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The goal of delivering ‘home equivalent’ high-speed, consistent wireless internet connectivity for passengers and pilots on aircraft came a step closer today. In a joint announcement, Honeywell and Inmarsat confirmed that they have finalised the critical design review (CDR) of the GX Aviation aircraft avionics on schedule. It is anticipated that product certifications will be achieved later this year, followed by product introduction which is expected during the first half of 2015.
Targeting both passenger aircraft and business jets, GX Aviation is the first, truly global, high-speed, in-flight connectivity service that will provide data rates to the aircraft of up to 50 Mbps. Using GX Aviation, passengers will be able to do everything from real-time social media updates and emails to live-streaming TV, all while in flight, and from virtually anywhere in the world, over both land and sea.
Completing the CDR marks the final development review for the GX Aviation aircraft avionics programme. Inmarsat and Honeywell engineers completed the evaluation on schedule and executed a comprehensive audit of the system design, engineering model hardware and programme.
Completion of this major milestone follows the successful launch of Inmarsat-5 F1 - the first of three Ka-band satellites - from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Russia on 8th December 2013. The second and third satellites are scheduled to launch later this year, providing full global coverage by the end of 2014.
“Successful completion of our final design review is one more milestone along our path to product introduction in the first half of 2015,” said Jack Jacobs, vice president of Marketing, Honeywell Safety and Information Systems. “We are on track to bring a new level of high-speed, in-fight connectivity to consumers and airlines around the world, regardless of whether it is a domestic or international flight. In addition, we are actively working with several air transport and business aviation manufacturers to provide GX Aviation and to enable a truly connected aircraft from gate to gate and from ground to over 12,000 meters.”
“A comprehensive team from both Inmarsat and Honeywell has completed its analysis of every aspect of Honeywell’s satcom system to ensure it meets all our design criteria. We are confident that the Honeywell avionics, like the rest of the GX Aviation programme, will be ready for service launch in 2015. GX Aviation will bring a new dawn in aircraft connectivity, providing high-speed broadband connectivity for all user requirements throughout the flight,” said Miranda Mills, president, Inmarsat Aviation.
During the process, Inmarsat’s team reviewed the final functional specifications of hardware designs, and the results of engineering units tests. These reviews will enable the continued progress of the GX Aviation programme through product certification in 2014, product launch and global entry into service for commercial, business aviation and government customers in the first half of 2015.