The goal of a global, high-speed, in-flight connectivity network is becoming a reality. On Aug. 28th, Honeywell’s partner Inmarsat successfully launched the third Global Xpress (GX) satellite.
“This is a major achievement for Inmarsat and an important milestone for our partnership,” said Jack Jacobs, Vice President, Marketing and Product Management for Safety and Information Management. “The I5-F3 satellite will complete the GX satellite constellation, which will ultimately provide aircraft passengers, aircrews and operators with the high-speed internet connectivity they crave, anywhere in the world.”
The satellite was launched by a Russian Proton-M rocket from a base in Kazakhstan and placed in geosynchronous orbit. Additional maneuvering will take the satellite to its permanent position over the Pacific Ocean, where it will complete the network with the two existing satellites.
Together, the three satellites will provide seamless global coverage for the GX Aviation network. The first satellite, which covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa, was launched in 2014 and is already operational. The satellite covering the Americas was launched earlier this year and is expected to begin operating in September. The third satellite will become operational by the end of 2015.
The launch comes less than three months after the first flight test of the JetWave™ onboard hardware that will enable connectivity to the GX network. The flight tests validated the network’s ability to deliver high-speed connectivity over land and water using Honeywell’s satellite communications equipment.
Inmarsat Aviation’s Global Xpress network will have the capacity to meet current and anticipated demands and – for the first time – will provide truly seamless, and global coverage, even on transoceanic flights.