Astronics Corporation has successfully completed in-flight demonstrations of its FliteStream T-Series tail- mounted Ku-band 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).
The company 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 e-mail large files.
The company says the 28 passengers who flew on four separate flights experienced:
- A minimum of 4 Mbps connectivity (commonly reaching more than 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).
Rick Brainard, Director of Business Development at Kaiser Air, said: “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.”
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.