Cobham’s HGA-7001 SATCOM high gain antenna subsystem has been selected by Virgin Atlantic for the airline’s Boeing 747 cabin upgrade programme to commence in 2012. Virgin Atlantic will retrofit seven of its Boeing 747 aircraft with the Cobham antenna, which will enable Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB) SATCOM connectivity into the cockpit and cabin.

"Virgin Atlantic's selection of the Cobham Antenna system is as a result of a rigorous and thorough selection process," says Sean Swain, General Manager, Supply Chain for Virgin Atlantic. "The combination of technical excellence, coupled with a good commercial position, has secured the ongoing partnership between Virgin Atlantic and Cobham Antenna Systems and secured the best overall solution for our Boeing 747 cabin upgrade."

Cobham’s antenna subsystem will be retrofitted to the fleet of seven Boeing 747-400 aircraft through an independent Supplemental Type Certificate (STC).

“We are delighted to announce the selection of the Cobham antenna hardware for the Virgin Atlantic retrofit opportunity," says Fred Cahill, Vice President of Cobham Antenna Systems. "This is a great first step in making our technology available to the in-service aircraft market.”

Other STCs are in progress to certify the Cobham antenna subsystem for retrofit on a range of aircraft platforms.

Cobham SATCOM equipment has been certified for forward fit new production aircraft on Airbus and Boeing platforms: 737, 747, 777, A320 family, and A330/A340. A400M and A380 certification is expected to be completed later this year. Cobham has also been selected for installation aboard the 787 and A350. Cobham’s HGA-7001 SATCOM antenna sub-system has been selected by over 20 airlines.