WICHITA, Kan., 5 Nov. 2012. Greenwich AeroGroup Inc.’s Iridium OpenPort Aero system, which leverages Iridium’s worldwide satellite network to provide Wi-Fi connectivity from takeoff to landing, has completed its first business aviation flight test.
The hour-long flight test took place 26 Oct. 2012 on a Bombardier Challenger 604. The testing crew used four iPads and two smartphones to test speed levels, access websites, download data, send e-mail and text messages, and make phones calls over the Iridium network.
Test engineers for technology partner LiveTV and the director of maintenance and chief pilot for the aircraft were onboard the flight. LiveTV has adapted the Iridium OpenPort technology for use in a wide range of aeronautical platforms and applications.
“The pilot was downloading weather information onto his iPad,” explains LiveTV Flight Engineer Chris Brown. “To have this system installed for the first time, fly with it for the first time, and have it come off flawlessly was very exciting.”
Iridium OpenPort Aero provides bi-directional speeds of up to 134kbps and features three independent phone lines, enabling simultaneous voice and data connectivity.
The first Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) should be completed by the end of 2012 for the Bombardier Challenger 601-3A/3R, 604, and 605 models. STCs for additional aircraft models are planned for next year.