Duncan Aviation partners with SmartSky on inflight connectivity

Duncan AviationDuncan Aviation has announced a partnership with SmartSky Networks for its new 4G LTE-based air-to-ground inflight connectivity network.

The service, which is due for launch this year, will offer low latency and high bandwidth with relatively small equipment.

Working with SmartSky Networks, Duncan Aviation’s Engineering and Certification department helped develop the first Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for a Cessna Citation Excel.

Bryan Rapp, Account Manager with SmartSky Networks, said: “It is an honour to partner with Duncan Aviation, a company that has a well-deserved reputation for outstanding customer service.

“We believe this partnership confirms SmartSky’s commitment to deliver the very best in resources for our customers as well.”

The SmartSky 4G LTE system received FAA approval for the Citation Excel STC in January and aircraft Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) in March. Duncan Aviation representatives should be contacted to schedule installation on aircraft. Duncan Aviation says it will also be working with SmartSky on exclusive STCs for the following aircraft:

  • Bombardier Challenger 604/605/650
  • Bombardier Challenger 300/350
  • Dassault Falcon 2000 (all variants)
  • Dassault Falcon 900 (all variants)
  • Bombardier Learjet 40/45/75

Duncan Aviation says it has the engineering expertise to develop the paths to certification for numerous aircraft models, but also has the technical knowledge and experience to install SmartSky Networks’ certified equipment quickly and efficiently to meet its customers’ flight schedules.

SmartSky has begun the rollout of its innovative, air-to-ground network, SmartSky 4G LTE. The network takes advantage of patented spectrum reuse, advanced beam-forming technologies and 60 MHz of spectrum for enhanced connectivity.

SmartSky says 4G LTE delivers data to the aircraft at rates comparable with next-generation satellite solutions. Its nationwide network includes secure data centres strategically located in California, Colorado and Virginia that are already operational.

The company is manufacturing its proprietary antennas and ground stations, and deploying them nationwide on existing cell towers as the equipment rolls off the production lines.

It’s also working with the three leading U.S. tower companies: Crown Castle, SBA and American Tower. Together, they own a vast majority of the existing towers across the country.

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