk on the airplane until you get off on the other side of the world.”

Honeywell’s JetWave MCS 8200 terminal, which enables aircraft to connect to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite network, is in full certification testing, proceeding through DO-160 environmental and electromagnetic interference certifications, in preparation for the start of flight testing in the second quarter of 2015. In addition, work is being done to ensure that the equipment is available for installation on new Boeing aircraft, Airbus A350s and Bombardier’s Global family of business jets.

GX is already operational in the Indian Ocean Region for government, maritime, and enterprise customers over the first Global Xpress satellite, which was launched last year. The successful launch of the second satellite in February 2015 means Inmarsat’s Ka-band network now covers the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean Region. The third satellite is scheduled for launch in the second quarter; it will cover the Pacific Ocean Region, completing the Global Xpress network and providing worldwide coverage.

  • GX Aviation reaches key milestone to offer passengers the freedom to stay connected to high-speed, in-flight Wi-Fi virtually anywhere around the globe

Phoenix and London | February 7, 2014–

The goal of delivering ‘home equivalent’ high-speed, consistent wireless internet connectivity for passengers and pilots on aircraft came a step closer today.  In a joint announcement,  Honeywell (NYSE: HON) and Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT.L) confirmed that they have finalised the critical design review (CDR) of the GX Aviation aircraft avionics on schedule.  It is anticipated that product certifications will be achieved later this year, followed by product introduction which is expected during the first half of 2015.

Targeting both passenger aircraft and business jets, GX Aviation is the first, truly global, high-speed, in-flight connectivity service that will provide data rates to the aircraft of up to 50Mbps. Using GX Aviation, passengers will be able to do everything from real-time social media updates and emails to live-streaming TV, all while in flight, and from virtually anywhere in the world, over both land and sea.

Completing the CDR marks the final development review for the GX Aviation aircraft avionics programme. Inmarsat and Honeywell engineers completed the evaluation on schedule and executed a comprehensive audit of the system design, engineering model hardware and programme.

Completion of this major milestone follows the successful launch of Inmarsat-5 F1 – the first of three Ka-band satellites – from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Russia on  8th December  2013. The second and third satellites are scheduled to launch later this year, providing full global coverage by the end of 2014.

“Successful completion of our final design review is one more milestone along our path to product introduction in the first half of 2015,” said Jack Jacobs, vice president of Marketing, Honeywell Safety and Information Systems. “We are on track to bring a new level of high-speed, in-fight connectivity to consumers and airlines around the world, regardless of whether it is a domestic or international flight. In addition, we are actively working with several air transport and business aviation manufacturers to provide GX Aviation and to enable a truly connected aircraft from gate to gate and from ground to over 12,000 meters.”

“A comprehensive team from both Inmarsat and Honeywell has completed its analysis of every aspect of Honeywell’s satcom system to ensure it meets all our design criteria. We are confident that the Honeywell avionics, like the rest of the GX Aviation programme, will be ready for service launch in 2015. GX Aviation will bring a new dawn in aircraft connectivity, providing high-speed broadband connectivity for all user requirements throughout the flight,” said Miranda Mills, president, Inmarsat Aviation.

During the process, Inmarsat’s team reviewed the final functional specifications of hardware designs, and the results of engineering units tests. These reviews will enable the continued progress of the GX Aviation programme through product certification in 2014, product launch and global entry into service for commercial, business aviation and government customers in the first half of 2015.

Supporting Resources

October 23, 2013– Flying Colours Corp., the global aviation services company, has been appointed as an authorised dealer and installation centre for a range of Honeywell Aerospace business aviation products at its Peterborough, Ontario, facility. The deal, which was ratified in August, follows a long-standing relationship with Flying Colours St Louis, USA base which has been a Honeywell authorized dealer for many years.

Under the auspices of the appointment, Flying Colours Corp. will be able to offer Honeywell’s broad product range, including its Ovation Select Cabin Management System (CMS), to its business aviation clients both in Canada and across the globe. Honeywell’s technical team recently visited Flying Colours at Peterborough to showcase the benefits of Ovation Select on a Gulfstream 550 aircraft and to demonstrate the installation process.

The Ovation Select system features seamless in-flight connectivity providing passengers with enhanced in-flight entertainment and maximum business productivity. Flying Colours Corp. is renowned for its ability to install the latest in cabin management technology, in-flight connectivity and cockpit avionics upgrades and this latest agreement with Honeywell Aerospace serves to further expand its existing offerings. The Flying Colours team is already in discussions with a number of clients about the opportunities presented by Honeywell’s products.

Eric Gillespie, VP for Flying Colours Corp. comments: “We are very honoured to be appointed as an authorised Honeywell distributor. Their innovative products are highly regarded across the globe and as such, this is an important agreement for the company. We are continually being asked by our customers for options for CMS and In-flight entertainment upgrades on all types of mid to large size business aircraft so the new arrangement will enable Flying Colours Corp. to considerably broaden its offering.”

“We were pleased to appoint Flying Colours Corp. as an authorised dealer. Flying Colours St. Louis facility has also demonstrated added value to our customers and it’s a natural progression to formulate an agreement with the Peterborough facility,” said Mike Beazley, Vice President of Aftermarket Sales, Honeywell Aerospace.

Las Vegas, NV [NBAA] | October 23, 2013– As the designated business aviation airtime reseller for Inmarsat’s GX Aviation global Ka-band solution, Honeywell has signed an agreement with ARINC Direct to bring this connectivity to the business aviation market.

GX Aviation is scheduled to be available in early 2015 and will utilize Ka-band satellites both to provide much higher broadband speeds than existing services, and consistent global coverage. Faster speeds will give business jet operators, owners and passengers the ability to work and entertain, all while over bodies of water and around the world. High speed connectivity will no longer be confined to local, land-based access.

The first Inmarsat Ka-band satellite is scheduled to be available to support a launch as early as December 2013, with full global coverage scheduled to be achieved by the end of 2014. Inmarsat has commissioned Boeing to build four Inmarsat-5 satellites to provide the service. By 2016 it is estimated there will be 10 billion mobile devices in the world, and demand for data traffic is expected to grow by a factor of 50 for smartphones and a factor of 62 for tablets.

The Business Aviation sector has historically been an early adopter of technology and ARINC Direct is extremely pleased to be in the forefront. Senior Director at ARINC Direct, David Stanley stated: “We are pleased to start providing a new generation of high-speed broadband connections to our customers. This exciting technology will benefit both our existing and new customers.”

By providing aircraft operators with the ability to access this high-speed GX connection, pilots and crew will be able to streamline flight preparation and other non-flight critical information in real time. GX Aviation will revolutionize how pilots communicate with each other and with the broader ground and air traffic community. The equipment and solutions for this product will be straightforward to install and implement, and airtime charges will be competitive. In addition to connectivity, passengers will also have access to streaming data, ranging from music and movies to social apps, business tools and cloud applications.

This agreement with Honeywell provides ARINC Direct with the ability to sell GX aviation subscription service packages to Business Aviation operators. In addition to the airtime, ARINC Direct plans to develop innovative applications and services ranging from entertainment and software updates and upgrades, to technical aircraft maintenance and customer support. These planned applications and services open up the possibility for minimizing the amount of downtime needed for avionics software and database updates, as well as technician servicing and training. They will allow pilots and operators to be notified when a newer version of software or database information becomes available. With the simple press of a button, pilots would be able to upgrade their software or databases, in much the same way that current mobile operating system upgrades occur with personal mobile devices.

  • Portuguese airline continues successful use of Navtech iCharts

Toronto,Canada | September 24, 2013– Navtech Inc., a leader in flight operations software and services, is pleased to congratulate customer, euroAtlantic Airways, for their extended Class 2 Type B EFB approval from EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency). This is one of the first EASA certifications for an airline operating an all Boeing aircraft fleet and utilizing Apple iPad hardware. The non-scheduled international airline, operating in diverse routes in the US, Canada, Caribbean, Central and South Americas, Africa, Middle East and beyond, will operate Navtech iCharts via iPads across their entire fleet. euroAtlantic Airways is also a subscriber to Navtech’s Navigation Data for the GE US and Honeywell FMS.

“We are always pleased to be a part of innovative technology solutions that give our customers cost savings, enhanced safety and overall increased operational efficiency,” said Mr. Heath Bowden, Product Director – Charts & EFB at Navtech. “euroAtlantic has had great success in removing paper from their cockpits.”

euroAtlantic Airways was a new customer to Navtech in 2012, signing two agreements for services within six months and becoming an ally for Navtech. “We have a very good, professional relationship with Navtech and we are happy to help bring them more attention through our story,” said euroAtlantic Airways Chief Pilot, Mario Alvim. “We are very pleased with our Navtech solution.”

Navtech iCharts is an application that brings Navtech electronic charts to your iPad. This allows the iPad to be used as a Class 1 EFB, or with regulatory and operational approval, as a Class 2 Type B device. Navtech has worked with customers, like euroAtlantic Airways, to achieve operational approval of the iPad as a Class 2 device. Navtech’s family of state-of-the-art aeronautical charts products have been developed using research from Human Factor Specialists and by gathering data from, and working closely with pilots who have years of experience using aeronautical charts. Each chart includes enhanced symbology and communication features. Navtech’s electronic chart viewing application, Navtech eCharts, has been used by Navtech’s customers for over ten years. Continued product enhancements will form the infrastructure for Navtech to easily support all Classes of EFB and all devices from tablets to installed avionics.

– Distribution deal with Honeywell Aerospace puts OnAir at the forefront of inflight connectivity.

NBAA 2012, Orlando FL | October 30, 2012 -– Today, OnAir and Honeywell (NYSE: HON) signed an agreement making OnAir the distributor of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-band aircraft connectivity services to the business and general aviation segment. The five-year agreement gives passengers access to high-speed, in-flight wireless broadband. Geneva-based OnAir already distributes this technology to commercial airlines.

“Today OnAir is the only connectivity supplier providing Global Xpress Ka-band to the entire aviation space, both the commercial and business sectors,” said Ian Dawkins, OnAir CEO. “This contract reflects a revolutionary trend that the passengers are demanding – to use their devices in the sky just as they do on the ground. It is essential to be at the forefront of providing the passengers and crew with what they need: inflight connectivity.”

Global inflight connectivity: crossing boundaries

OnAir provides the technology that allows airlines and business jet passengers worldwide mobile connectivity to make calls, browse online and text from the comfort of their aircraft seat just as they would on the ground.

OnAir’s in-flight mobile phone and Wi-Fi products can be used across the world, over both land and water. OnAir has a unique network of regulatory authorizations from over 80 countries and more than 350 roaming agreements with mobile network operators.

“By partnering with OnAir, we’ll be able to meet their increasing needs for better connectivity and offer more expanded services so passengers and crew can be better connected, informed and productive,” said Carl Esposito, Vice President, Marketing and Product Management for Honeywell Aerospace.

Inmarsat Global Xpress Ka-band will be available to all business and general aviation aircraft types from early 2015.

– Companies to collaborate on Broadband Product integration.

APEX, Long Beach, CA | September 19, 2012– Thales, a leader in In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) today announced an initiative to partner with Honeywell to bring the next generation of global broadband aircraft connectivity to the world aviation industry.

The two aerospace companies are working to integrate the Honeywell developed GX Aviation Ka band satcom avionics and antenna systems, operating over Inmarsat’s GX Aviation Ka-band satellite constellation with Thales cabin network solutions. The combined offering will give commercial airline operators and their passengers four times the in-flight connectivity bandwidth enabling real-time TV channel viewing and social media connectivity as well as virtual office functionality for video conferencing.

By joining forces, Honeywell and Thales are building upon their collective 20-year history as leaders in the airborne satellite communications market to address the new challenges that have been set by the demanding connectivity market; coverage, consistent high bandwidth connection & commercially viable pricing.

“Inmarsat’s GX Aviation Ka-band satellite connectivity system is a game changer and continues our tradition of providing the commercial aerospace market with innovative, proven and reliable products;”, said Jack Jacobs, Vice President, Honeywell. “We expect that this connectivity system will provide airlines with significantly larger bandwidth at a cost-effective price.”

The combination of state of the art satellite communications equipment and a range of highly capable aircraft networks, applications and services will provide the industry with an unparalleled opportunity.

“GX Aviation satellite constellation provides huge volumes of bandwidth and is optimized for mobile platforms which guarantee seamless satellite handover and global systems management, guaranteeing to enhance the passenger experience”, said Stuart Dunleavy, Thales Avionics, VP of Media and Connectivity.

The deployment of a timely, fully aircraft certified and completely reliable end-to-end solution for both passenger communications (cellular, Internet, Intranet, streaming media) and e-Enabled Aircraft solutions (aircraft health monitoring, two-way messaging and progressive monitoring) is critical to meeting the airlines and passengers expectations.

We would like to say that we had a plan for this IFExpress but sometimes, plans have a way of writing themselves. Instead, this week we offer an update on many things. Firstly, we thought you might like to get an update on the Inmarsat Global Xpress Ka-band aviation services that come out of a recent Inmarsat get-together in Florida. Next, there are just too many IFEC meetings to keep track of, so we did it for you. Be sure to check out the links. And finally there a couple of bits and bytes for your cogitation.

Inmarsat – The recent Inmarsat Aviation Conference in Miami brought to light a few facts about the upcoming Global Xpress Ka-band satellite set for launch in 2013 and service debut in last quarter 2014. Further the conference outlined the future L-band services as well. We thought our readers might like to take note of some data presented there. For example, did you know some 35 airlines have committed to Inmarsat services with some 16 operational today generating $14 M in revenue. Interestingly, there are some 13,900 active terminals with business aviation revenue almost 3 times that of airliners. The forthcoming world covering Global Xpress (GX) service is expected to add to Classic Aero I, H, H+, and Swift Broadband with the airborne hardware in development by Honeywell . We expect to get a Speakers’ Corner on this $1.2 B subject in the near future. Stay Tuned on this one!

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings!

APEX 2012 EXPO 17 – 20 September, Long Beach, CA – The IFEC event not to be missed is in Southern California once again this year. Airlines and vendors love this show, and so does IFExpress. Once again, the Long Beach Convention Center is host of the expo and with the Queen Mary nearby, what’s not to like? Here is the agenda and with any luck, we will have more on the show in coming issues.

APEX Educational Event, November 7-8, 2012 Santiago, Chile. That’s right, Chile. With Latin American poised for a growth rate of 3.6% (see Boeing Current Market Outlook) versus a world rate of 2.6%, APEX has chosen an excellent location for this event. With fly fishing in the Coyhaique and wine tasting in the Central Valley, you might not get home till December.

Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas, September 25 – 27, 2012. If you are looking for a Seattle vacation, we strongly recommend the Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas, that will have a Latin focus this year. Here is what the the show folks told us; “Latin America is very much one of the bright spots of the air transport scene, with the region’s economy expected to enjoy strong growth into the 2030s.  Air travel is becoming increasingly important, with growth in passenger levels expected to exceed the global average. As a result, Airbus forecasts that the region will need excess of 2,000 new passenger planes of more than 100 seats over the next 20 years, with the overall fleet doubling from 1067 to 2491. Boeing’s prediction for the regional fleet is 3,390 aircraft by 2030. The company forecasts that the majority of deliveries over the coming 20 years will be new single-aisle aircraft for travel within the region. However the precise numbers finally work out, the prospects for the market in Latin America look excellent, with economic expansion creating a new traveling middle class. Since that middle class is predicted to grow by as much as 75% in the next 20 years…” Check out their website for more info.

Audio Books
Whatever happened to onboard book downloads – reading or audible? We predict that the upcoming onboard Wi-Fi revolution will be a new source of reading revenue. Let’s see who gets there first, Amazon, Apple or Audible?

Digiboo
Remember Digiboo… the folks who are making appearances at airports with movie download hubs (Your USB stick and Windows only, please) will now be offering wireless downloads to your portable device (Android coming soon).