Ka-band connectivity has been enabled on a Gulfstream GV as part of a cabin refurbishment and exterior revamp at Flying Colours Corp. The company installed a radome, tail antenna and cabin hardware to enable connectivity in the cabin and flight deck. It is the company’s first such installation on this aircraft type, and was completed in July 2018 in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
The connectivity service is supplied through Honeywell’s JetWave system and powered by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite constellation. It enables passengers to surf the internet, make voice calls, text, use messaging apps and exchange emails, as well as enjoy gaming, streaming television and video services. Onboard hardware serves data via the wi-fi system to multiple personal devices, as well as the aircraft’s own CMS and IFE systems, which were also upgraded as part of the refurbishment.
Existing controls, screens and operating systems were switched out and replaced with Rockwell Collins’s Venue CMS. Cabin environment, ambience, communications and entertainment can be controlled through integrated equipment including touchscreen displays. Cabin crew and passengers can also control mood lighting, cabin temperature and music choices, as well as view Airshow moving maps or movies, from their own smart devices. The system architecture is designed to support new technologies as they come online.
“We knew this client was going to be regularly flying international routes and needed a robust connectivity solution, as well as sophisticated CMS/IFE to effectively manage the passengers’ onboard experience,” said Kevin Kliethermes, director of sales for Flying Colours.
“Both systems were the most logical choice to fit the aircraft’s demanding missions and customer expectations. Passengers increasingly want to replicate their terrestrial digital lifestyle, entertainment and communication options in the air. Ka-band, more sophisticated CMS and a growing array of satellite services make this possible. We anticipate we will be carrying out many more installations like this one across a range of airframes over the next 12 months.”