Special Report: Connected Aircraft Age is Near

August 19, 2015

The age of the fully connected aircraft is upon us and it isn’t coming a minute too soon to meet the bandwidth demands of today’s commercial aircraft. Connectivity is one of the biggest technology revolutions in commercial aviation and it will deliver a wide range of benefits for flight crews, operators and maintenance teams, and the flying public.

That’s the finding of a special interactive report on the connected aircraft called “Airplane Connectivity: Innovation, Security and Speed,” available now on the Avionics Today website. Honeywell Aerospace, a leading provider of connectivity solutions for commercial aircraft, sponsors the special report.

Providing enough bandwidth to meet everyone’s needs is a challenge for airlines today. Fortunately, new technologies are emerging that will provide enough bandwidth to meet operators’ needs and give passengers the Wi-Fi connection they need to stream video, download files, access social media and much more.

A major technology milestone was achieved during a June flight test aboard Honeywell’s reconfigured Boeing 757 flying laboratory. Honeywell and its GX Aviation partner, Inmarsat, demonstrated a successful connection between Honeywell’s JetWave onboard terminal and Inmarsat’s first Global Xpress satellite.

During the test, Honeywell engineers were able to stream YouTube videos and download large files throughout a robust flight profile designed to test the limits of the system and the JetWave hardware. Details on the flight test are included in the interactive report.

The report provides a broad picture of the factors impacting the connected aircraft revolution, told from the perspective of major airlines, airframe manufacturers, connectivity providers and government regulators. It talks about how the needs of various stakeholders are being considered and covers cybersecurity and the many steps being taken to secure data in the connected aircraft environment.

The report includes additional considerations for airlines as they implement satellite-based communications. These solutions will improve operational efficiency and provide their passengers with an airborne Internet experience comparable to what they’re used to getting in their homes and offices.