Your Guide To High Speed Broadband Solutions at West Star Aviation
If you’re like many operators, in-flight connectivity is an important, necessary tool in the daily operation of your aircraft. Whether it’s to ensure company employees can be as productive at FL350 as they are on in their offices, or giving your VIP/Charter fare the ability to stay connected anywhere in the world, global in-flight connectivity is a system that many flight departments cannot go without.
Aviation technology is an ever-progressing industry, with improvements in Broadband in-flight connectivity erupting at breakneck speeds. These advancements are improving data speeds, lowering equipment/installation costs, and making Broadband systems available to smaller aircraft that have not had solutions in the past.
With the growth of in-flight broadband connectivity, many more companies are launching new constellations of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites. This is creating a more competitive market with lower monthly costs of Broadband data plans, making worldwide connectivity affordable for any flight department budget. Here are some of the options available now and in the near future.
Honeywell JetWave KA-Band System
The Honeywell JetWave was the pioneer system that first delivered KA-Band connectivity to business aircraft. The JetWave has many solutions available for larger airframes with tail-mounted radomes. KA-Band data plans are available through multiple vendors with offerings that will fit the needs of most operators. Speeds for the JetWave are up to 20 Mbps, depending on your JX data plan.
Satcom Direct Plane Simple Ku-Band System
Satcom Direct recently introduced its Plane Simple Ku-Band system. The system consists of two LRUs that delivers 15×2 Mbps. With two LRU (antenna and modem), installation time is quicker and can be mounted in non-pressurized areas to save on cabin space and storage. The Plane Simple system was designed specifically for business aviation. There are already several STCs approved with many more on the way.
Gogo Business Aviation Ku-band System
Gogo Business Aviation, known for Air-to-Ground in-flight connectivity, announced its development of a worldwide Ku Broadband system in May of 2022. Collaborating with OneWeb satellite Internet provider and antenna company HughesNet, Gogo’s system will consist of an Electronically Steerable Antenna (ESA) interfaced to the AVANCE hardware platform (L5, L3, or SCS router). The antenna will be the size of a standard Intermediate Gain Antenna (IGA) used on many SwiftBroadband systems, allowing for installations under tail mounted radomes as well as the upper fuselage.
This opens up Ku-Band to smaller aircraft like the Gulfstream G200, down to King Air-sized turboprops. While this solution will not be out until mid-2024, it’s welcomed news for those operators of smaller aircraft flying outside of Gogo’s current ATG network who have patiently waited for a high speed internet solution. Target speeds for the Gogo Ku solution is 50Mbps.
ViaSat KA-Band System
In the past, a global broadband solution for ViaSat meant that an operator would need a dual band KA/Ku installation due to the coverage of their existing satellite constellation. KA is used over most of North America and Europe, and Ku-band over the rest of the globe. However, in November 2021, ViaSat announced the intent to acquire Inmarsat, a global broadband provider. Once this acquisition goes through federal compliance, ViaSat will have full use of Inmarsat’s KA satellite constellation, immediately expanding its KA footprint globally. In addition to Inmarsat’s KA satellites, ViaSat will also launch three of its own KA satellites. The first satellite will launch in 3Q22, followed by the other two in 6-month intervals.
ViaSat offers both domestic and global data plans for its KA system with unlimited data options, delivering 20 Mbps to the cabin. There are many large cabin STC solutions for the ViaSat KA system.
Collins Aerospace LuxStream Ku-Band System
Collins LuxStream Ku-Band system is a high-speed broadband solution, perfect for those that want fast KA-level speeds where US-based operators fly the most. The LuxStream offers Enhanced Ku speeds flying over the continental US, Pacific Ocean and Hawaii (up to 25Mbps) and standard Ku-level speeds over the rest of the world (up to 15 Mbps). There are many STCs available for this platform, some using the aircraft’s existing radome.
West Star Aviation Has Your Solution
The time has never been better to look at installing a KA or Ku Broadband system in your business aircraft. No matter your budget or timeline, West Star Aviation has a global high-speed data solution for your aircraft. Solutions are available at all four full-service West Star Aviation locations: East Alton, IL (ALN), Grand Junction, CO (GJT), Chattanooga, TN (CHA) and Perryville, MO (PCD).
Reach out to one of the Avionics Technical Sales Managers listed below to discuss which system is right for your aircraft. They are looking forward to assisting you with your global in-flight connectivity needs.