United Kingdom | July 14, 2016– Leading cabin lighting specialist STG Aerospace, is delighted to announce that its market-leading emergency floorpath marking system, saf-Tglo®, has been installed on the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital.

Orbis, a non-profit organization that fights blindness around the world and based in New York, operates the Flying Eye Hospital, the world’s only mobile ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft, taking the very latest ophthalmological knowledge and surgical skills to local hospitals around the world.

The aircraft, an MD-10-30CF was previously operated by FedEx who subsequently donated it to Orbis. Today the aircraft is flown by a team of volunteer FedEx pilots.

saf-Tglo® is the emergency exit marking solution of choice for leading aircraft manufacturers and airlines worldwide, and is the highest performing, lightest and most discrete photoluminescent system available. The selection of saf-Tglo® on the new Orbis Flying Eye Hospital demonstrates the versatility of the product and how it can be applied to a variety of different applications – not just commercial aircraft.

Fitted with SuperSeal Lite®, the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital has selected the narrowest, lightest and most discrete floor path marking solution available, complete with a blue insert to complement the aircraft’s interior.

The completely sealed, hard-wearing, long-lasting system is approved and certified for installation on virtually every type of aircraft. It requires no power source and is fully charged by the cabin lighting within minutes. 100% reliable, saf-Tglo® significantly reduces the maintenance and operational costs associated with traditional electrical systems and being much lighter, improves the aircraft’s fuel efficiency.

Marcus Williams, Director of Sales & Marketing of STG Aerospace, commented: “We are delighted to be contributing to the safe and effective operation of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, which delivers the skills, resources and knowledge needed to deliver quality eye care. This project is also a further example of STG Aerospace’s involvement in supporting airborne medicine having already supplied photoluminescent solutions for a UK helicopter-based emergency medical service.”

One company that seems to be a bit quieter about their connectivity solutions is Honeywell but that’s about to change. Last week, they sent out a release about their recent certification from the FAA for their inflight product, JetWave and their STC on a Boeing B757. Significant is their exclusive connectivity hardware for Inmarsat Global Express, high speed, Ka-Band inflight connectivity service.

At higher frequencies like Ka Band (26.5 – 40 GHz), operators can generally obtain more user bandwidth but a lot depends on antenna size & efficiency, users in the space, horizon height, weather, and more. But we digress.

Part of the attraction of JetWave is bandwidth as we just mentioned, but global coverage is another feature and we asked about that feature as well. Finally, we do believe, that the price per downloaded bit will be cheaper than those of lower transmit/receive frequencies… but that remains to be announced by Honeywell or airlines. Stay tuned on this one. If JetBlue’s solution with Thales & ViaSat is any indication, it ought to get interesting and potentially cheaper per bit.

Next, we had a few more questions and Honeywell provided answers for some as follows:

1. IFExpress: How long has this product been in development (antenna) and what new antenna technologies are included?

ANS: “Honeywell and Inmarsat signed a partnership in 2012 for Honeywell to be the exclusive hardware provider for Global Xpress Ka-band network. Honeywell also signed a master services distribution agreement for business aviation with Inmarsat. Since 2012, Honeywell has successfully developed the fuselage antenna for air transport aircraft and tail-mount antenna for business aviation aircraft to connect to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-band services.”

2. IFExpress: We know you make the antenna, but our readers would be interested in understanding if the Ka Band Amplifier/transmitter/receiver is part of the product line too and is it new?

ANS: “Honeywell is the exclusive hardware provider for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network. The JetWave system includes the fuselage antenna for commercial airlines, tail-mount antenna for business aviation aircraft, the Modman (modem and terminal), KRFU (frequency converter and amplifier) and KANDU (antenna control and networking unit) hardware.”

3. IFExpress: What is the expected average user data rate (X Mbps)?

ANS: “JetWave and Global Xpress services can provide up to 33Mbps to business aviation aircraft and up to 50Mbps to air transport aircraft.”

4. IFExpress: Besides the test plane, is the unit installed on any other aircraft?

ANS: “There are over 15 different aircraft models/types working on installing JetWave to access the Global Xpress network across commercial, business aviation and government end markets including:

· Honeywell’s Dassault Falcon 900 test aircraft has installed JetWave for flight testing.

· JetWave hardware has been delivered to support the first A350 GX Aviation installation

· Bombardier is currently working on certifying JetWave on their Global Express aircraft”

5. IFExpress: Is Honeywell willing to talk price?

ANS:Service packages will be defined and managed by Inmarsat and our Value-Added-Resellers (VARs), who bring years of experience in developing and introducing tailored and cost effective connectivity solutions to airlines and their passengers.”

6. IFExpress: As you might know, Gogo had a very successful Press demo of their Ku Band system, are you folks going to do the same?

ANS: “Yes definitely, we plan to demonstrate the system to customers and media in 2016.”

7. Can you talk a bit about the potentially lower data rate costs to consumers?

ANS: “Service packages will be defined and managed by Inmarsat our Value-Added-Resellers (VARs), who bring years of experience in developing and introducing tailored and cost effective connectivity solutions to airlines and their passengers.”

8. IFExpress: We assume the coverage is worldwide?

ANS: “Inmarsat Global Xpress is the first high-speed broadband network to span the world.”

9. IFExpress: Have you tested the Ka system in weather and what did you find?

ANS: “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.”

10. Is the Ka service available over the US today?

ANS: “Inmarsat’s I-5 F2 satellite was launched on 1 February 2015 to deliver regional GX services for the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean Region.

11. IFExpress: Any customers bought/interested/US and/or overseas?

ANS: “See below:

  • Singapore Airlines has selected JetWave and GX Aviation system for their B777-300ER aircraft, followed by its A380-800s.
  • Lufthansa announced that GX Aviation has been selected for its short and medium-haul flights – the first Lufthansa aircraft will be fitted with the new technology in early summer 2016
  • Qatar Airways has committed to equipping their fleet with GX Aviation through the Thales A350 in-flight entertainment/connectivity program
  • Vietnam Airlines selected GX Aviation for its A350 fleet through Inmarsat and Honeywell partners, Thales and Gogo
  •  Air China will test GX Aviation on its A330 aircraft
  • Airbus is far along in the engineering and certification work to make GX and JetWave hardware option for new aircraft in production across its entire catalog, and numerous certification processes are engaged to ensure GX and JetWave hardware availability for retrofit applications
  • Honeywell continues to work with Boeing on its technical services agreement to confirm offerability for Boeing platforms including the 787, 777, and 737NG
  • For the business aviation segment, Bombardier has selected GX Ka-band business aviation service for the Global 5000, Global 6000, Global 7000 and Global 8000 platforms
  • Haitec Aircraft Maintenance signed an agreement to jointly develop an A319 STC for the corporate jet market

Honeywell is continuing to work with airlines around the globe and aircraft manufacturers to bring JetWave and Global Xpress services to passengers and operators.”

12. IFExpress: What is the biggest market you see for the products?

ANS: “In the coming years the de facto standard for in-flight comfort will be giving passengers the freedom to keep connected even while flying at 35,000 feet and we see this demand around the globe. JetWave and Global Xpress will provide truly global and consistent high-speed connectivity that will be demanded around the world – we see strong opportunities around the globe.”

13. IFExpress: What are some good weblinks for our readers to get more on your products?

ANS: “To learn more about Honeywell’s JetWave hardware, please visit

To learn more about Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network, please visit:

Finally, Honeywell noted: The important thing to remember about JetWave and Global Xpress is that:

1. Global Xpress is the only global Ka-band network designed around the requirements of mobile assets, including aircraft. It has the ability to keep aircraft connected over land and water and throughout all phases of flight.

2. Inmarsat Global Xpress is the first high-speed broadband network to span the world.

3. It delivers seamless, globally available, high-speed broadband connectivity on land, at sea, and in the air – provided by a single operator.”


NEWS

A) The folks at RouteHappy developed a great infographic on inflight Wi-Fi: Global State of In-Flight Wi-Fi | Routehappy

B) iPass Inc., a leading provider of global mobile connectivity, announced an agreement with Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) to bring inflight Internet access to iPass customers on 23 international airlines. Under terms of the agreement, iPass, which provides convenient, secure, always-on Wi-Fi connectivity on any mobile device, will be available on more than 747 Panasonic-equipped aircraft that fly more than 32,000 routes monthly.

iPass, which has agreements with several inflight connectivity providers, now offers service onboard more than 2,700 aircraft. With this partnership, the company extends its service to passengers on airlines around the world, including Air Berlin, All Nippon Airways, and WestJet.

“Inflight Wi-Fi is critical for our business customers, and our partnership with Panasonic extends iPass’ inflight footprint to many of the world’s leading international carriers,” said Patricia Hume, the chief commercial officer of iPass. “Moreover, the partnership supports our strategy to offer iPass everywhere, so that iPass customers can move from airport to airplane to airport and beyond, with one, seamless, Wi-Fi first, Internet experience.”

“We are dedicated to giving our customers a frictionless Internet experience,” said David Bruner, Vice President of Global Communications Services at Panasonic Avionics. “Our partnership with iPass brings convenient access to Wi-Fi connectivity to our customers through a single service, helping them stay connected.

C) Check out the FedEx blog about ORBIS, the sight saving flying hospital service. Remember that ORBIS is APEX’s official charity. We also mention, SIE, was the engineering firm and system integrator for the entire program. The ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital should be going on its first medical/humanitarian mission in the next 8 weeks or so

D) Also, a good friend, Bob Bogash, has a wonderful website featuring the rebuilding of a an old Boeing B727 with great images – 727 Prototype

E) Lastly, congratulations to Thomas Lee of Zodiac Aerospace who is now Vice President – Product Marketing – Zodiac Cabin.

London, UK | December 13, 2013– As the holiday season approaches and we get into the spirit of giving back, IFP has made a companywide donation to ORBIS International, a non-profit organization that works in developing countries to save sight.

IFP, the content services division of Advanced Inflight Alliance AG, has a long-standing relationship with ORBIS to support the organization’s mission.

Walé Adepoju, COO of Advanced Inflight Alliance AG, commented: “ORBIS does amazing work in helping cure blindness in developing countries and we’re proud to continue to support their cause. 285 million people in the world are visually impaired, and eighty percent of the world’s visually impaired suffer from conditions that are avoidable or curable but go untreated due to lack of access to quality eye care. ORBIS, which is most famous for its flying eye hospital, the world’s only airborne ophthalmic training facility, is a charity that several of our staff and companies independently support and promote.”

Florence Branchu, ORBIS Corporate Partnerships Manager, added: “The ongoing support of IFP will enable ORBIS to provide much needed eye care in some of the most under-served regions. The generosity of IFP has led to a total donation of £16,306.93 since 2010 (including this year’s donation) which could help us treat 65,227 children with antibiotics that fight trachoma a painful and blinding eye condition or could buy cataract surgery kits for 2038 cataract operations.”

“The aviation sector is a firm supporter of the sight-saving work of ORBIS and its Flying Eye Hospital, and with the next generation ‘hospital with wings’ launching next year this support is as gratefully received as ever,” continued Branchu.

Chatsworth, California | March 13, 2012– Structural Integrity Engineering (SIE) has entered into an agreement with ORBIS, a non-profit humanitarian organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide, to provide engineering design and certification services for ORBIS’s next generation Flying Eye Hospital (FEH) based on an MD-10-30 aircraft generously donated by the FedEx Corporation. The next generation ORBIS MD-10-30 FEH, the world’s only ophthalmic surgical and training hospital with wings, will bring many advantages to the fight against preventable blindness.

“SIE is proud to be selected by ORBIS to help carry out its humanitarian mission” said Dr. Matt Creager, SIE’s president. “I believe we secured the confidence of ORBIS based on SIE’s strong reputation for engineering in structures, systems integration and our track record in delivering quality for our customers’ major aircraft modification programs.”

SIE will act as the engineering integrator, providing program management and supplier interface management, modification engineering and certification, and FAA STC certification. The work scope includes supply chain coordination with Mobile Medical International Corporation (MMIC), the mobile medical facilities provider, as well as numerous other cabin equipment suppliers.

“ORBIS is pleased to collaborate with SIE to help create the engineering for the next generation Flying Eye Hospital,” said Jack McHale, director of the MD-10 Project for ORBIS. “ORBIS has great respect for SIE’s technical capabilities and experience working on very large aircraft projects. The level of technical detail and integration creativity that SIE brings to the development of the project is unparalleled. “

December 6, 2010 — Following the success of the APEX partnership with ORBIS in 2010, Inflight Productions, Atlas, DTI and Fairdeal are delighted to also be supporting ORBIS in the UK. By replacing the traditional Seasonal Greetings card with an e-card, the group has donated the savings to ORBIS in support of the life-transforming work the charity carries out saving sight worldwide. Following this donation IFP London staff received a visit from Karen Jaques, ORBIS EMA and Heather Machin, Director of Nursing for the Flying Eye Hospital. Heather spends 42 weeks of the year travelling with the Flying Eye Hospital team and explained in detail the unique work that ORBIS does from surgery and training, to hospital based teaching programmes and community outreach work.

Leigh Mantle, IFP Technical Director and APEX Board member says ‘We’re really pleased to be supporting ORBIS and feel lucky that Heather was able to visit us and share the exceptional work they are doing with our staff. We will be looking at other ways we can support ORBIS over the next year.’