Astronics will collaborate in the mission to enable seamless in-cabin connectivity experiences

East Aurora, USA | October 11, 2018– Astronics Corporation (Nasdaq: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced that it has joined the Seamless Air Alliance as an “Adopter Member.”

The Seamless Air Alliance is a consortium of companies dedicated to
the development and promotion of aircraft connectivity standards to
facilitate a simple, delightful experience for passengers. The goal of
the organization is to create standards that ensure continuous
connectivity from gate-to-gate anywhere in the world with the
additional potential benefit of reducing the hurdles associated with the acquisition, installation and operation of inflight connectivity systems.

“By joining the Seamless Air Alliance, Astronics continues to take a leading role in aircraft In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFE&C) system development and certification by shaping next generation IFE&C hardware technology explorations and advancements,” explained Matt Harrah, President of Astronics AeroSat. “With next- generation satellite technologies coming on board, it is important to look across network technologies to optimize the on-board connectivity architecture for providing the most appropriate system configurations for airlines’ business models. Astronics looks forward to collaborating with the other Seamless Air Alliance members to develop new connectivity standards that will improve the passenger experience.”

“We are very pleased to have Astronics join the Seamless Air Alliance and contribute their expertise alongside other market leaders defining the next generation of inflight connectivity,” said Jack Mandala, Seamless Air Alliance Chief Executive Officer.

Astronics AeroSat provides aircraft IFC antenna and radome systems and Astronics CSC provides aircraft inflight entertainment hardware systems, as well as certification services.

OK, let’s kick off this IFExpress with some “trends” we saw at the show in Boston. These aren’t predictions but just observations and we will of course talk about them in the weeks to come.

  • Big IFE seems very interested in satcom. This sort of makes sense, especially if there is a future payback.
  • Show booths are seemingly getting a little smaller?!
  • Connectivity is becoming more of industry focal point.
  • People’s personal devices are affecting the industry in at least 2 ways: They may impact the future IFE embedded installations and the inseat power folks are all smiles.
  • There is a next generation system and it looks amazing, especially since it can help you enjoy the flight experience better.
  • Software Analytics in a big supplier’s booth blew us away because they have a working user system hardware/software application. If you have their hardware, they can provide an incredible total aircraft system monitor that knows if and where failures are. Further, the application allows the airline to monitor content usage, per tail, per seat, per route! (More on this later).
  • As satcom frequency bands go up, aircraft satcom dishes are getting a little smaller and lower in height.
  • Speaking of satcoms, LEO systems are garnering more interest every day.
  • There is a new player knocking on the door of the Big 3 IFEC camp.
  • One vendor has found a way for you to pay for your PED power usage – on the plane!

Some Highlights from APEX EXPO:

PANASONIC

During Panasonic’s media briefing, Panasonic’s Chief Technology Officer, David Bartlett discussed the three overall areas of focus for the company: 1) Improving customer satisfaction by providing the passenger a seamless experience, 2) Improving operational efficiency, and 3) How to use digital transformation to drive revenue and new business opportunities. As a result, Panasonic has been focusing heavily on artificial intelligence and machine learning and their new NEXT cloud-based platform allows them to leverage these new technologies. Panasonic has also strengthened their existing relationship with Black Swan for Artificial Intelligence.

Andrew Mohr, Head of Innovation at Panasonic Avionics, unveiled their new Wellness Suite of products, which is one of the four pillars of the NEXT product line. The Wellness suite features five products: premium lighting, active noise control, nanoe air quality, the Detalytics Health app, and Mimi personalized audio. The premium LED lighting product is targeted to hit the market in 2020 and will have various scenarios that the traveler can select from, including circadian rhythm, sleep, mealtime, and/or entertainment. The noise control product that was discussed, and demoed in the booth, was in a premium seat whereby the external noise was reduced by 15 decibels without the use of headphones. The technology is adaptable to each seat configuration and will calibrate inflight to each passenger’s seat. It has a frequency range of 80-400Hz and in-seat controls, integrating with the passenger IFE. It too will be launched in the 2019/2020 time frame.

Nanoe was another wellness feature. This is an air cleansing technology, that is currently used on the ground in Japan and in automobiles including Range Rover and Jaguar, that creates nano droplets of water to remove airborne odors and pathogens. But get this, the ionized water droplets are 15,000 times smaller than a human hair follicle!! The nano-sized electrostatic atomized particles are distributed at 480 billion nm particles per second, resulting in the removal of viruses, bacteria, fungi and odors from the cabin.

Artificial intelligence comes into play with the Detalytics health app. AI is used to assess various aspects of a passengers’ health/wellness and deliver accurate recommendations to them via the app. Perhaps the most amazing offering in the Wellness product suite came from Mimi audio technology. Mimi is an app that uses a specialized algorithm that tests and tunes the audio headphones to the passengers’ specific hearing requirements.  The passenger can either answer a series of specific hearing related questions or simply select their gender and age – the results are truly phenomenal! The health and wellness market has been a huge success on the ground with all the wearable technologies available today, whether it be a FitBit, Apple Watch4, Garmin, etc. It was only a matter of time before this booming industry reached into the airline market.  As expected, Panasonic indicated they have an undisclosed launch customer. All this is attainable because of the NEXT open platform.

Panasonic also announced an IFEC deal with Uzbekistan Airways for 3 B787-8 and 2 A320neo aircraft. The X-Series IFEC system, in conjunction with a suite of connectivity services, will be line-fit installed on the new jets. A personalized, home theater experience, with HD screens and high-power USB charging at every seat, AVOD, and capacitive multi-touch screens. The aircraft will also be outfitted with inflight Wi-Fi service. The B787-8 will also have live television and the ability for passengers to use their mobile phone in flight. All the aircraft in this contract are slated to enter into service in January 2019.

Egyptair also selected Panasonic for 15 A320neo aircraft. The X-Series IFEC platform will be line-fit installed on the new narrow-body aircraft, starting in 2020. Business Class will boast 13-inch HD personal screens, a video handset and high-power charging facilities at every seat. Economy Class will have 10-inch HD screens incorporating a USB power point, with charging facilities at each seat group. Inflight Wi-Fi service will also be available; as well as, inflight shopping options and a 3D flight path moving map. Egyptair has also opted to use OneMedia, Panasonic’s advertising platform, to target onboard advertising campaigns by categories including seat class, flight destination, origin city, content categories, and languages.

GOGO

On the opening day of the exhibition floor, Gogo announced that their IPTV product, dubbed Gogo TV, is up and flying on three global airlines, delivering live television to 550+ aircraft. Sports, news, and other content is either delivered to the passengers’ Wi-Fi enabled PEDs or enabled into the seatback IFE system. The airline can customize channel options, allowing their passengers to view popular networks in their country and/or region. Gogo TV is available via the Gogo 2Ku high-speed satcom service. Gogo TV uses High Efficiency Video Coding compression that facilitates bandwidth usage up to 40%. The system also combines multiple channels into a single multicast stream (statistical multiplexing), resulting in a highly efficient solution that offers the best possible perceived video quality while using the least total bandwidth.  Gogo also announced that Air France launched Gogo’s 2Ku high-speed connectivity system on an A330 and B777 with installations being underway on the balance of Air France’s long-haul fleet of 83 jetliners.

THALES

American Airlines and Thales announced during the EXPO that the airline has selected AVANT IFE System for their 22 new B787-8 Dreamliners that are scheduled to enter into service in 2020. Business Class travelers will have 17-inch HD Flex screens and the Thales handheld controller, Avii, that also has the capability to be used as a second screen. Premium Economy will have 12-inch Fit HD screens, while economy will have the 10-inch version.

In the Thales booth, the highlights were on their three-tiered IFEC offering: 1) CORE – their streamlined entertainment product that has a low time to market and uses the Thales developed standard GUI. This product is line-fit offerable at both Boeing and Airbus today, 2) AVANT– uses the current platform that Thales has developed but facilitates more design choices and a degree of customization for the airlines, and 3) PRESTIGE – which is a high-end product that is co-designed and co-innovated by the airline and Thales working closely together to tailor the passenger experience. Presently, both the CORE and AVANT products are available.

Thales also addressed their commitment to Big Data, which they said not only facilitates personalization for the passenger but also has implications for airline operations and its associated costs. Closely related is Artificial Intelligence (AI), with they see playing a significant role in preventative maintenance by utilizing just-in-time parts shipping. Thales stated they are fully dedicated to connectivity and their Ka-band technology investment. They added that they are presently looking into 5G as well. And lastly, but certainly not least, they indicated that Thales has a commitment to Cyber Security.  The indicated that the Thales IFEC group was fortunate to have the Thales Group investing in the aforementioned categories.

Thales also announced that Vietnam Airlines strengthened their partnership with the airline’s selection of AVANT IFE for their new B787-10 fleet of aircraft. This agreement expands their existing relationship for the airline’s A350 and B787-9 fleets with AVANT IFE and turn-key maintenance services.

HOT TEAM = ENCORE

For the past few years, we have been impressed by the inflight entertainment content folks out of Hong Kong and we wanted to introduce you to Jovita Toh’s Encore team …“is made of a group of in-flight veterans who have individually evolved within the inflight and content industries, enhanced their expertise with polished skills, exchanged personal time and effort for added knowledge, enabled the organizations they work for with necessary insights and are now joining forces to extend their collective experience to the exciting world of inflight entertainment”… we couldn’t have said it better! You can find out more here. Watch these folks because they will be content suppliers of the future! PS, they turn out a great monthly newsletter – contact Tommy Ko.


Other News:

AIRBUS

The Board of Directors of Airbus SE (stock exchange symbol: AIR) has selected Guillaume Faury as future Airbus Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Faury, 50, who currently serves as President Airbus Commercial Aircraft, will succeed Tom Enders, 59, who remains CEO until the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 10 April 2019, when the appointment of Faury as executive member of the Board will be submitted to shareholders. Guillaume Faury served in various senior management roles at Eurocopter from 1998 to 2008. Starting in Engineering, then Flight Test, he later became Executive Vice President for Commercial Programmes, then Executive Vice President for Research and Development. In 2009, Faury joined Peugeot S.A., where he served as Executive Vice President for Research and Development as a Member of the Managing Board. In May 2013, Faury returned to Airbus as CEO of Airbus Helicopters and in early 2018 he took the helm of Airbus Commercial Aircraft. Denis Ranque will continue as Chairman of the Board of Directors until the end of his mandate in April 2020, as foreseen in the staggered board succession process, introduced at AGM 2016. At that time and after seven years as Chairman, Denis Ranque has requested to leave the Board to pursue other interests. The Board will commence the process of selecting a new Chairman in due course having regard to, as expressed in its internal rules, the importance of maintaining international diversity at Board and Management level.

NOTES OF INTEREST

There is a lot of news this week and you might want to check out below what Mike Moeller told us at AIX:

GLOBAL EAGLE

During AIX in Germany, IFExpress had the opportunity to stop by the Global Eagle (GEE) stand to find out their latest news and developments. Mike Moeller gave us a run down on some of their product/service offering highlights. First, we got an over view of MASFLIGHT, their operation solutions platform that enables aviation big data solutions. MASFLIGHT’s platform offers a single source for operations data in real-time for decision making, as well as, historic data for predictive analytics. Gee uses cloud technology to collect, compile, validate and host information sets. They have also partnered with companies like the FAA, Google, Amazon and others in an effort to offer a ‘one stop’ solution for aviation information management and analysis.

Mike also addressed their product, NAVAERO, their EFB solution. NAVAERO is a tablet-based and aircraft-dedicated tool for airlines to increase their operational efficiency. “Airlines have the ability to improve their operating economics through real-time analysis that connectivity technology and the EFB allow.,” said Mike Moeller. “This system is a generic PMA’d technical installation solution that allows for aircraft deployment of virtually any commercially available COTS tablet device.” Adaptability, flexibility, and upgradeability of the system architecture and the design components while maintaining airworthiness compliance is one of the strengths of NAVAERO. Apparently upgrading the system is easy, since GEE has designed modularity into the tBagC2(2) – think memory, processor and storage here. This allows the internal CPU components to be upgraded without modifications to the unit’s structural form factor at a very affordable price point.

GEE’s Airtime product line was also touched upon. In case you don’t know Airtime is the central platform for passengers on an aircraft that is installed with GEE’s satellite-based service. Think of it as an entertainment gateway where airline brand loyalty can be built. Airtime can connect through any mobile device (iOS and/or Android). The customizable portal is adaptable, programmable and facilitates differentiation and personalization of the airline brand. Via the inflight Wi-Fi. Airtime allows the airline to address customized marketing programs for new product launches and brand awareness.  A bi-product of Airtime is AIRTIME Content-to-Go, which is designed to engage passengers throughout their journey. The low-cost IFE solution app, Airtime Content-to-Go, allows the passenger to create their own IFE experience. The aviation traveler can tailor their onboard entertainment by securely downloading digital content to their PED prior to take-off. “This is not your father’s GEE!” said Mike Moeller – and we have to agree with him.


GOGO

In a world where constant connectivity is the norm, and stress among travelers is high, staying connected in flight is having a calming effect on passengers. According to Gogo’s most recent Global Traveler Study, more than 75 percent of travelers say having inflight internet makes them feel less anxious because they can stay in contact with friends and family on the ground. Sixty-five percent say it makes them feel less anxious because they can stay connected to work. Not only do passengers want to be connected, their expectation is to be connected in the same way in flight as they are on the ground, which means multiple screens doing multiple activities.

“Today, we see a shift as inflight internet moves from being a luxury to an expectation for travelers around the world,” said Alyssa Hayes, Director of Insights at Gogo. “The importance of internet in the booking process has been increasing as now one-third of passengers are looking for inflight internet when they book their flights. The desire for people to stay connected and in contact with the ground is prevalent; passengers look to not just browse the internet but also engage with social media, read the news and check their email.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Mobile is king – in terms of devices brought on the plane, 90 percent of passengers bring a mobile device, 59 percent bring a laptop and 48 percent bring a tablet. However, laptops tend to stay in the bag as 62 percent of passengers use their mobile device in flight, 35 percent use a tablet and 34 percent use their laptop.
  • Online browsing dominates – a majority of passengers still say they want internet access for general browsing (75%) followed by social media (63%), checking email (60%) and reading news (60%). When it comes to streaming, 44 percent of passengers want to stream movies and TV shows in flight. YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify are the top desired sources for streaming content.
  •  Seatback Screens aren’t dead – Passengers still like seatback screens. Half (47%) of air travelers prefer seatback screens in flight versus 33 percent who prefer their own personal devices. Travelers preferring seatback screens like the ease of use (more than half like that they don’t have to worry about charging their device). Among those preferring their personal devices, 65 percent cite privacy as the primary reason.
  • Multitasking is the norm – Multitasking in flight is the expectation, just as it is at home or at work. People are comfortable watching a movie on the seatback while texting colleagues on their smartphone.

The Gogo Global Traveler Research Study explores the changing behaviors of airline passengers across the world as it pertains to inflight connectivity and entertainment. The study has been significantly expanded for 2018 and now includes data gathered from more than 9,000 air travelers in 18 countries. To learn more or to download the complete report, visit gogoair.com/globaltraveler.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, announced that its market-leading Jet ConneX business aviation inflight Wi-Fi service has been installed and activated on 275 business jets worldwide. The impressive milestone was reached less than 18 months since Jet ConneX entered commercial service, highlighting its rapid uptake across the world. As the only global, high-speed inflight Wi-Fi option for business jets today, it offers the same fast and reliable connectivity in the air that has previously only been available on the ground. Market-leading business jet manufacturers Gulfstream, Bombardier, Dassault and Embraer have all selected Jet ConneX as a preferred line-fit option. In addition, Inmarsat has experienced substantial adoption of the solution on a retrofit basis, with more than 40 type certificate and supplemental type certificate (STC) approvals already secured, including for all Boeing and Airbus VVIP type models. Using Inmarsat’s advanced Ka-band satellite network, Jet ConneX offers data plans up to 15Mbps and consistent global coverage across all airline routes enabling the business traveler to do business wherever and whenever. Aircraft connect to the service using Jet Wave hardware, which is manufactured exclusively by Honeywell Aerospace. To date, more than 1,000 of these JetWave systems have already been delivered by Honeywell to business aviation and commercial airline customers. Using Inmarsat’s advanced Ka-band satellite network, Jet ConneX offers data plans up to 15Mbps and consistent global coverage across all airline routes enabling the business traveler to do business wherever and whenever. Aircraft connect to the service using Jet Wave hardware, which is manufactured exclusively by Honeywell Aerospace. To date, more than 1,000 of these JetWave systems have already been delivered by Honeywell to business aviation and commercial airline customers.

Inmarsat, also announced that its European Aviation Network (EAN) inflight Wi-Fi solution will be available for the business aviation market by January 2019. EAN is the world’s first inflight Wi-Fi solution that integrates connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and an LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom, covering all 28 member states of the European Union, as well as Switzerland and Norway. The unique combination of a satellite and 4G LTE-based ground network offers lightning fast, low-latency performance over land and water. It can therefore meet highly demanding internet use, such as working with remote business desktops, streaming high-definition videos, enjoying online gaming and sharing images, with service levels that compare to mobile broadband on the ground. Aircraft connect with the network using award-winning small, ultra-lightweight, low drag hardware that is cost-effective to install and operate, making EAN ideal for small to mid-sized business jets, in addition to larger sized jets. EAN’s integrated satellite and ground network is fully operational, with a number of flight trials successfully completed across Europe, demonstrating that the next-generation service meets its design performance in practice. The evaluations were conducted with partners Cobham, Thales and Nokia using a CESSNA 550 Citation II provided by Dutch company NLR. Designed to meet the needs of European’s congested skies, EAN recently won the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Award for ‘Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation.


SITA

Incheon International Airport has deployed SITA’s award-winning self-service bag drop technology at its new Terminal 2, effectively serving the influx of visitors to the recent Winter Olympics and in preparation for the 100 million passengers projected by 2030. Drop&Fly simplifies the bag drop process, cutting time for passengers and improving their experience. This technology also makes more efficient use of terminal capacity and ensures more accurate baggage handling.

Incheon International Airport has been named the World’s Best Airport for 12 consecutive years by the Airport Council International (ACI) and Drop&Fly has been in operation at the airport’s Terminal 1 since 2016. Today, 48 Drop&Fly units (14 at T1 and 34 at T2) are available to passengers with 30 more on the way.

Sang-il Kim, Executive Director of Smart Airport Group at Incheon International Airport said: “We want to give our passengers a fantastic experience when they travel through our airport and that means using the very best technology. Deploying SITA Drop&Fly is part of our extensive modernization program that will help ensure Incheon International remains on top of the list of the world’s best airports.”

Drop&Fly provides a safe and secure self-bag drop area. A sliding door and advanced sensors prevent tampering and the intrusion of unauthorized objects. It is fully customizable to the individual needs of the airport and is equipped with technology such as payment devices, baggage facing cameras and more. It can also provide live status and notifications on all bag drop units for ground agents, and real-time statistics to analyze trends and generate reports.

Drop&Fly won the prestigious 2017 iF Design Award: Public Product, in recognition of its state-of-the-art design and intuitive user interface.

Sumesh Patel, SITA President, Asia Pacific, said: “We know passengers want self-service options because they like having control over their journey and it saves time. Self-bag drop is a win for the airport because it makes very efficient use of the available space and makes the baggage process more accurate and efficient.”

Patel added: “With IATA projecting that routes to, from and within Asia-Pacific will see an extra 2.1 billion annual passengers by 2036, there is no doubt Incheon International Airport has exactly the right approach. As Incheon Airport consolidates its position as one of the best airports in the world, we hope to continue being a part of the airport’s success.”

Incheon International Airport had a record year in 2017, with over 60 million passengers using the airport. The introduction of Terminal 2 has increased capacity by a further 18 million passengers per year and the airport has ambitions to reach 100 million passengers by 2030.


OTHER NEWS

  • This is what you might need for your next flight noise cancellation
  • IFExpress has worried about this for some time; however, you see if any of this airplane hacking make sense to you: Aircraft Avionics Hacking: Is It Possible? | Connected Aerospace content from Aviation Week
  • Like wine? Heard of artificial Intelligence, AI? Well, they might be connected, especially since there are so many available. Wine preferences are the solution of selection and subjects of collateral filtering, content based recommendations, and a lot of computer analysis are parts of the sensory selection solution on a scientific platform. There is a tasting app, Wine Ring, and possibly, you can better decide your choice on a plane. In fact, the links below proves the connection between choice and selection using AI. https://recode.cmail20.com/t/d-l-bsdjld-atlydhdjy-p/  and Wine Ring.

Wan Chai, Hong Kong | 16 April 2018– Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation connectivity, software and hardware provider,celebrated the opening of its new Asia Pacific office on 10th April, accompanied by dancing dragons, traditional Hong Kong fare, and an elite gathering of Asian business jet operators. Situated in the heart of bustling Wan Chai, the expanded Hong Kong home of SD gives the growing customer base easier access to the business as it moves from its Hong Kong airport airside location, to the core of the city’s commercial district.

The state-of-the art premises incorporates high-tech offices, meeting rooms, and a spacious workspace to demonstrate the ever-expanding range of SD services. The contemporary space reflects the innovative nature of the SD culture, and doubles-up as a venue for holding company events and customer training.

The relocation to larger office space is a response to SD’s significant growth in the region which is being driven by the development of the Asia Pacific business aviation market, and in particular the growth of the Chinese business aviation sector.  SD’s diverse customer base includes business jet management companies, operators, government, private owners, and corporate flight departments maximising the reliable, customized connectivity services SD designs and delivers.

The new location brings the SD APAC team closer to its customers, facilitating enhanced customer support. “We know clients in Asia embrace the latest technology which is why we wanted to establish an even stronger base to deliver the superior customer support for which we are recognised,” says Chris Moore, CCO, SD.

This includes support for the increasing number of customers in the region installing Jet ConneX, the ultra-high-speed data transfer service. “We were one of the first companies to prove the Ka-band technology for business aviation, and now supply the highest percentage of tails using the service worldwide. We’ve used this experience to create industry-first dedicated Service Level Agreements (SLA), to support our customers’ experience,” adds Moore. The SLAs include onsite support, proactive monitoring, outage notifications and guaranteed email and phone call response times.

The office is manned by the existing seven-strong SD team, but it is anticipated the team will more than double over the next three years as new sales, technical and support roles are filled. “We are genuinely committed to this region and deem our presence essential to maintain customer service levels, manage efficient operations and keep our competitive edge,” says Moore.

The success of SD’s existing customer support in the region was underscored when the business won Best Operational Support Award at the AsBAA Icons of Aviation Awards for 2017. “The award is testament to the team’s diligence here in the region, and our new office provides great foundations for them to continue to excel,” concludes Moore.The SD team will be meeting and greeting new, and existing customers, at ABACE 2018, 17-19 AprilBooth H1214.

IFExpress is looking forward to seeing you at AIX in Hamburg  next week. If you need to reach us please send a text directed to our Editor, Patricia Wiseman at +1 206 229 7899. We anticipate many new product developments and innovations! Lets get started:


AIX

Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the global event that showcases the leading innovations in the passenger experience, is creating a platform for further innovation at this year’s show with the launch of an Ideation Hub. The Hub, will allow attendees from across the supply chain to synthesize future innovative ideas and collaborate on key issues relating to passenger experience. This is just one of the new features at this year’s show, which returns to the Hamburg Messe from 10th – 12th April 2018. The sessions will take inspiration from ‘related worlds’, along with trends and technology from other industries, to generate ideas that will seek to provide the customers of tomorrow with a more seamless passenger experience. Polly Magraw, Exhibition Director of the Aircraft Interiors Expo, says: “The Aircraft Interiors Expo has become known as the global showcase for innovation in the passenger experience. The Ideation Hub we are introducing this year will take this to the next dimension as we work with attendees including engineers, designers and innovators to foster collaboration within the industry at AIX.

Innovations on display

Many exhibitors will be showcasing product innovations at this year’s show, including:

  •  Bucher: Displaying a new space-saving galley and front-row monument combination –  a lightweight galley that has been optimized for maximum storage space.
  • Inflight Canada: Displaying the new FAST USB power system being installed on British Airways’ A320 family fleet.
  • Juki: The first digital sewing system for heavy-duty seating.
  • Mirus: New developments of its Hawk economy seating platform including IFE and power systems, as well as storage and comfort options.
  • Molon Labe: Unveiling its S1: Space Seat, which is a non-sliding version of its Side-Slip Seat and targets the short-range market with several unique features.
  • Soisa: The Glowing Experience in seat lighting which integrates ambient lighting into the seat cover.
  • Vision Systems: The second generation electronically dimmable window, based on a new industrial process for enhanced optical quality and lower cost.
  • WiFi Technologies: Officially releasing its Aviator WiFi private sitcom network that enables cockpit and cabin crew to use their own tablets as full mobile satcom terminals during flight.

CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre and Crystal Cabin Awards showcase

Other enhancements for AIX 2018 include an expanded FlightGlobal CabinSpace LIVE programme, where attendees will have the opportunity to hear industry leaders discussing the latest trends and insights on major industry topics on 10th and 11th April 2018. These include ‘consolidation and the interiors supply chain’, ‘the future of inflight entertainment’, and‘predictive maintenance and the connected aircraft’, with speakers from leading companies including Lufthansa Technik, Delta Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Bluebox Aviation, along with a market outlook briefing from FlightGlobal’s Ascend consultancy.On 12th April at 11am, attendees will be able to see for themselves the innovations showcased at this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards in the CabinSpace Live Seminar Theatre, Hall B3 Upper, as the eight winners will present their winning concepts. Both events will take place in the CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre in Hall B3 Upper.

Passenger Experience Conference

 The show-starter for AIX is the Passenger Experience Conference on 9th April, which brings together senior strategists from airlines, rail companies and from across the industry supply chain to holistically explore the latest passenger experience thinking with their peers. Visitors to the event will hear from leading speakers including Adam Wells, Head of Design at Virgin Galactic, Paul Priestman, Director & Chairman of PriestmanGoode, Célia Geslin, Head of Product & Customer Experience at Joon, David Lavorel, Chief Executive Officer of SITAONAIR, David Bartlett, Chief Technology Officer at Panasonic Avionics, Steve King, Chief Executive Officer of Black Swan Data, and Scott Savian, Executive Vice President ZEO at Zodiac Aerospace.

In addition to keynotes on the topics of ‘New frontiers for transport and passenger experience’, ‘Disruptive possibilities and their impact on the airline industry’, ‘Creating the world’s first spaceline’, and ‘Future Horizons’, the PEC will feature focused breakout sessions exploring ’Convergence and Mobility’,’ Flexible & Sustainable Thinking  and ’Personalizing the passenger journey’.

Passenger Experience Week

AIX is co-located alongside the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS), a new event for 2018 showcasing and exploring the latest technology trends that are transforming the passenger journey. Together the three events, along with the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on 9th April, form Passenger Experience Week. Each year, Passenger Experience Week attracts more than 18,000 attendees from across the world, along with over 2,000+ VIP airline attendees from 260 unique airlines and lessors.

 


Astronics

Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), received its first line-fit certification of the new EmPower® UltraLite in-seat passenger power system on a Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft for TUI Airlines.


Lufthansa Group

The Lufthansa Group is in an excellent position to be successful in in-flight entertainment (IFE) and aircraft digitalization: Lufthansa Systems, Lufthansa Technik and Retail inMotion are collaborating closely to drive the digital transformation above the clouds and enable passengers to have a modern and positive travel experience. The companies present their solutions for in-flight entertainment, connectivity, shopping and other digital on-board offerings at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg from April 10 to 12. According to the motto “One World of IFEC services”, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik will be at booth #4B11 and booth #6B80.

Supporting an IFE product for an airline with a significant fleet takes a professional support organization and adequate resources – like the one offered by the Lufthansa Group. It is something most of the smaller companies with IFE solutions cannot deliver. “I have witnessed a trend toward professionalization in the industry, and I am sure that over the next two to three years we will see a huge consolidation in the market for wireless IFE solutions with only a handful of providers surviving”, says Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “Together with our Group partners we are in an excellent position to serve our customers.”

One highlight at this year’s trade fair will be the new Power-&-Safe solution for BoardConnect Portable. This solution was developed by Lufthansa Technik in close cooperation with Lufthansa Systems. In Hamburg, both companies show for the first time using a life-size model how the BoardConnect Portable Mobile Streaming Unit (MSU) can be stowed in a safe inside the overhead storage compartment. Placing an additional power supply has eliminated the need for battery replacement. The solution is currently being installed at Air Europa.

Collaboration with Retail inMotion

Most passengers want personalized services on board an aircraft – easy to use and with relevant content. With that in mind, Lufthansa Systems and Retail inMotion will, for the first time, demonstrate the integration of the BoardConnect open aircraft IT platform with Retail inMotion’s e-commerce solution at this year’s AIX. One of the platform’s features allows passengers to create a personal profile, which the software uses to suggest personalized content. The longer the profile is used, the more the algorithm learns and the better the content recommendations become. The Retail inMotion platform is powered by Vector, its proprietary on-board retail management software. Vector is a comprehensive solution for on-board retail that includes a suite of modules for onboard payment processing and various back-office functionalities.

BoardConnect enables passengers to use streaming technology during a flight to access an airline’s entertainment program on their own devices. The product suite includes three hardware versions: In addition to the permanently installed classic BoardConnect solution, there is the flexible BoardConnect Portable version and the BoardConnect Plus connectivity solution. The BoardConnect 5.0 open aircraft IT platform runs on all three versions. Thanks to its modern docker technology, the software enables digital services from partners to be integrated easily and quickly. A demo at the booth shows how easy and fast new applications can be integrated using Docker technology. Lufthansa Systems is also providing content such as movies, TV series, music and magazines with its BoardConnect Media Services. All products work in perfect harmony with each other and can be acquired separately or in combination.

Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems, will take part in a panel discussion on „Making IFE accessible for everyone“ (Wednesday, April 11, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm). Free online registration is required at https://www.flightglobal.com/events/aircraft-interiors-expo/forecast-sessions-2018/.


Airbus

Aegean ‎Airlines, the biggest airline in Greece, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airbus to purchase 30 A320neo Family aircraft comprising of 20 A320neos and 10 A321neos. The airline will also acquire a significant number of new A320neo family aircraft from leasing companies.  Aegean currently operated a fleet of 46 Airbus aircraft (37 A320s, 8 A321s and 1 A319). The A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver at least 15 percent fuel savings at delivery and 20 percent by 2020. With some 6,000 orders received from nearly 100 customers, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent share of the market.

Before we start your IFExpress Hot Topic, we wanted to remind readers (especially advertisers) that AIX is coming soon and If you have show info you want to pass along, we are at your service! Now, lets get IFExpress started with some satcom deeds from Panasonic (see the above image):

Panasonic

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) and APT Mobile Satcom Limited (APSATCOM) announced a major evolution in connectivity for mobility markets – Extreme Throughput Satellite (XTS) service. APSATCOM is an affiliate of APT Satellite Company Limited (APT), the operator of the APSTAR satellite constellation.  With this new satellite, the companies are building on a long-standing and successful capacity relationship.

The new satellite, APSTAR-6D, gives Panasonic the capacity to meet the needs of its customers and to position itself for sustained growth in the region. In addition, Panasonic will continue to optimize its global network and add more state-of-the-art satellite capacity in high-density regions to ensure industry-leading performance everywhere its customers fly.

APSTAR-6D was jointly designed by APSATCOM and Panasonic to best serve Panasonic’s connectivity customers. It is tailored to put capacity where it is most needed, rather than spread evenly over the Earth. APT has provided technical support in design and project management, and will provide satellite operation after launch. This XTS satellite will provide Panasonic customers with multiple gigahertz of new Ku-band capacity over China and high-density routes around East Asia including Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia using narrow XTS spot beams.

In addition, APSTAR-6D provides HTS coverage over the full field of view of the satellite including the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Australia and the Southern Oceans down to Antarctica.  This includes areas not served by any other HTS satellite.  Tailoring the capacity to areas of demand will provide Panasonic customers with better service, unprecedented coverage and the ability to dramatically increase throughput. One of the markets to benefit the most from XTS service is air transport.  Today, 21 Asian carriers, representing over 800 aircraft, have already selected Panasonic for connectivity service, including many of the region’s leading airlines, such as Air China, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines,China Eastern, China Southern, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Xiamen Airlines.  In addition, other leading airlines around the world that are Panasonic connectivity customers will use this advanced satellite capacity as their aircraft fly routes to and over Asia.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, noted: “Today is a milestone moment as Panasonic leads the industry with plans for the next evolution in inflight connectivity. Targeted, flexible use of extreme high throughput capacity ensures that Panasonic can meet the needs of our airline customers for cost-effective and reliable high bandwidth services well into the future.”

This XTS satellite will be integrated into Panasonic’s recently launched third generation communications network, which is built to meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers.  This flexible network is designed to place capacity where it’s most needed across the globe to meet demand.   Panasonic’s third generation communications network supports the provision of services such as fast internet, video streaming, VoIP applications, improved TV picture quality and broader channel choice, 4G phone services, and greater bandwidth for crew applications.  The network is backed by Panasonic’s new Customer Performance Center, which drives improved network performance, greater reliability, and faster response and resolution times, along with business intelligence tools and reports that provide customers with the data and analytics to deliver and monitor targeted pricing and advertising campaigns.

Today, approximately 2,000 aircraft flying routes all around the world use Panasonic’s global high-speed inflight connectivity service. The company expects more than 10,000 aircraft to be connected to its world-class global high-speed communications network by 2025.


AIX – Passenger Technology Solutions

Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS), the brand new event focused on how technology can help create a seamless passenger journey, has today revealed the major companies and cutting-edge start-ups that will speak at the inaugural show.

The event, which takes place in Hamburg from 10 – 12 April, will explore how technology can be ‘in the DNA’ of the passenger journey, featuring speakers including Jorge De Luis Sierra, Cabin Interior Design Manager, Airbus, as well as representatives from Norwegian and US rail operator Amtrak.

PTS will also feature some of the most exciting disruptors and pioneers in the industry, with contributions from social listening experts Black Swan Data, design consultancy Reaktor and brand experience management agency branding.aero.

In addition to exploring travel’s most topical technologies, PTS will also showcase best practice: for example, the newly reopened Changi Airport, where the entire passenger journey is designed to be seamless and automated.

The event is co-located with existing events Passenger Experience Conference, Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo, and is designed to offer a holistic view of the passenger experience, with speakers tackling trends such as big data, biometrics and artificial intelligence. Archana Sharma, Exhibition Director, Passenger Technology Solutions, said:

“Our program brings together established companies and brand new players to explore the most exciting and significant trends shaping travel today.It is designed to take attendees on a journey into the future, inspiring and educating them on how technology can create a truly seamless passenger experience. “We look forward to welcoming our speakers to Hamburg and to working with them in the meantime to ensure that the first show is a huge success.”

Gillian Jenner, Editorial Director, Passenger Technology Solutions, said: “My experience putting together speaker programs in this space goes back many years, but curating the line-up for PTS has been especially interesting. It has been an opportunity to ‘zoom out’ from specific technologies and trends to consider what these innovations can achieve when combined. “It is this focus on the bigger picture that I believe makes PTS a must-attend for anyone involved with passenger experience – whether in aviation, rail or one of the many other services that shape the journey.” For more information about the educational program at Passenger Technology Solutions, visit: www.passengertechnologysolutions.com/programme.

 


SITAONAIR

SITAONAIR is delivering a next-generation connected aircraft ‘smart core’ that will significantly enhance airline data communications and operations. The company has partnered with Astronics Ballard Technology to provide an integrated product solution using their new webCS® Wireless Aircraft Communications Server along with SITAONAIR’s e-enabled application software. This closely-integrated software and hardware solution greatly reduces deployment complexity and will bring even greater value to SITAONAIR’s airline customers – delivering enhanced capabilities and operational efficiencies – empowering airlines to realize the promises of the connected aircraft. The ‘smart core’ brings together the vast connected aircraft data collected by SITAONAIR’s e-Aircraft® DataCapture solutions for cockpit, cabin, and aircraft operations. It then distributes this SITAONAIR-processed data onboard using Astronics Ballard Technology’s flexible webCS, a smart AID/server/router that securely bridges avionics data with wired and wireless networks in a single compact box. Today’s offering of an integrated product will further enhance airline customers’ data management approach. The combination of SITAONAIR’s established portfolio of passenger, crew and flight operations solutions with Astronics Ballard Technology’s innovative hardware and strong technical expertise in the area of aircraft avionics interfacing, will form a central pillar of airlines’ connectivity and e-enablement strategies, delivered to airlines as a managed service.

Next, An industry-leading weather-alerting feature, empowering flight dispatchers to avoid or anticipate weather disruption throughout flights, has been launched as a new feature of SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker, in partnership with DTN.

Airline dispatchers using AIRCOM® FlightTracker will now be equipped to help aircraft avoid inclement weather – including aircraft-specific turbulence, icing, and thunderstorm forecasts – supporting the smoothest and safest possible flight experience for those onboard, and maximizing fuel efficiency. Already adopted by airlines operating more than 250,000 flights every month, SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker is a ground-based software system delivering vital global real-time aircraft position alerting to airline operations teams. The application aggregates the best available inflight position data from a wealth of sources – including cutting-edge spaced-based ADS-B provided by FlightAware and Aireon using the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation – on a single aircraft position display. What’s more, no modifications to the aircraft are required to activate it. Interest in FlightTracker, and its enhanced, 100% global minute-by-minute update capabilities, is accelerating as the industry counts down to the ICAO GADSS 15-minute flight-tracking recommendation, coming into force in November 2018. The incorporation of DTN’s Flight Route Alerting data represents an important addition to the solution, making it indispensable to flight operators in their flight planning and flight following.


SITA

ITAPassengers flying with British Airways from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to London Gatwick are enjoying a secure and seamless departure with new biometric boarding at the gate. A quick photo is all that is needed to board the international flight – no passport, no boarding card – thanks to innovative technology. SITA, the global air transport IT provider, integrated automated boarding gates with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and airline’s IT systems to allow the necessary checks and authorize boarding.

This is a joint initiative by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA), British Airways and CBP to incorporate the US biometric departure (exit) check for passengers as smoothly as possible. SITA, using its extensive airline and airport expertise, has ensured fast and easy implementation for the airport and airline. By merging the usual boarding procedures with the CBP biometric exit check, SITA is delivering a smooth experience for passengers.  A quick photograph taken at the gate is used to confirm passengers’ identities and authorization to travel.


Rockwell Collins

Norwegian Air will feature Arthur Collins, the founder of Rockwell Collins, as a “tailfin hero” on the airline’s Boeing 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner aircraft throughout 2018. Collins joins over 80 other tailfin heroes depicted on Norwegian aircraft since the airline began operations in 2002.

“Norwegian is a technology-progressive airline that’s pushed aviation forward by challenging industry norms,” said David Nieuwsma, senior vice president, Information Management Services for Rockwell Collins. “It has embodied a spirit of adventure and accomplishment, which is quite fitting with Arthur Collins’ legacy.”

“Our tailfin hero program was created to honor individuals who have pushed boundaries, made a difference and inspired others,” said Thomas Ramdahl, chief commercial officer at Norwegian. “Through our partnership with Rockwell Collins, we learned of Arthur Collins’ story, whose innovative spirit reflects those characteristics, making him a perfect tailfin hero and part of the Norwegian family.”

Collins, born September 9, 1909, was an electronics enthusiast from a young age. At the age of 15, he was an avid ham radio operator making contact with other ham operators around the world. He founded Collins Radio Company in the basement of his home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which was formally incorporated in 1933. The company, renamed Rockwell Collins in 1973, initially designed and produced shortwave radio equipment, but has grown to become a leader in cockpit, cabin, communication and connectivity solutions provided by nearly 30,000 employees worldwide. His full story can be found here. 


Thales

GSA and Thales launch the EDG²E project to further optimize aviation navigation with Galileo. The European Union’s Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) has officially launched the EDG²E project (Equipment for Dual frequency Galileo GPS and EGNOS) with a consortium led by Thales. This four-year project intends to develop a dual-frequency multi-constellation receiver, enabling enhanced navigation capabilities, support standardization and certification preparation.  The consortium includes Thales, Thales Alenia Space and ATR, as well as contributions from Dassault Aviation and the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC).


Other News

  • Inmarsat snagged European Space Agency (ESA) contract to develop satellite communications services that will deliver 4D trajectory air traffic management from 2020.
  • We will have to see this on an airplane sometime in the future – One of the main areas in which a lot of 5G development is progressing is on mmWave techniques. However another area that needs to be considered is light communications. A company named pureLiFi has developed a very effective in home or in-office link using light communications. With bandwidth of many systems being a limiting factor, this could prove to be a airplane winner. Technology – pureLiFi
  • Today, Boeing employees gathered around the 10,000 B737 MAX 8 for Southwest Airlines, which has broken the Guinness World Record title for the most produced commercial jet aircraft model.
  • And lastly, remember, success is what you do internally, not externally! The Reason You’re Not Successful Is Because You Don’t Want To Admit This 1 Thing | Inc.com

 

March 13, 2018– With the latest enhanced version of Flightstream™ SA, AirSatOne is the first aviation Satcom provider to offer HTTPS web filtering. With the new version of Flightstream SA, customers benefit from more flexibility and more security while surfing the web. Flightstream SA offers a full set of internet security and management features, changes can be made through our customer portal at any time to a single aircraft, the entire fleet or a group of aircraft in the fleet – anywhere in the world.

HTTPS is an encrypted website connection which is indicated by the lock icon in the address bar. HTTPS spread has been on the rise in the recent years, mostly because it is being encouraged by Google. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s latest report states that ½ of the Internet is now protected by HTTPS. HTTPS uses port 443 by default but simply blocking port 443 means you are blindly blocking half of the internet. Your satcom service provider must use the latest technology to effectively manage HTTPS.

With our latest service enhancement to Flightstream SA aircraft operators can now control access to the internet by restricting or granting access to not only HTTP-based, but now also HTTPS-based web pages and services. Available features include domain/URL blacklist & whitelist, category-based blacklisting, file-type filtering and file-size filtering. Most importantly aviation specific encrypted web apps such as flight planning and weather services can be whitelisted to ensure connectivity while managing passenger access. For special mission operators or for customers using airborne internet for business-critical applications it is now possible to black-list all web sites at once and whitelisting secure (HTTPS) web sites and software. Flightstream SA is deployed globally at the edge of the satcom network and the public internet. Being deployed globally is important to reduce hops and latency, our backbone and its efficiency matter to passengers on your aircraft.

“AirSatOne has been providing Network Security and Cyber Security since we opened our doors in 2011, we have never left our customers unprotected and we have a mature product that just keeps getting better.” Said Jo Kremsreiter, President of AirSatOne.

France | March 8, 2018–The European Union’s Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) has officially launched the EDG2E project (Equipment for Dual frequency Galileo GPS and EGNOS) with a consortium led by Thales. This four-year project intends to develop a dual-frequency multi- constellation receiver, enabling enhanced navigation capabilities, support standardisation and certification preparation. The consortium includes Thales, Thales Alenia Space and ATR, as well as contributions from Dassault Aviation and the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC).

The GNSS receiver is the cornerstone of aircraft navigation systems. The system processes signals from satellite constellations and the Space Based Augmentation System (SBAS) to accurately determine aircraft position, altitude and velocity. The prototype receiver developed under the auspices of the EDG2E project will use signals from US GPS and European Galileo positioning systems, as well as from SBAS multi-constellation EGNOS. The project aims to achieve a prototype demonstration by 2021. The prototype receiver performance will be evaluated during a flight test campaign performed by ATR using one of the company’s test aircraft.

Initiated by the European Commission’s Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA), the EDG2E project will support the launch of the Galileo satellite constellation.

Philippe Benquet VP R&T for Flight Avionics, Thales declared: “Leading the EDG2E project puts Thales at the forefront of the next generation receivers which will equip future aircraft by 2025, making navigation more precise and thus safer, unleashing the potential for increased air traffic”.

EGNOS has been certified for use in aviation since February 2011, and is a very effective system to complement the US GPS, in order to provide better levels of performance, consequently enhancing aircraft approach capabilities. The next generation of EGNOS, called EGNOS V3, will further enhance performance by complementing both the EU Galileo and the US GPS satellite navigation constellations.

“EGNOS v3 will provide aviation users with an increased quality of services, better accuracy and extended coverage area among other key performance indicators” said Jean-Marc Pieplu (GSA Head of EGNOS Services Programme). Fundamental Element Programme is a medium that supports development of terminals and antennae fostering use of E-GNSS in all domains. In this perspective, EDG2E is an important step for GSA as it will contribute to availability of high technology products on the aviation market, taking benefit of Dual Frequency Multi Constellation feature offered by EGNOS v3”.

At the end of the EDG2E project, a new standard for GPS Galileo and SBAS aviation receivers will be completed, and the first SBAS dual-frequency GPS Galileo receivers for aviation will be ready for final development and provide safer operations not only for the aviation sector but also for other safety-critical applications.

 

Lake Forest, California | March 8, 2018– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) and APT Mobile Satcom Limited(APSATCOM) today announced a major evolution in connectivity for mobility markets – Extreme Throughput Satellite (XTS) service. APSATCOM is an affiliate of APT Satellite Company Limited (APT), the operator of the APSTAR satellite constellation.  With this new satellite, the companies are building on a long-standing and successful capacity relationship.

The new satellite, APSTAR-6D, gives Panasonic the capacity to meet the needs of its customers and to position itself for sustained growth in the region. In addition, Panasonic will continue to optimize its global network and add more state-of-the-art satellite capacity in high-density regions to ensure industry-leading performance everywhere its customers fly.

APSTAR-6D was jointly designed by APSATCOM and Panasonic to best serve Panasonic’s connectivity customers. It is tailored to put capacity where it is most needed, rather than spread evenly over the Earth. APT has provided technical support in design and project management, and will provide satellite operation after launch. This XTS satellite will provide Panasonic customers with multiple gigahertz of new Ku-band capacity over China and high-density routes around East Asia including Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia using narrow XTS spot beams.

In addition, APSTAR-6D provides HTS coverage over the full field of view of the satellite including the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Australia and the Southern Oceans down to Antarctica.  This includes areas not served by any other HTS satellite. Tailoring the capacity to areas of demand will provide Panasonic customers with better service, unprecedented coverage and the ability to dramatically increase throughput.

One of the markets to benefit the most from XTS service is air transport. Today, 21 Asian carriers, representing over 800 aircraft, have already selected Panasonic for connectivity service, including many of the region’s leading airlines, such asAir China, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Xiamen Airlines. In addition, other leading airlines around the world that are Panasonic connectivity customers will use this advanced satellite capacity as their aircraft fly routes to and over Asia.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, noted: “Today is a milestone moment as Panasonic leads the industry with plans for the next evolution in inflight connectivity. Targeted, flexible use of extreme high throughput capacity ensures that Panasonic can meet the needs of our airline customers for cost-effective and reliable high bandwidth services well into the future.”

Andy Fellows, Vice President of the Asia, Japan and China Regions for Panasonic Avionics, said: “This is a truly exciting milestone for connectivity customers across Asia, especially China. From the very beginning, we knew China was the fastest growing market for inflight connectivity, and we worked tirelessly with partners to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to expand service in this key region. With APSTAR-6D, we now have the future capacity we need to best serve customers in China and across Asia with an unmatched global connectivity service.”

Jason Li, CEO of APSATCOM, commented: “Since 2009, APT has provided Panasonic Avionics with key satellite capacity that serves the Asia region. APSATCOM is pleased to continue this relationship with APSTAR-6D, the latest milestone in improving satellite communications services for the Chinese and Asian mobility markets. This new satellite is an ideal solution for Panasonic’s roadmap for inflight connectivity services both in China and throughout Asia. We believe that its unique design will help Panasonic deliver unmatched satellite communications services for many years to come.”

This XTS satellite will be integrated into Panasonic’s recently launched third generation communications network, which isbuilt to meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers.  This flexible network is designed to place capacity where it’s most needed across the globe to meet demand.

Panasonic’s third generation communications network supports the provision of services such as fast internet, video streaming, VoIP applications, improved TV picture quality and broader channel choice, 4G phone services, and greater bandwidth for crew applications.  The network is backed by Panasonic’s new Customer Performance Center, which drives improved network performance, greater reliability, and faster response and resolution times, along with business intelligence tools and reports that provide customers with the data and analytics to deliver and monitor targeted pricing and advertising campaigns.

Today, approximately 2,000 aircraft flying routes all around the world use Panasonic’s global high-speed inflight connectivity service.  The company expects more than 10,000 aircraft to be connected to its world-class global high-speed communications network by 2025.

Austin, Texas | February 21, 2018– Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation connectivity provider, is celebrating 10 years of partnership with global mobile satellite communications business Inmarsat.  The milestone anniversary, which acknowledges SD’s support of the SwiftBroadband service, was announced to delegates attending SD’s annual Connecting with Customers, CwC, client and partner event, being held in Austin, Texas.  To mark the significance of the relationship, Inmarsat’s Rupert Pearce, CEO, presented SD President David Greenhill, with a framed version of the original license at the CwC event.

Inmarsat confirmed SD as an aerospace distribution license partner in 2008, which enabled the business to begin reselling Inmarsat’s IP-based data service, SwiftBroadband, to the aviation sector.  Since then, SD has maintained its position as Inmarsat’s largest aeronautical service provider and has been recognized as a significant enabler for the growth of the SwiftBroadband service.

Looking forward, SD will continue to support SwiftBroadband services for the international business aviation sector, in addition to expanding its provision of the ultra-high speed broadband JetConneX service delivered by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite constellation. Both SwiftBroadband and JetConneX systems are supported by the SD router family, which optimize in-flight connectivity efficiency, as well as delivering a growing portfolio of SD applications.

“We are delighted to mark a decade of working with Inmarsat to provide high-speed data services to aviation. When we first received our license the concept of a digitized, connected, business aviation network was still very new. Today it is a fundamental part of aircraft operations and is a part of the business that we are committed to supporting, developing and evolving. Strong, long-term relationships with our partners are essential to our mutual success, but more importantly, enable us to provide our clients with the connectivity they expect. We look forward to our next decade supplying these services,” said Greenhill.

“Satcom Direct has been an Inmarsat partner for more than 20 years now and its continued support of our SwiftBroadband service over the past decade has directly influenced our success in this business, making the aero-market one of our most successful divisions,” said Pearce. “We are always striving to improve the customer experience and improve our products but can only do that by building close relationships with our partners to identify and deliver exactly what the market needs.”

There is a lot of news to cover this week, so lets get going:

IFPL

Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest power solutions at AIX 2018 in Hamburg, Germany. With new consumer devices adopting USB-C as standard, IFPL will demonstrate how airlines can easily transition from USB Type-A to USB Type-C, either with or without USB-Power Delivery (USB-PD). IFPL will be demonstrating its Reversible USB-Type A and Type C combination outlet that will allows airlines to support their passengers through the transition period from USB-Type A to USB Type C. IFPL has developed two combination variants, firstly a variant which has its existing high power reversible USB-Type A combined with a USB-Type C designed to work with the existing on-board power architecture, providing airlines a simple and low-cost upgrade path. Secondly, IFPL has developed a Reversible USB-Type A and Type C combination outlet that supports USB-Type C, with USB Power Delivery supporting Power Delivery Rules 1 to 4 delivering providing up to 60 watts of power to power laptops, as well as the regular Portable Electronic Device (PED) power.

IFPL will also demonstrate how and why it has sensibly split the 28V to USB-Power Delivery converter from the outlet. This allows for much easier seat integration and heat dissipation, plus allows airlines to take advantage of existing in-service DC power supplies, whilst future proofing the outlet. This will allow airlines to take advantage of the next generation DC in- seat power supplies that have USB-Power Delivery built in as a standard, allowing commonality of outlets across the fleets.

USB Power Delivery is the new standard for consumer electronics providing up to 100 watts of DC power (limited to 60 watts on aircraft). This is more than enough to power a laptop, smartphone, games console or camera, whilst significantly reducing the requirement for airlines to provide the more expensive AC power solutions, especially in economy. This unit has been designed to seamlessly integrate into the seat and deliver high levels of reliability.

Visitors to stand 4B20 can see IFPL’s new USB power delivery and USB-C outlet and discuss industry adoption of this technology. In previous shows IFPL demonstrated their in-service high power and data USB-A outlet and they have extended this range to include the new 2020 USB-A outlet. This unit has been designed to allow seamless integration into the seat delivering an ergonomic and aesthetic advantage over traditional outlets enhancing the passenger’s experience. The modular design ensures easy on wing replacement should the connector become damaged and allow for an easy upgrade path to USB-C in the future. To demonstrate this IFPL has been working with key industry partners to develop a new range of power solutions that focus on ensuring ergonomic and aesthetic seat integration. The modular approach has delivered a system that maximizes the use of the physical space of the seat and seamlessly incorporates the outlets into the seat arm. The result is an attractive installation of a fully integrated system to enhance the passenger experience.

IFPL has announced its inductive charging unit that delivers wireless charging at the seat and once again these units have been designed to enable seamless integration into the seat. IFPL will show supporting design concepts for seatback PED holders and trays that provide USB and/or inductive charging. IFPL has been working with a number of seat vendors who will be displaying at AIX and they will be demonstrating how they have successfully integrated IFPL’s inductive charge unit into their seat. Further, they enhanced the capability of its existing 1225 unit, the 110V AC Universal Remote Power Outlet, with the addition of a high-power USB-A socket and will be demonstrating the new 2011 unit on the stand.

IFPL is a world-leader in audio jack technology – enhancing the customer experience and providing a total cost of ownership advantage to the airline. The audio jack is a critical component of any IFE system and IFPL believes that delivering high quality sound, with high unit reliability and minimizing the impact of Customer Induced Damage (CID) is vital in maintaining customer satisfaction. To this end, IFPL has developed proprietary technology and products that differentiates their audio solutions in the market. These include:

Long Life Range
IFPL Long Life technology delivers a highly robust and reliable audio jack that minimize the effects of CID. The high quality materials and design ensures that these jacks are robust and have been tested to over 100,000 insertions. IFPL use this Long Life technology for single, double and triple jacks. Additionally, IFPL’s design ensures that each pin socket can work as single pins ensuring additional redundancy in the dual and triple pin solutions.

Rapid Fit Range
IFPL’s Rapid Fit technology delivers a solution to allow rapid on wing maintenance. The unit has been designed with a replaceable cassette, which house the jacks whilst keeping the expensive electronics in the main housing. The cassette can typically be replaced in less than 30 seconds allowing for rapid on wing replacement whilst keeping maintenance costs at a minimum.

INCAM Range
IFPL’s Integrated Noise Cancelling Audio Module (INCAM) technology allows noise cancelling in the jack rather than the headset, allowing all passengers to enjoy noise cancelling technology with the simple addition of a low-cost microphone in the headset. This keeps the headset cost low whilst providing a significantly enhanced audio experience for the passenger.

Breakaway MagSignal Range
IFPL’s patented MagSignal technology virtually eliminates CID. The headset can be pulled from any angle and simply detaches from the magnetic plug without damaging the jack or the headset. This extends the life of the headset and the jack and avoids CID. The floating magnets ensure a signal is maintained at all times during turbulence and vibration. MagSignal has been tested to over 250,000 attachments/detachments, demonstrating the robust capability of this technology.

IFPL also leads the way when it comes to deploying contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) for payment systems and personalization with global OEMs and airlines now using IFPL’s technology inflight.

AIX 2018 will see IFPL demonstrate NFC allowing airlines to provide easy seat back payment items, therefore increasing ancillary revenues. This has the ability to change the dynamic of the IFE systems value proposition, as passengers now have a combined entertainment and retail platform allowing them to browse, order and pay at their own convenience. Combine this with connectivity, big data, passenger personalization and broader distribution channels to deliver to the gate or at home, and the airlines have the ability to develop significant new revenue streams. As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that visitors to AIX 2018 may have.


Gogo

Gogo announced that Aeromexico will install 2Ku on an additional 9 Boeing 737-800NG’s, bringing the total to 29 aircraft.  Today, 20 of Aeromexico’s 737-800NG aircraft are flying with Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity technology. “Aeromexico was one of the first airlines to commit and deploy 2Ku and we are excited to extend our partnership and bring the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution to their passengers,” said Dave Bijur, Gogo’s SVP and regional president for the Americas. The new aircraft are expected to be installed in 2018.

Gogo also announced recently that it has more than 200 aircraft equipped with its 2Ku inflight connectivity technology utilizing the increased capacity delivered by SES-15.  These aircraft came online in SES-15’s first operational month and are the first to benefit from the new high throughput satellite (HTS) capacity. SES-15 entered service in January 2018 and is SES’s first hybrid satellite providing Ku-band wide beams and Ku-band spot-beam capacity over North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.  Due to SES-15’s high-powered HTS beams, all Gogo aircraft outfitted with its next generation modem will experience an even better customer experience with improved economics. All new 2Ku installations enter service with the upgraded modem, and all 2Ku equipped aircraft are expected to have the new modem by the end of this year.

“Gogo’s 2Ku technology is delivering industry leading performance today, but we designed the technology with an open architecture so it could take advantage of numerous enhancements over time,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s chief technology officer.  “As we layer in more HTS capacity from satellites like SES-15, 2Ku’s performance will get even stronger without having to touch the aircraft.” Gogo has signed capacity agreements across 11 SES satellites around the world, including agreements for HTS capacity onboard SES-15 and SES-14, which successfully launched in January 2018 and will provide additional HTS capacity over Latin America, the Caribbean, and across the North Atlantic.

 


PEC/PEW

The Passenger Experience Conference (PEC), the industry-leading global conference and networking forum that defines the future of the passenger experience, will return to the Hamburg Messe to kick-off Passenger Experience Week (PEW) on Monday 9th April 2018. This year’s event will feature a raft of leading speakers from across the passenger experience industry and beyond. With the first iterations of driverless cars, hyperloops, optionally-piloted air-taxis and electric planes all set to be realized in the next decade, this year’s PEC plenary session will address the many new frontiers for transport and the passenger experience.

Moderated by leading industry executive, Boeing’s Director Differentiation Strategy, Blake Emery, the session will start with a focus on disruptive possibilities and their impact on the airline industry, led by Richard Chung, Adient’s Vice President, Innovation and Design.

Adam Wells, Head of Design at Virgin Galactic, will then launch delegates on a journey through the company’s development, with a stellar exploration on creating the world’s first spaceline. The plenary session will conclude with a look at Future Horizons, with a director of leading design consultancy PriestmanGoode looking at the impact of new forms of high speed transport such as Hyperloop, and the opportunities presented by autonomous vehicles and passenger drones.

The PEC delegation will then split into three streams; Convergence and Mobility, Personalizing the Journey and Flexible and Sustainable Thinking. Each of these streams is designed to offer delegates a deep-dive into the most pressing topics facing the passenger experience industry. Convergence and Mobility: From seamless urban mobility to the on-demand economy, this stream will explore how the cross-pollination of ideas across travel modes can enrich today’s passenger experiences and create new business opportunities. The keynote for this stream will be given by Kaj Pyyhtia, Co-Founder of the world’s first mobility service, with other leading speakers from AirlineTrends, Almadesign, Diehl Aerosystems, Embraer, Joon, KLM, LSG Group, N+P Industrial Design, Norwegian and TAP Air Portugal. Personalizing the Journey: Airlines and rail companies are increasingly offering personalized experiences to each and every customer, with connectivity and data-driven technologies being key to success. This stream will explore how operators can get close enough to their customers to truly understand what they want from the onboard experience and to build deeper and lasting relationships. Speakers for this stream will include leading executives from Black Swan, Cathay Pacific, eGate Solutions, Golfdale Consulting, Guestlogix, Panasonic Avionics, Spafax and the Valour Consultancy.Flexible and Sustainable Thinking: Examining how flexibility can be designed into products to afford more options for airlines and rail operators, this stream asks the question about what role sustainability plays in this equation. The keynote for this stream will be given by Christina Fagin from leading Hamburg-based circular economy consultancy, Gruner Hering, with other leading speakers from Airbus, Air New Zealand, Napaway Coach, Paperclip Design, the National Research Council of Canada, Recaro Aircraft Seating, Thomas Cook Group Airlines and Zodiac Aerospace. The day will conclude with the Industry Networking Party which takes place from 6:00pm – 9:30pm in the PEC venue at the Hamburg Messe. The party has become a popular networking event with the wide-range of food, drink and live music on offer making it the perfect place to enjoy meeting new people and building business connections.

The PEC is the launch event for Passenger Experience Week – which comprises four leading events in one destination: the Passenger Experience Conference, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and, new for 2018, Passenger Technology Solutions.

The new Passenger Technology Solutions event will offer attendees a chance to discover and source the latest developments in passenger technologies from mobile initiatives, IT solutions, big data and analytics technology and payment technology suppliers – all enhancing the passenger experience.

With all Passenger Experience Week events being staged under one roof, the Hamburg Messe is the destination to discover the latest cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, onboard technology, passenger comfort, catering and retail offerings to create the ultimate passenger experience.

For more information about Passenger Experience Conference


Other Stuff

Looks like Google is heading for hotel bookings (Google now allows hotel bookings through search results | Hotel Management) … whats next?

SES Networks and Gogo collaborate to ensure that HTS connectivity is seamlessly deployed to more than 200 Gogo Aircraft within the first operational month of SES-15

Luxembourg | February 14, 2018– Gogo, the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that it has more than 200 aircraft equipped with its 2Ku inflight connectivity technology which are now utilizing the increased capacity delivered by SES-15. These aircraft came online in SES-15’s first operational month and are the first to benefit from the new high throughput satellite (HTS) capacity.

SES-15 entered service in January 2018 and is SES’s first hybrid satellite providing Ku-band wide beams and Ku-band spot-beam capacity over North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Due to SES-15’s high-powered HTS beams, all Gogo aircraft outfitted with its next generation modem will experience an even better customer experience with improved economics. All new 2Ku installations enter service with the upgraded modem, and all 2Ku equipped aircraft are expected to have the new modem by the end of this year.

“Gogo’s 2Ku technology is delivering industry leading performance today, but we designed the technology with an open architecture so it could take advantage of numerous enhancements over time,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s Chief Technology Officer. “As we layer in more HTS capacity from satellites like SES-15, 2Ku’s performance will get even stronger without having to touch the aircraft.”

“Deploying HTS connectivity requires a coordinated and collaborative approach because of the spot beam design,” said Elias Zaccack, Executive Vice President Global Sales at SES Networks. “We are proud of our strong working relationship with the entire Gogo team.”

Gogo has signed capacity agreements across 11 SES satellites around the world, including agreements for HTS capacity onboard SES-15 and SES-14, which successfully launched in January 2018 and will provide additional HTS capacity over Latin America, the Caribbean, and across the North Atlantic.

London, UK | January 25, 2018– Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has been crowned a winner at the Inflight Middle East Awards in Dubai for its ground-breaking inflight broadband service, GX Aviation. Inmarsat received the highest votes from an independent panel of judges in the ‘Connectivity Enablement’ category, taking the lead over other competitors in the market.

Offering state-of-the-art, uninterrupted, global inflight connectivity, GX Aviation enables airline passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience that is comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.

GX Aviation currently boasts a constellation of four satellites, flying in a geostationary orbit, providing global coverage across commercial airline routes. The Inflight Middle East award is also reflective of Inmarsat’s continued investment in the network to ensure passengers are provided with the quality Wi-Fi they have come to expect at 35,000 feet. A new, very high-throughput satellite will launch next year to provide even more capacity across the Middle East, Europe, and the Indian subcontinent.

The latest accolade from Inflight Middle East adds to a growing number of awards for Inmarsat’s inflight Wi-Fi services, including ‘World’s Leading Inflight Internet Service Provider’ at the World Travel Awards. It comes hot on the heels of news that Qatar Airways will provide GX Aviation onboard more than 130 aircraft, consisting of Airbus A350s and Boeing 777s, and Emirates intends to install the service on its Boeing 777X aircraft fleet.

Ben Griffin, Vice President, Middle East, Africa and South Asia at Inmarsat Aviation said: “Consistent, reliable high-speed connectivity opens a new world of service innovation and personalisation to today’s airlines. This latest industry recognition attests to our commitment to provide the best inflight connectivity to passengers within the Middle East and we’re looking forward to seeing more and more passengers experiencing our award-winning broadband in the sky.”

Inmarsat’s game-changing new inflight internet solutions has more than 1,300 commercial aircraft expected under signed contracts. GX Aviation is already commercially available with launch customers Lufthansa Group and Air Astana, while additional mandates have also been won from other leading airlines such as AirAsia Group, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Avianca and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Airlines connect to the GX network using exclusive new JetWave terminals produced by Honeywell Aerospace. The 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.

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry with a vision of bringing complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world. As the only aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit, Inmarsat’s world-leading passenger solutions are complemented by its best-in-class safety and operations services.

ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation announced that it has formed the Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification (CSC) group by combining the recently acquired Telefonix PDT and Astronics Armstrong Aerospace. The new group will serve the needs of aerospace connectivity providers with a complete set of hardware, integration engineering, installation design, and certification services to enable aircraft in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC).

“We serve the world’s leading in-flight entertainment and connectivity providers, and this transition represents further commitment to offer our customers the most complete set of connectivity hardware, installation design, and certification services available from a single supplier,” said Peter J. Gundermann, President and Chief Executive Officer of Astronics Corporation. “Astronics CSC combines the best of both worlds – offering a suite of connectivity solutions that can be delivered a la carte or as a complete solution set, according to customer needs. With all of this capability in-house, we anticipate shortening a customer’s time to market for new, certified IFEC systems.”

Astronics CSC will continue to offer the products and services formerly offered by Armstrong Aerospace, working both within Astronics and with its industry partners to certify and install new IFEC, power, and other systems on commercial and business aircraft.

Astronics CSC will also continue to offer the products previously marketed by Telefonix PDT, including its cord reels and in-flight connectivity hardware such as wireless access points, servers, and control components. Product Development Technologies (PDT), a product design and development consultancy, will operate independently within the Astronics CSC structure.

The new Astronics CSC group will complement the connectivity and data solutions from other Astronics subsidiaries, including Astronics AeroSat, manufacturer of SATCOM antennas, and Astronics Ballard Technology, manufacturer of cockpit connectivity components.

Astronics CSC will continue to operate from its existing office locations in the greater Chicago area with current personnel. Michael Kuehn, formerly the president of Telefonix, will serve as the president of Astronics CSC. For details on the new group, please visit Astronics.com.


ROCKWELL COLLINS

Rockwell Collins has been named America’s Most JUST Company in the Aerospace & Defense industry, according to Forbes and JUST Capital, a nonprofit that ranks the largest publicly traded corporations in the United States on the issues Americans care about most. The second annual JUST 100 ranking compares America’s companies head-to-head, based on the priorities of the American people.

The rankings are based on one of the most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on public attitudes toward corporate behavior, involving 10,000 American respondents in 2017 and more than 72,000 over the past three years. For the complete 2017 JUST 100 list, visit www.forbes.com/just100.

Rockwell Collins is recognized for outperforming its peers on the criteria deemed to be most important, including worker pay and treatment, job creation, healthy products and communities, environmental impact, and more.


SITAONAIR

The company is celebrating a decade since the first ever inflight cellular data transmission and the birth of Mobile ONAIR.

Since that initial transmission was made onboard an Airbus A318 flight on 17 December 2007, it has been installed in more than 550 aircraft, serving the changing needs of commercial, VIP and governmental flights alike. Over the past decade, and with support from SITAONAIR’s industry partners, the service has been made available across all aircraft types, from single-aisle to long-range – with more than 20 million passengers connecting for voice, SMS and data transmission in 2017 alone.

SITAONAIR and satellite communications provider Inmarsat worked in partnership on that milestone flight ten years ago, and since these exciting early days, the service has continued to evolve, with developments such as the recent deployment of cutting-edge inflight 3.5G mobile network services over the high-speed broadband satellite connectivity of Inmarsat’s GX Aviation. This aviation industry first sees passengers and crew benefit from high-speed and seamless connectivity, which is comparable to the home experience.

Mobile ONAIR also enables passengers to utilize simple, secure and reliable connections that contribute to 43% of frequent fliers citing cellular connectivity as their primary choice. This is complemented by the continued evolution of pricing models, from the comparatively expensive price-per-use model that dominated until 2013, to the unlimited mobile data bundles commonly seen today, and the ‘Roam Like at Home’ model, which is set to become the norm across Europe.

Thanks to SITAONAIR’s work in obtaining regulatory approval and securing mobile operator partnerships, the Mobile ONAIR service is truly global. It is easy to forget a time, not so long ago, when passengers turned off mobile phones onboard an aircraft. SITAONAIR, together with partners and customers, has helped secure the regulatory approval, at state and industry level, to make the dream of inflight mobile connectivity a reality for the whole industry.

Passenger experience

SITAONAIR’s latest infographic highlights how cellular data is a crucial ingredient for a first class passenger experience, cementing Mobile ONAIR’s relevance in the connected airspace.

Gregory Ouillon, Chief Technology Officer at SITAONAIR, says: “It’s remarkable to think that it was just ten years ago that SITAONAIR launched the world’s first inflight mobile service onboard an international flight. “Ten years is a long time in aviation, however, and the solution now has evolved to become an essential component of the full cabin connectivity experience, allowing passengers to use their mobile phones as they would on the ground. “One major shift has been the trend towards the convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular technologies, which delivers the best of both worlds. Passenger expectations can be met by offering a hybrid experience that can leverage the advantages of both a Wi-Fi and a cellular connection. Importantly, SITAONAIR is one of the few industry players with the knowledge, assets and skills base to make this convergence happen.” This convergence is essential to meet the demands of the modern passenger. With 50-100 billion Internet connected devices expected to be in circulation by 2020, ranging from fitness trackers to thermostats, mobile network operators will play a central role in connecting these devices, both on the ground and in the air.

Moving towards the future

From supporting this burgeoning IoT movement, to the introduction of wider cellular trends like ‘Roam Like at Home’ to the air, our new infographic examines the future of Mobile ONAIR and inflight passenger communication, as SITAONAIR and its partners see it.

Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation Senior Vice President says: “Passenger expectations around inflight connectivity have dramatically evolved over the past decade. Inmarsat worked shoulder-to-shoulder with SITAONAIR ten years ago to pioneer the first ever inflight mobile phone call and data connectivity on an international flight. “Today, we are together introducing unprecedented new capacities with GX Aviation, ensuring that airline passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.”

Editor’s Note: We really were impressed with this graphic and to download it in full, click here.


AIRBUS

AIRBUS named Guillaume Faury as next President-Commercial Aircraft to replace Fabrice Brégier, who is stepping down in February 2018; CEO Tom Enders also advised that he does not wish to seek another term beyond his mandate ending April 2019.


MORE NEWS

  • Boeing’s 737-MAX10 was also believed to be under consideration. But, a recent trade dispute triggered by a complaint filed by Boeing concerning Delta’s order for 75 Bombardier C Series jets has soured the relationship between airline and airplane maker may have soured the deal.
  • AI: What’s Working, What’s Not – Andreessen Horowitz  This video of a technical presentation at a meeting you probably missed – Great Stuff for those who want more in AI!
  • The IEEE is developing an Ethically Aligned Document for prioritizing human well-being of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems and seeks input for  basically a document that supports the public discussion on how machines and man (women too) work together – and they are seeking human input: standards.ieee.org/develop/indconn/ec/ead_v2.pdf
  • Need some current cryptocurrencies technical research over the holidays? How about Blockchain Technologies? What is Blockchain Technology?
  • We loved this press release from Lufthansa Systems: “To make sure the man with the white beard and red suit can deliver all his gifts on time again this year, a team of experts from Lufthansa Systems worked with representatives from the MATHEON Research Center and Konrad Zuse Institute Berlin to calculate the shortest round trip around the globe. The project was launched by the German “Wissenschaft im Dialog” research initiative at the end of 2016.” Here is the link to the whole story (in English) and we suggest you read it to that young pilot or flight attendant in your household! Where does Santa’s sleigh actually fly? | Lufthansa Systems

Before we forget it, HAPPY HOLIDAYS everyone, and thank you for your support for the past 24 years!

December 18, 2017– SITAONAIR is celebrating a decade since the first ever inflight cellular data transmission and the birth of Mobile ONAIR.

Since that initial transmission was made onboard an Airbus A318 flight on 17 December 2007, it has been installed in more than 550 aircraft, serving the changing needs of commercial, VIP and governmental flights alike.

Over the past decade, and with support from SITAONAIR’s industry partners, the service has been made available across all aircraft types, from single-aisle to long-range – with more than 20 million passengers connecting for voice, SMS and data transmission in 2017 alone.

Reflecting on that first flight, Veronique Blanc, CTO at SITAONAIR (then OnAir) in 2007, says: “The launch of Mobile ONAIR and the first cellular data transmission was very exciting for everyone involved. Back then, even before the widespread use of smartphones, we knew that what we were doing was hugely innovative, and paving the way for the future of inflight connectivity.”

SITAONAIR and satellite communications provider Inmarsat worked in partnership on that milestone flight ten years ago, and since these exciting early days, the service has continued to evolve, with developments such as the recent deployment of cutting-edge inflight 3.5G mobile network services over the high-speed broadband satellite connectivity of Inmarsat’s GX Aviation. This aviation industry first sees passengers and crew benefit from high-speed and seamless connectivity, which is comparable to the home experience. 

Mobile ONAIR also enables passengers to utilize simple, secure and reliable connections that contribute to 43% of frequent fliers citing cellular connectivity as their primary choice. This is complemented by the continued evolution of pricing models, from the comparatively expensive price-per-use model that dominated until 2013, to the unlimited mobile data bundles commonly seen today, and the ‘Roam Like at Home’ model, which is set to become the norm across Europe. 

Thanks to SITAONAIR’s work in obtaining regulatory approval and securing mobile operator partnerships, the Mobile ONAIR service is truly global. It is easy to forget a time, not so long ago, when passengers turned off mobile phones onboard an aircraft. SITAONAIR, together with partners and customers, has helped secure the regulatory approval, at state and industry level, to make the dream of inflight mobile connectivity a reality for the whole industry.

Passenger experience 

SITAONAIR’s latest infographic highlights how cellular data is a crucial ingredient for a first class passenger experience, cementing Mobile ONAIR’s relevance in the connected airspace.

Gregory Ouillon, Chief Technology Officer at SITAONAIR, says: “It’s remarkable to think that it was just ten years ago that SITAONAIR launched the world’s first inflight mobile service onboard an international flight. 

“Ten years is a long time in aviation, however, and the solution now has evolved to become an essential component of the full cabin connectivity experience, allowing passengers to use their mobile phones as they would on the ground. 

“One major shift has been the trend towards the convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular technologies, which delivers the best of both worlds. Passenger expectations can be met by offering a hybrid experience that can leverage the advantages of both a Wi-Fi and a cellular connection. Importantly, SITAONAIR is one of the few industry players with the knowledge, assets and skills base to make this convergence happen.” 

This convergence is essential to meet the demands of the modern passenger. With 50-100 billion Internet connected devices expected to be in circulation by 2020, ranging from fitness trackers to thermostats, mobile network operators will play a central role in connecting these devices, both on the ground and in the air.

Moving towards the future 

From supporting this burgeoning IoT movement, to the introduction of wider cellular trends like ‘Roam Like at Home’ to the air, our new infographic examines the future of Mobile ONAIR and inflight passenger communication, as SITAONAIR and its partners see it. 

Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation Senior Vice President says: “Passenger expectations around inflight connectivity have dramatically evolved over the past decade. Inmarsat worked shoulder-to-shoulder with SITAONAIR ten years ago to pioneer the first ever inflight mobile phone call and data connectivity on an international flight. 

“Today, we are together introducing unprecedented new capacities with GX Aviation, ensuring that airline passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.” 

FliteStream® T-Series Delivers Fast, Seamless In-flight Internet and TV

East Aurora, NY | December 13, 2017– Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced the success of the recent in-flight demonstrations of its FliteStream® T-Series tail- mounted connectivity system. The system, provided by Astronics’ wholly owned subsidiary Astronics AeroSat, is now certified and in production.

Astronics AeroSat conducted the demonstration flights in collaboration with its connectivity partners Panasonic Avionics (network operator) and Satcom Direct (reseller partner). Astronics AeroSat invited various subject matter experts,
dealers, MROs, and owner-operators to experience the FliteStream® connectivity
performance first-hand on a Gulfstream G-IV aircraft in the skies above Las Vegas during the NBAA business aviation trade show in October, 2017.

Demonstration flight attendees were invited to use their personal devices to try out the connectivity performance. Multiple users simultaneously operated up to 22 separate devices to text, make voice and video calls, stream video and audio, securely connect to offices via VPN, and email large files.

The 28 passengers who flew on four separate flights experienced:

  • A minimum of 4 Mbps connectivity (commonly reaching over 7 Mbps) on Panasonic’s wide beam

    network. The new high-throughput satellite (HTS) network, layered with the wide beam network, will be introduced to the business aviation market in the second half of 2018, promising more capacity, speed and live TV channels to improve the passenger experience.

  • Streaming video (e.g. IPTV – internet-delivered television, Netflix, Hulu)
  • Streaming audio (e.g. Spotify)
  • Large file data transfers (e.g. 28 MB+ files)
  • Full flight system tracking and performance (taxi, take-off, climb, cruise, descent, and landing)

“On every flight, we had people doing everything from e-mailing and text messaging to FaceTime calls. The number of devices actually used in flight ranged from a minimum of 17 to as many as 22 devices simultaneously. All of the participants were very impressed with the connectivity capability,” explained Rick Brainard, Director of Business Development at Kaiser Air.

He continued, “We performed all of our demos in flight, under real conditions, unlike others showing just on-ramp performance. I went into the demonstrations with high confidence that the demo flight attendees would be impressed with the system. Each demo flight confirmed that, not only is the Astronics AeroSat FliteStream T-Series a great system for our clients, it is a great system that brings incredible value to the passengers and crew.”

The FliteStream T-Series system is available now and can be purchased through MRO facilities, for installation on business and VIP aircraft.

About the FliteStream T-Series Satellite Connectivity Antenna

Astronics AeroSat’s FliteStream solutions are the only products available with patented “Rexolite® Lens” technology, which creates the most efficient, reliable and highest-performing connectivity systems available. The FliteStream T-Series provides high-speed internet, live IPTV and DBS-TV in a single antenna.

Key features include:

  • Seamless connectivity for passengers to browse the

    internet, send and receive emails, make calls using Voice- Over-IP (VoIP), access virtual private network (VPN) services, conduct video conferences and enjoy favorite work or entertainment applications

  • Highest performing Ku-band SATCOM antenna system, critical for maintaining low angle satellite coverage while flying at higher latitudes, where most flights occur
  • A five-piece LRU system: antenna, antenna controller, low power transceiver, power amplifier and diplexer
  • Compliance with RTCA DO-160 & RTCA DO-178

    Astronics AeroSat keeps people connected no matter where they fly. For over a decade, Astronics AeroSat has provided fuselage- and tail-mounted satellite communications (SATCOM) solutions for general aviation, business aviation, commercial transport, VVIP/heads of state and military aircraft around the world. Learn more at Astronics.com.

Chicago | November 28, 2017– Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that Air Canada is now the first North American airline to offer the choice of complimentary Gogo Wi-Fi to their most frequent flyers.

Each year, Air Canada recognizes its most frequent flyers with Altitude status and offers them the ability to choose select privileges to personalize their travel experience. Beginning later this year, the airline will offer Altitude Elite 75K and Super Elite 100K members the opportunity to select complimentary 6- and 12-month unlimited use passes, respectively, for inflight connectivity on board Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge operated flights.

“We are delighted to partner with Air Canada to bring the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution to their loyal customers for free,” said John Happ, Gogo’s Regional President, Americas.  “Gogo is finding new ways to leverage connectivity to enable unique experiences for our airline partners that fit their individual needs.  Free Gogo for Air Canada’s most frequent customers is a great example of how we are delivering on this for our airline partners.”

“Earlier this year, Air Canada announced plans to launch an all new, digital-first loyalty program in June 2020. While we design the future program, we’re committed to adding new options and benefits for Altitude members today and over the next two years,” said Mark Nasr, Vice President Loyalty & eCommerce. “In-flight Wi-Fi is a critical amenity for business and leisure travelers alike, so we’re excited to become the first North American airline to offer the choice of unlimited Wi-Fi plans to our most frequent Altitude members.”

Members will be able to choose this Select Privilege as part of the 2018 Altitude benefit year. The passes will also be eligible for use on Gogo’s 2Ku service, a leading high-speed satellite Wi-Fi solution.

Airline’s first Boeing 767 aircraft equipped with Cobham’s AVIATOR 300D and SB-Safety

Denmark and London, UK | November 16, 2017– Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, and Cobham SATCOM, the leading manufacturer of satellite communications solutions, today announced that SB-Safety (SB-S) has entered service evaluation on the first United Airlines Boeing B767 aircraft.

The important milestone was achieved as part of a technology evaluation of Inmarsat’s next generation SB-S flight deck communications platform, which has been installed on United Airlines’ Boeing 767 aircraft with Cobham’s AVIATOR 300D satcom system. SB-S offers global, high-speed, secure connectivity for the flight deck, enabling powerful and flexible communications in real-time, enhancing airline safety, asset utilisation, security, and operations.

During the evaluation, United Airlines will deploy its aircraft equipped with SB-S in the highly congested North Atlantic airspace. It will use the new platform for communications and surveillance with Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract (ADS-C) messaging. United Airlines’ evaluation of SB-S is part of the carrier’s ongoing commitment to best-in-class operations, safety and service.

In addition to capabilities of today’s cockpit satcom, SB-S introduces new, always on, always secure applications, which are available for United Airlines’ use. These include continual positional awareness for flight tracking, flight data streaming (Black Box in the Cloud) and real-time electronic flight bag applications, such as networked graphical weather. Other benefits of the service include operational efficiency, in the form of more fuel-efficient routes and the ability to transmit vital aircraft performance and positioning data in real time.

The AVIATOR 300D systems, which include Cobham’s compact and lightweight IGA-5001 Intermediate Gain Antenna to ensure a low profile on the fuselage, provide fast and reliable connectivity on the Inmarsat satellite network. As one of the latest additions to Cobham SATCOM’s established, innovative AVIATOR portfolio, further advantages include recurrent maintenance savings due to the integral high reliability of the underlying technology platform and weight savings (approximately 50 to 150 lbs) over traditional aviation satcom systems.

Chuck Stewart, United Airlines Chief Technical Pilot for Communications, said: “United is excited to have this powerful new capability in flight today. We look forward to seeing improved operational efficiencies with a fully connected flight deck, using the platform for improved communications and real-time updates that previously had to be done on the ground.”

Brian Anderson, Americas Air Transport Sales Manager for Cobham SATCOM, said: “We are delighted to have United Airlines utilising Cobham’s AVIATOR 300D satcom in support of SB-Safety in the North Atlantic Airspace. This marks an important milestone for the entire aviation industry. It has been a pleasure working with United Airlines as they bring the benefits of new technologies into the cockpit to improve both their communications and operations.”

Captain Mary McMillan, Inmarsat Aviation Vice President of Safety and Operational Services, said: “We are thrilled that United Airlines is taking advantage of the many benefits of Inmarsat’s SB-Safety. As an industry leader, United sees the value of next generation IP broadband in the cockpit and how it delivers operational savings and enhanced safety. This moves satcom from a safety utility to a true, strategic asset for aviation.”

New applications to expand safety and operations benefits to airlines worldwide

United Kingdom | November 8, 2017–Inmarsat (ISAT:L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today launched the Certified Application Provider Programme to certify third party commercial applications for use on its SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) platform.

The new programme is open to established application providers and developers. It involves a two-step certification process to test and optimise applications compatible with SB-S, Inmarsat’s next generation communications platform for the aircraft flight deck.

SB-S is the first satcom platform designed to meet the needs of the modern flight deck by providing global, high-speed and secure IP broadband connectivity to the cockpits of the world’s airlines, with a growing range of applications that improve safety and operational efficiency.

These include real-time graphical weather updates, flight optimisation and crew workload reduction applications. Providers of applications certified by the programme will benefit from an expanded eco-system of expertise, while also gaining access to new revenue streams and joint business opportunities. Inmarsat will also provide test environments and software development kits for optimised data transmission. Certified applications will, in turn, be promoted in Inmarsat’s ‘solutions labs’, increasing awareness of the solutions amongst its customers.

Mary McMillan, Vice President of Safety and Operational Services at Inmarsat Aviation, said: “SwiftBroadband-Safety sets a new standard for flight deck communications, ensuring the aviation industry can take full advantage of IP connectivity in the air, today and in the future. Our new aviation CAP Programme not only opens up a wealth of opportunity for existing applications providers and developers to further their innovative solutions, it means we can offer the heightened safety and streamlined operations applications airlines demand.”

Currently in service with Hawaiian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and United Airlines, SB-S has been selected by Airbus for its popular A320 and A330 fleets. The CAP Programme gives SB-S customers access to the latest applications and cutting-edge technologies and is part of a wider Inmarsat initiative to bring third party applications across its network.

Gogo Conducts First Successful Test Flight on its Next Generation ATG Network

Gogo, the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced it has conducted its first successful test flight and has begun the nationwide rollout of its new regional Air-to-Ground (ATG) inflight network.

The next generation ATG network combined with Gogo’s proprietary aero antenna, in-cabin network and software platform will bring up to 30 times more bandwidth to an aircraft than our original ATG solution.  Once the network upgrades are complete, Gogo will have a North American ATG solution that will deliver performance on the aircraft that is comparable to Gogo’s 2Ku global satellite solution.

Gogo’s next generation ATG network will have peak network capacity of more than 100 Gbps.  When combined with Gogo’s global satellite network, Gogo will have the highest capacity network ever built that’s dedicated to serving aviation.

“Our networks and inflight connectivity solutions are dedicated to serving aviation and today we are delivering more bandwidth to deliver a better passenger experience and support our aviation partners’ operations,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO.

Our next generation ATG network utilizes unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4GHz spectrum band as well as the licensed spectrum from Gogo’s original ATG network to provide greater bandwidth and reliability.  It also leverages Gogo’s existing ATG network backhaul and infrastructure of more than 250 cell towers.  On the aircraft, Gogo has developed a proprietary new antenna and modem that will produce peak speeds of more than 100 Mbps per aircraft.

The solution will be ideal for business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets and select mainline aircraft operating in the U.S. For business aviation aircraft, this service will be available as an upgrade to aircraft already equipped with Gogo’s Avance L5 connectivity solution.  For commercial aviation, any aircraft outfitted with equipment designed to leverage Gogo’s first generation ATG network will simply need to be outfitted with a new modem and blade antenna to take advantage of the new service.  The network will be available in 2018.


Panasonic News from APEX:

During APEX in September Panasonic (PAC) announced a multi aircraft deal with Interjet for IFEC; a partnership with Tascent to co-develop biometric solutions in airports and on planes; a 15-channel TV lineup for US routes; and a new Vice President of Operations: Adri Ruiter. On top of these announcements the company for the first time ever, announced a review/forecast of their financial performance for 2017: $2.5 billion. They stated that they have over three years of backlog and that their business is healthy and tracking in line with the IFEC industry in general. David Bruner during the press briefing stated that since the April 2017 AIX press review they have  achieved the following:  IFE – 626 (397 linefit); IFC – 185 (85 linefit); PTS – 50+ active customers with 65% on a total care package. David Bruner continued by saying that eX3 and eX1 represent 60% of their total IFE sales, and that roughly 70+% of connected aircraft are forecast to include television. “The number of linefit aircraft is important,” said David Bruner. “Panasonic is on every single aircraft program, on every OEM.” Panasonic’s objective is to build a long term sustainable business, and linefit is of paramount importance to this goal.  They have a focus on the IFC market space and firmly believe that, at the time of the presentation, they are the only IFEC company with global regulatory approval. In conjunction with their global business scale, a commitment to growing their order book, and a focus on symbiotic relationships that are beneficial to both the airline and PAC, Panasonic states that they are in a position to, not only sustain, but grow their business.  They also presented their industry fleet forecast through 2025 and they are predicting: 11,218 narrow body aircraft from Boeing and Airbus; 2,959 wide bodies from Boeing and Airbus, and 2,154  from Bombardier and Embraer. Interestingly, PAC is forecasting that by 2023 90% of all wide bodies will be equipped withh IFC; as will 65% of narrow bodies. They also stated that PAC anticipates 10,000 aircraft to be committed to Panasonic by 2025! Why so confident? Perhaps a good portion of their confidence comes from their plans and dedication to network upgrades, as well as, the flexible/scale-able approach of the nEXT IFEC system. “There will always be a frequency shortage and we will be adaptive,” said Bruner. The company is growing their capacity to 8Ghz in 2018, with availability on 99.8% of airline routes. They are deploying XTS to meet airline needs and growth; as well as, rolling out new modem technology to dramatically improve performance. The new modem will be rolled out in North America in 2017, featuring 3 teleports, 4 satellites, and 12 transponders. Globally, the target roll out date is January 1, 2018 with 12 teleports and 16 satellites. PAC will be adding a large amount of High Throughput Satellites in March/April of 2018 – both over the Pacific and North America.  These factors, in conjunction with their dedication to improve their network and support infrastructure may well keep Panasonic in the cat-bird seat moving forward.


Astronics Acquires Telefonix Inc.

Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace and defense industries, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Telefonix Inc. and a related company, Product Development Technologies, LLC, (together as “Telefonix PDT”) for approximately $104 million in cash, funded with Astronics’ senior revolving credit facility. The acquisition is expected to close by year end, and is subject to typical closing conditions, including a review under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

Telefonix PDT, located in Waukegan and Lake Zurich, Illinois, designs and manufactures advanced in-flight entertainment and connectivity equipment, as well as providing industry leading design consultancy services for the global aerospace industry. The company’s products include wireless access points, file servers, content loaders, passenger control units and cord reels, as well as engineering services for its customers.


Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom demonstrate European Aviation Network satellite and ground integration in flight 

 Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, and Deutsche Telekom, the leading integrated telecommunications company, have successfully completed the first flight trials to test both the satellite and complementary ground network for their European Aviation Network (EAN) service.

EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation solution to combine space and ground based components to deliver robust, ultra-lightweight, high-speed inflight broadband to airlines. The recent flights demonstrated that EAN meets its design performance in practice; a significant milestone for the project consortium, as well as European airlines and their passengers.

Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom conducted the evaluation with partners Cobham, Thales and Nokia using a CESSNA 550 Citation II provided by Dutch company NLR. The aircraft was flown across Germany, Belgium, France and Spain, covering approximately 5,000 km of European airspace, to test integration of the Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) and Complementary Ground Component (CGC) terminals. Further flight trials are scheduled over the coming weeks.

Inmarsat’s EAN satellite, which completed its in-orbit tests last month after being launched by Arianespace, works seamlessly with a complementary network of around 300 LTE-based ground stations, operated by Deutsche Telekom, using an Advanced Integrated Services Manager (AISM) platform. International Airlines Group (IAG), which includes world-renowned airline brands such as British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, is the launch customer for the new service.


First A320neo assembled in Tianjin delivered to Air Asia

AirAsia has taken delivery of the first A320neo assembled at the Airbus Final Assembly Line Asia (FALA) at a dedicated ceremony in Tianjin, China. The aircraft, powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines, seats comfortably 186 passengers and is equipped with the innovative Space-Flex cabin.

AirAsia is the largest airline customer of the A320 Family with orders for 578 aircraft. These include 404 A320neo Family aircraft.

Aireen Omar, AirAsia Berhad Chief Executive Officer said: “We are very proud to receive the first Airbus A320neo fully assembled in Tianjin, China and we would like to congratulate Airbus for achieving yet another milestone. This is also a milestone for us at AirAsia; we connect 19 cities with 59 routes into Greater China and have flown over 40 million passengers in and out of China since April 2005, making us China’s largest foreign airline by capacity. We are certainly proud to have this historic aircraft as part of our fleet. “

The FALA in Tianjin, inaugurated in 2008 became the third single-aisle aircraft final assembly line location of Airbus worldwide, following Toulouse and Hamburg. It was also the first Airbus Final Assembly Line outside Europe. Today, some 340 aircraft have been assembled and delivered from Tianjin, China.

The A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver at least 15 percent fuel savings at delivery and 20 percent by 2020. With more than 5,200 orders received from 95 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent share of the market.


Boeing Reports Third-Quarter Results; Raises Cash Flow and EPS Guidance

  • Revenue of $24.3 billion, including a record 202 commercial aircraft deliveries
  • GAAP EPS of $3.06 and core EPS (non-GAAP)* of $2.72 on solid execution
  • Strong operating cash flow of $3.4 billion; repurchased 11 million shares for $2.5 billion
  • Backlog remains robust at $474 billion, including nearly 5,700 aircraft in commercial airplane orders
  • Cash flow and EPS guidance raised; segment guidance updated

Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first Boeing 787-9. Ethiopian is leasing the Dreamliner through an agreement with AerCap.

Ethiopian’s newest 787 touched down in Addis Ababa following a non-stop 8,354 mile (13,444 km) delivery flight from Boeing’s Everett, Wash., facility. Ethiopian becomes the first carrier in Africa to operate the 787-9 and extends a tradition of setting aviation milestones. Ethiopian became Africa’s first carrier to fly the 787-8 in 2012, and similarly introduced the 777-200LR (Longer Ran


More:

VT Miltope

One thing IFEC shows are really good for – surprises, especially in technology. Case in point, the recent APEX EXPO in Long Beach. The surprise was router security and the folks at VT Miltope certainly caught us unaware – they were well along in the developmental relationship with a cybersecurity expert (RazorSecure) and have a clear view of the issues with hacking and the potential types of attacks that routers might face on flights that provide inflight internet connectivity. While IFExpress has been following the deluge of attacks on the ground, we have been watching Wi-Fi capable planes for over a year now and it is a  fact that the folks who make routers for IFEC are too. In fact, cybersecurity is becoming a “big deal” for aviation. As proof of this conjecture, check out this Cybersat17 Conference coming in November – Cyber Sat Summit, but this year is just a beginning of a bigger focus on cabin data technology and cabin hacking security efforts.

Getting back to the APEX show, the IFExpress graphic rectangle is a portion of an actual page from VT Miltope’s “Cabin Wireless Network: The Next Frontier” presentation and it opened our eyes! The VT Miltope team has been on track with understanding and protecting IFEC wireless hacking issues and is in the process of working with a partner – RazorSecure Software who will assist in the development of more cabin hacking issues.

As a quick visit recap, we took the opportunity during the expo to receive an overview of VT Miltope’s planned MAP3, with the following key enhancements over the nMAP2, 802.11ac WAVE 2, Enhanced CHT, Embedded Server Storage (2 TB) (Optional), RazorSecure Software (Optional). We should also mention that we have a link for the preliminary data sheet for the MAP3 product with future product details which should be available this year. It should be noted that the proposed product will be a takeoff from the successful nMAP2 and by adding WAVE 2 (IEEE 802.11ac hardware and software for upgrading speed and data throughput), CHT (Enhanced Cognitive Hotspot Technology (Optimizing wireless cabin wireless data communication), optional  2 TB of Data Storage, and RazorSecure (Optional) advanced cyber security intrusion detection – protecting data communications). We won’t go into all the new features but from a technology point if view, this router is going to be a big deal! Add the security additions from RazorSecure, and this will be a formable product! It’s security developments will protect against DOS Attacks, Physical Attacks, Remote Shell Access, Critical Configuration Changes, Authentication and Misconfiguration Issues – and more than we can cover here. Here is a link to some of the Wi-Fi security issues facing connectivity –  US Warns Of Security Flaw Which Can Compromise Wi-Fi Connections (Update)  Here is our message: If you have wireless cabin data communication hacking concerns, you had better call VT Miltope! (We should mention the Galgus team as another contributor to the included technology of the VT Miltope product!)


Gogo

Gogo has made Fortune’s “Future 50” list of companies best positioned for strong future growth. Fortune worked together with the Boston Consulting Group to create the list. To identify the Future 50, Boston Consulting Group examined 2,300 publicly traded U.S. companies and reviewed 15 years of financial results through year-end 2016. They divided the companies into two different groups—those above $20 billion in market value at the time of the screening and those below.

“We are very proud to have been selected to the inaugural Future 50 list as it validates our leadership and innovation as the Inflight Internet company,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO.  “We are connecting aircraft and leveraging that connectivity to develop cutting edge products and services that engage passengers and help our aviation partners run a safer and more efficient operation. Our latest technology innovations like 2Ku have us well positioned to fuel future growth.”

Gogo announced that it has been selected by LATAM Airlines Brazil to introduce inflight connectivity using Gogo’s 2Ku technology to 100 of its A320 aircraft, which operate flights in Brazil as well as to other countries in Latin America. Gogo’s inflight connectivity service will begin in the first half of 2018 and the roll-out of the technology is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019. “We have selected the most modern and innovative in-flight internet technology available in order to offer an unrivaled and diverse onboard experience to our passengers in Brazil.  The new service will complement LATAM Entertainment, our wireless entertainment system, and will provide our passengers with the freedom to choose how they want to enjoy their journeys,” said Jerome Cadier, CEO of LATAM Airlines Brazil.

Gogo’s 2Ku technology is installed on more than 350 aircraft today and delivers proven performance of more than 15 Mbps to each passenger device, covering more than 98 percent of all flight hours around the world with 98 percent system availability. With an open architecture that leverages current and future Ku satellites, 2Ku offers unrivaled adaptability to keep airlines connected now and in the future. The equipment installed on LATAM’s aircraft will include Gogo’s new, performance boosting modem. The proprietary features of the new modem significantly increase throughput and reliability to and from the aircraft.


BOEING

Boeing just signed a big deal with Singapore Airlines for 20 777-9s and 19 787-10s and 6 options of each…in the Oval Office. The deal is worth $13.8 B at list prices.

SIA, Boeing firm 777-9, 787-10 order at White House ceremony | Airframes content from ATWOnline

Also, it looks like the all Airbus Hong Kong Airlines is seeking to speed up growth to take on Cathay Pacific and will most likely get some Boeing 787’s. Last week, Reuters also predicted China Southern would buy 38 more Boeing planes worth $5.6 Billion at retail prices.

The company is investigating plans to double the B767 Everett production and apparently have an order which depends on a certain production rate of the planes. And, we understand that Boeing is looking at passenger version of the aircraft. The company has declined comment on the the airline but United Continental has been mentioned in the press. They have 51 B767’s that are quite old and some 77 B757’s that are around 20 years old.

On another front, There have also been rumors of a sale of 100 Boeing 767 freighters to Amazon’s growing Prime Air cargo fleet.


AIRBUS

The first A330neo took off August 19 at Blagnac in Toulouse, France at 09.57 hrs local time, for its maiden flight taking place over south-western France. The aircraft, MSN1795, is a A330-900 and the first of three certification flight-test aircraft to fly, powered by the latest technology Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 turbofans. The A330neo’s certification development program itself will last around 1,400 flight-test hours. This will comprise 1,100 flight hours for the A330-900 campaign – to achieve its respective EASA and FAA Type Certification around the middle of 2018; plus 300 flight hours for A330-800 version – which will be certified in 2019. Overall, the full A330neo Family flight-test campaign will be performed by three certification flight-test aircraft, plus the first production aircraft (the latter to validate the Airspace cabin prior to EIS).

Launched in July 2014, the latest generation of Airbus’ widebody family, the A330neo builds on the A330’s proven economics, versatility and reliability while reducing fuel consumption by a further 14 per cent per seat. The NEO’s two versions – the A330-800 and A330-900 – will accommodate 257 and 287 passengers respectively in a three-class seating layout, are powered by the latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, accommodate up to 10 more seats, offer new “Airspace” cabin amenities, and feature a new larger span wing with Sharklet wingtip devices.


SITA

The air transport industry has cybersecurity as a top priority with 95% of airlines and 96% of airports investing resources into major cybersecurity programs or pilots over the next three years. Yet research released  from global IT provider SITA shows there is still room for improvement with only one third of boards at airlines, and a fifth at airports, having fully integrated cybersecurity into their business plans.

Speaking today at a gathering of European air transport industry leaders, Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA, highlighted that while cybersecurity is the number one priority for almost all airlines and airports, it demands more attention and must be higher on industry board agendas.

Dalibard said: “Recent global cyber attacks demonstrate the risks and the need for a proactive approach. The air transport industry is highly connected and reliant on partners. We must work as a community to fight the global threat to cybersecurity. While we are pleased to see a 46% increase in the number of airlines prepared to deal with major cyber threats over the past year, there is still more to be done. The industry should move from dealing with common cyber threats to being prepared for major ones. As the technology provider owned by industry members, SITA is committed to invest in, and lead, the community effort to maximize cybersecurity. Together we can ramp up the industry’s defenses and ensure we remain one step ahead of any threat.”

SITA has conducted in depth research into the level of cybersecurity maturity at airlines and airports in the fight against this global threat. The results show that there are very high levels of security awareness among staff at airlines (82%) and airports (85%). This year, beyond cybersecurity protection, the industry is focusing on threat detection and response management. Already CIOs at 69% of airlines and 47% of airports are implementing security events and correlation monitoring, while security incident response management is being put in place at 77% of airlines and 60% airports.

Dalibard added: “Airlines and airports are building their critical defenses and preparing to deal with common threats but we must all bring it to the highest level and integrate cybersecurity at executive and board level. Together we must identify, detect and react to cyber threats and protect the industry’s assets from attack.”

Having identified the challenge, SITA earlier this year partnered with Airbus to address the air transport industry’s distinct concerns and created a unique CyberSecurity Aviation Security Operations Center (SOC). It acts like a cyber control tower with an integrated combination of processes, people and technology to detect, analyze, respond to, and report on cybersecurity incidents.

Markus Braendle, Head, Airbus Cybersecurity, said: “The air transport industry has unique cybersecurity challenges because of the varied and increasing use of smart end points across a largely distributed infrastructure. Digital transformation is enabling the air transport industry to deliver better services to its customers, but raising its threat exposure. Together SITA and Airbus CyberSecurity bring expertise and solutions to help airlines and airports monitor their digital assets to detect and respond to incidents.”

The SOC is part of a broader portfolio of SITA products and services that help airlines and airports identify threats and protect against, detect and respond to cyber attacks.

SITA also operates the Community Cyber Threat Center, a security information sharing service run on behalf of SITA’s more than 400 air transport industry members. It enables actionable information on cyber threats to be shared in a timely manner among key industry stakeholders.

These initiatives are part of SITA’s commitment to lead the air transport community fight against cyber threats and to improve the integration of cybersecurity into business plans at board level at airlines and airports.

SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights are available here. Over the coming months, further insight into the results will be made available.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat is pleased to announce it has recently joined the Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center (A-ISAC), the trusted international membership association for sharing cybersecurity information targeted at the aviation sector. As part of the A-ISAC, Inmarsat joins a global contingent of aviation industry companies working collaboratively to develop and share timely and actionable information related to best practices, protective measures, threats and vulnerabilities. A-ISAC members are located on five continents and are leaders in the airline, airport, platform, satellite, and equipment manufacturing segments of the industry.


SECURITY

The US government is getting very concerned about the potential misidentification of bad devices in laptops and US passengers and planes might come under a security ban for the larger devices in the aircraft baggage holds…and in some cases, in the cabin. The US FAA is suggesting a worldwide ban on laptops in checked bags for obvious reasons. The issue in the checked bags is related to lithium-ion batteries and related potential issues with fire and explosions. There is also concern that nothing larger than an iPhone will be permitted in the cabin. If the cabin becomes out of bounds for laptops, you had better get a reliable source of small, secure data storage and a lot of carry-on print matter. Perhaps iPads that have more capability will become common, but we think they have a way to go to get laptop-like usage. We will see!

That laptop ban could be about to get a whole lot worse for plane passengers


MORE STUFF

  • In case you didn’t know, FTE Asia is Nov.7- 8, 2017 in Singapore and the folks at IFPL will be there as well. They told IFExpress: “We will be showcasing their latest USB-A and USB-C power solutions and how they are delivering seamless seat integration to truly enhance the ergonomics and aesthetics of the seat. Further, in line with passenger demand for consumer technology on-board, IFPL will be demonstrating their latest range of USB-A and USB-C outlets, AC power outlets, inductive charge and their traditional audio jackpassenger control units and seat back payment terminal solutions. We invite you to visit stand A33.”
  • Lastly, we have a freebie for you! While looking for a recap of the the Delta-CS100-Boeing-Airbus story, we came across Jason Cottrell’s excellent weekly airline publication (Airline Weekly) and his Fleet Sheet story on page 3 is a great summary. We asked for Jason’s permission to share it with you, so here it is:‎ airlineweekly.com/102317.pdf We also suggest you consider a subscription if you are airline data oriented. You can find out how by contacting him at jcottrell@airlineweekly.com – a really great airline publication.

Firstly, IFExpress has our APEX show images on line and you will find them here.

Next, we talked to Rich Salter at the APEX show and he told IFExpress that FTS had hosted a Chinese IFEC Summit and had conducted a successful live Ka-Band HTS Satcom connectivity demo in Beijing and we asked for more information for our readers and here is what he sent:

“On September 14th, 2017, FTS hosted an IFEC Summit and conducted a live demo of their Ka-Band HTS Satcom Connectivity solution to multiple Chinese airlines, government officials, and technology partners in Beijing, China. Taking place at the ultra-modern Zpark Technology and Conference Center, more than 150 attendees listened to speakers who shared insights on broad topics like regulations, market development and technology trends.  This is indicative of the recent surge in interest and accelerated pace of rolling out inflight connectivity in China.

For the live Ka-Band Satcom Connectivity demo, FTS leveraged on ChinaSat-16 Ka-Band satellite, connected to full FTS Xstream-Sat hardware, including Satellite Antenna, Modman, General Network Server and Cabin Wireless Access Points.  FTS was able to demonstrate downlink speed in excess of 70Mbps in what was the debut of the first China Ka-Band satellite for IFC.  All attendees were connected to internet via satellite on their mobile devices as if they were on a flight. Each attendee was assigned a virtual seat number and could stream videos, surf websites, order food and beverages as well as indulge in some onboard shopping on the FTS Xstream inflight software platform throughout the demo. Flight attendants serviced the attendee requests and orders in real time and the demo was a great success.

With the recent announcement of the Chinese government to allow the use of PEDs and cellphones inflight, the timing of the event could not have been more advantageous. “We are very pleased with the number of airlines and industry partners that attended the event and with the successful demo of our IFC solution, we look forward to growing our footprint in China in tandem with our great partners,” said Rich Salter, CTO of FTS.  This issue’s rectangle picture is from the FTS demonstration.


IFEC Breaking News (Sorta!) – Follow the Money!

Ok, see if you can follow this:

1. Bombardier developed a CSeries (CS 100), single-aisle, 100 to 150 passenger aircraft in Quebec, Canada.

2. Delta ordered 75 of the CSeries planes ( with 50 more as an option) in April of this year as part of their fleet upgrade ($4 to $5 Billion) with the hopes of a 2018 introduction.

3. In May, Boeing claimed the US aerospace industry was at risk if the planes are sold and stated that Bombardier should be fined for price dumping. Boeing proceeded to file a complaint with the ITC and the US Department of Commerce charging that selling the planes at $19.6 million each should be considered a “dumping” price. A 218 page transcript was reviewed that noted that the CSeries selling at that price would kill the Boeing B737-700 and the MAX 7. While Delta did buy some Boeing planes, they were going to loose the “100 seat market the plane need” and since there was a financial bailout of Bombardier by the Canadian Government, the CSeries should receive a US Government tariff. Initial US Commerce Department rulings recommended that US Airlines should pay as much as 300% in import duties.

4. Delta CEO Ed Bastian was not going to buy the planes at the new price!

5. On October 16, Airbus and Bombardier formed a partnership (Airbus – 50.01%, Bombardier 31%, Quebec – 19%) and announced the plane will be built in two countries (Quebec and Mobile, Alabama in the US where their A321’s are made), and guess where the Delta planes will be built? In about one month, Airbus put the deal together and since they see 6,000 of the CS types in the  small-plane market (most in the US), it worked for both companies. We note, airplanes built in the US are not subject to US duties – at least not today.

And lastly, why are you reading about it here? Because this is the plane that Delta will launch the new Gogo Vision Touch, the wireless seatback solution for connected IFEC, on in 2018. Check out this link for more details on Gogo Vision Touch!


NEWS:

Astronics
Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), was recently selected by six major North American airlines to install industry-leading EMPOWER in-seat power systems on up to 1,400 narrow- body and regional jet aircraft.

Astronics AES will equip the airplanes with 110VAC and high output USB power for every passenger from “nose to tail,” including the cabin crew stations. Line-fit and retrofit installations will occur from early 2018 through 2023.

Peter J. Gundermann, President of Astronics Corporation, noted, “Being selected for these significant fleet upgrades further solidifies our leading global market position for passenger power on commercial aircraft and is a strong indication of the increasing trend for airlines to provide power for their passengers on narrow-body and regional aircraft. Carriers worldwide are responding to passenger requests for power at the seat so they can use their personal electronic devices to fully enjoy the streamed in-flight entertainment and upgraded connectivity systems provided by the airlines, while remaining fully charged when they land.”

Statistics show that 97% of passengers travel with personal electronic devices, and a large percentage carry more than one. For over 20 years, Astronics AES has supplied intelligent power management systems for airline passengers’ benefits. The EMPOWER system is currently in service with over 230 airline and OEM customers with over one million power outlets installed.

Zodiac
Here is part of a recent news release we received: “Today we are announcing the consolidation of all Zodiac Seats California (ZSC) operations from Rancho Cucamonga, California to our Gainesville and Chihuahua facilities. We anticipate this consolidation will take six to nine months to fully complete. This consolidation of operations is in line with Zodiac Aerospace’s focus on optimizing the global industrial footprint of the Group.”

Airbus
Airbus’ A340 laminar-flow “BLADE” test demonstrator aircraft (A340-300 MSN001) has made its successful maiden flight for the EU-sponsored Clean Sky “Blade” project. The aircraft, dubbed “Flight Lab”, took off from the Tarbes aerodrome in southern France at local time 11:00, and after a series of successful tests it landed at Airbus’ facilities in Toulouse Blagnac. The overall flight time was 3hrs/38mins.

The BLADE project – which stands for “Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe” – is tasked with assessing the feasibility of introducing the technology for commercial aviation. It aims to improve aviation’s ecological footprint, bringing with it a 50% reduction of wing friction and up to five percent lower CO2 emission. Airbus’ A340 Flight Lab is the first test aircraft in the world to combine a transonic laminar wing profile with a true internal primary structure.

On the outside the aircraft is fitted with two representative transonic laminar outer-wings, while inside the cabin a highly complex specialist flight-test-instrumentation (FTI) station has been installed. The extensive modifications to the A340-300 test-bed aircraft took place during the course of a 16-month working party in Tarbes, with the support of numerous industrial partners across Europe. Today’s first-flight marks the kick-off of the Blade flight-test campaign to explore the wing’s characteristics in flight. A key goal of Blade is to be able to measure the tolerances and imperfections which can be present and still sustain laminarity. To this end, Airbus will simulate every type of imperfection in a controlled manner, so that at the end of the campaign the tolerances for building a laminar wing will be fully known. The flight Lab will perform around 150 flight hours in the coming months.

Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE), an MRO centre based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, partially owned by Airbus since 2011, has become a fully owned Airbus subsidiary, following the acquisition by Airbus of its remaining shares.With this acquisition, SAE becomes an integral part of the Airbus Customer Services network and is set to represent a key element of Services by Airbus’ growth strategy in the dynamic Asia Pacific market.

JetBlue
JetBlue will become the first airline to introduce Airspace by Airbus on the A320 Family, the agreement was introduced at APEX Expo. JetBlue customers will experience this newest A320 Family cabin aboard JetBlue aircraft starting in late 2020. Highlights of the new Airspace cabin in the A320 Family include: a unique welcome experience. In particular, a customizable welcome effect is extended throughout the cabin by a central lighting strip which is visible even with open bin doors during boarding. The A320 Family cabin with Airspace features the industry’s largest overhead bins, whose conformal exterior profile facilitates smooth boarding. Throughout the cabin passengers will appreciate the increased interior width, the soothing ambience of the latest full-color LED lighting, and a contemporary lavatory design with new comfort features.

Inmarsat
Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced that AirAsia Group has selected its next-generation GX Aviation inflight broadband solution for more than 120 Airbus aircraft. This contract supports Inmarsat’s strategy of providing airlines with tailored scalable capacity by designing, owning and operating a global network of High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). GX Aviation is the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with seamless, reliable high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. It is the only service in the market that guarantees minimum data rates, ensuring that airline passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.

Also, AirAsia Group will connect to the GX network using exclusive new JetWave terminals produced by Honeywell Aerospace. The 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.

SITAONAIR
International carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has selected SITAONAIR to make its global high-speed connected passenger experience ambitions a reality over GX Aviation. SITAONAIR is to deliver the upgrade of PAL’s existing B777 Swift Broadband fleet to GX Aviation, powered by Honeywell’s JetWave SATCOM terminal, together with line-fitting PAL’s new Airbus A350s and A321s. Once complete, SITAONAIR will activate its rich nose-to-tail package of bespoke inflight connectivity (IFC) services, achieving a significantly enhanced and consistent connected experience for passengers and cabin crews. SITAONAIR’s award-winning, intuitive Internet ONAIR portal offers contextualized and personalized content, satisfying digitally-demanding passengers over GX connectivity by mirroring their ‘at-home’ experience, and with free 30-minute Wi-Fi sessions and cheaper price plans on offer to all passengers. In addition, PAL customers will benefit from SITAONAIR’s mobile connectivity over GX via SITAONAIR’s Mobile ONAIRONAIR Plug’s secure online channel for inflight card transactions and crew and passenger interactions; plus integrated, connected inflight entertainment from Zodiac Inflight Innovations. The close partnership between SITAONAIR and Zodiac Inflight Innovations with PAL plays an important part in the program’s success.

Immfly
Immfly, based in Barcelona, was selected by easyJet to launch its IFE product on the basis of the high-performance digital platform it provides. It offers the flexibility to dynamically deliver a broad range of digital content and innovative tools to effectively engage customers. Immfly’s product is at the forefront of the industry providing passengers with the ability to access a unique in-flight entertainment experience with personalized capabilities through their own smart devices, rendering old built-in monitors obsolete. Immfly, already a leading provider of in-flight sales and communications services in Europe, expects to reach 100 million connected passengers by 2018 following its partnerships with airlines which include carriers such as Iberia Express, Volotea, XL Airways and now easyJet. Rakuten, a global leader in internet services with over 1 billion members worldwide and an ecosystem of more than 70 services, will be the Official Entertainment Sponsor of easyJet’s in-flight entertainment service integrated by Immfly.


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New, multi-year agreement adds third France 24 channel to highly-penetrated Intelsat 21 video neighborhood in North and Latin America 

Luxembourg | October 12, 2017–Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), operator of the world’s first Globalized Network and leader in integrated satellite communications, recently announced that Globecast,  a global solutions provider for media, will continue distribution of two France 24 channels and also broadcast a brand new Spanish speaking high-definition (HD) channel via Intelsat 21.

Under the new, multi-year expanded agreement, Globecast will distribute three channels – English, French and Spanish-speaking – to cable operators across North America, Latin America and Canada. Globecast will leverage satellite services on Intelsat 21 – a premier video neighborhood in the Latin America region – including fiber backhaul and the IntelsatOne Multi Channel per Carrier (MCPC) platform to support content distribution and global expansion. The MCPC platform is fully integrated with IntelsatOne fiber and teleport services for quick and cost-effective development of global networks for new channel distribution.

“To increase our global footprint and reach new viewers with a higher quality of content, we need a reliable, expansive distribution network that can effectively tap into different regions of the world,” said Philippe Bernard, Globecast Group’s Chief Executive Officer. “Continuing our partnership with Intelsat and leveraging the highly penetrated Intelsat 21 video neighborhood will enable us to deliver France 24 optimal coverage and access to more viewers in the Americas and Canada.”

“Our experience and expertise in cultivating highly-penetrated video neighborhoods in Latin America and other regions of the world enable our customers to cost-effectively reach new audiences in broader regions and increase revenue,” said Rhys Morgan, Intelsat’s Managing Director, Europe Sales. “Globecast’s decision to expand services on Intelsat 21, validates the strength of the video neighborhood. Our robust managed service offering provides Globecast with access to a world-class network of IntelsatOne fiber and teleport services to efficiently and reliably distribute media content to France 24 viewers.”

Located at 302° East, Intelsat 21 delivers premier-pan regional program distribution for the region. Intelsat currently delivers 77 of the 100 most watched channels in Latin America. Intelsat’s leading cable distribution neighborhood in Latin America is comprised of three, high-performance, fully penetrated satellites – Intelsat 11, Intelsat 21 and Intelsat 34 – carrying premium programming from around the world. Intelsat 14 is the newest satellite in the Latin America video neighborhood and is expanding the company’s media distribution leadership position in the region by delivering HD content to broadcasters.

New telecommunications satellite has completed first electric orbit raising for a high capacity satellite injust four months since launch in June

Paris, Toulouse | October 11, 2017–The EUTELSAT 172B spacecraft, built by Airbus for Eutelsat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators, has now reached geostationary orbit, breaking the record for the fastest satellite electric orbit raising (EOR).

EUTELSAT 172B was launched by Ariane 5 from Kourou, in French Guiana, on 1 June. The Airbus spacecraft control centre in Toulouse took control for early operations, initialisation, deployment of the solar array and electric propulsion arms, and completed initial testing prior to starting the Electric Orbit Raising phase on 8 June. During this four-month phase, electric thrusters smoothly and efficiently propelled the satellite to the targeted orbit, consuming almost six times less propellant mass than for a satellite with chemical propulsion.

Following completion of the payload in-orbit tests and drift to its operational location led by the Eutelsat team, EUTELSAT 172B is scheduled to enter commercial service in November to provide enhanced telecommunications, in-flight broadband and broadcast services for the Asia-Pacific region. Its life span is expected to exceed 15 years thanks to electric propulsion for in-orbit raising and station-keeping.

“We are the first company to demonstrate full electric propulsion for satellites of this size and capacity, enabling their launch in the most cost-efficient manner. Furthermore, with our system design, operation strategy and the plasma thruster technology we implement, we have completed the fastest electric orbit raising ever from transfer to geostationary orbit, which will allow Eutelsat to put their electric satellite in service in a record time,” said Nicolas Chamussy, Head of Space Systems at Airbus.

Yohann Leroy, Eutelsat’s Chief Technical Officer, added: “EUTELSAT 172B confirms the relevance of Eutelsat’s early adoption of electric propulsion technology to optimise capex. In combining electric propulsion, High Throughput capacity, robotic arms and 3D printing techniques, our new satellite also reflects Europe’s capability to push the envelope of innovation in order to increase the competitiveness of our business. We look forward to bringing EUTELSAT 172B into service next month for our clients in the Asia-Pacific region.”

EUTELSAT 172B combines 13 kW of payload power with a launch mass of only 3,550 kg, thanks to the latest EOR version of Airbus’ highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform.

EOR success and record was made possible by two Airbus innovations:

  • A pair of deployable robotic arms which orientate the satellite’s electric propulsion thrusters, and control thrust direction and attitude during different phases of the mission.
  • The WALIS (Wide Angle Localisation Integrated System) network of ground stations around the world, developed by Airbus, which has enabled engineers to control orbit raising operations until the satellite reached geostationary orbit.

The development of Airbus’ Eurostar all-electric satellites has been supported by ESA and space agencies of European countries, in particular in France by the CNES in the framework of the PIA programme (Plan d’Investissements d’Avenir) and in the UK by the UK Space Agency.

Expansion of popular programme allows Dassault Aviation customers to use their existing radomes to connect to Jet ConneX

October 11, 2017–Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced today that additional data plans are now available for its Jet ConneX inflight Wi-Fi solution on Dassault business jets. The expanded offering gives Dassault customers five tiered data plans to choose from using their existing non-Ka-band radomes. The highest data plan offers speeds up to 11Mbps.

Business aviation customers are normally required to install the Honeywell JetWave hardware for Jet ConneX with a fully approved Ka-band optimised radome. However, that requirement has been waived while Dassault Aviation finishes development of a fully approved Ka-band radome, which is expected next year.

With the installation of an approved Ka-band radome, Dassault customers will become eligible for the entire Jet ConneX data plan catalogue, which currently offers tiered plans up to 15Mbps.

Kurt Weidemeyer, Vice President of Business and General Aviation at Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Jet ConneX has received an extremely positive response from Dassault customers and we decided to expand this programme with more data plans as Inmarsat has more than enough capability and capacity to support even non-Ka-band radomes. In fact, keep an eye out for even higher data plans for all our customers.”

Jet ConneX is the only global, high-speed Wi-Fi option available for Dassault aircraft today. It offers the same fast and reliable on-board connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground, with business jets connecting to the service using exclusive JetWave hardware produced by Inmarsat partner Honeywell. Using Inmarsat’s advanced Ka-band satellite network, Jet ConneX offers consistent global coverage across 100 percent of major airline routes and islands off the beaten path for business aviation customers.

With more than 100 installations, Supplemental Type Certifications (STCs) with all major aircraft manufactures and a rising number of aftermarket installers, across 15 of the most popular type models, Jet ConneX has become the most installed inflight Wi-Fi solution of 2017. The total number of business jet installations for the service is expected to double in the next year alone.

Non-Ka radome programme data plan speeds and pricing can be obtained from the Jet ConneX global network of Service Providers; Arinc Direct, Honeywell Go Direct, Satcom Direct (SD) or SitaOnAir, who offer tailored service plans on a monthly subscription basis, as well as 24/7 technical support, billing and value-added services to help customers manage usage and optimise bandwidth..