Flying Colours fitting Ka-band on Challenger 604


A privately owned Bombardier Challenger 604 is undergoing a Ka-band installation as part of a 96-month heavy maintenance check at Flying Colours’ facility in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. The company has completed many Ka-band installations on large-cabin business jets, but this is its first such project on the super-midsize Challenger 604.

In addition to the technical inspection, the avionics team will equip the aircraft with the Honeywell JetWave Ka-band high-speed satcom system. Installation of a tail-mounted antenna, internal wiring and a Satcom Direct Router will optimise cabin connectivity and wi-fi access in flight. Once activated, the service supports web browsing, email, voice and text applications, video conferencing, live TV and video streaming across multiple digital devices.

The 96-month maintenance inspection is being conducted in tandem with a 192-month landing gear restoration, along with other maintenance tasks and required service bulletins.

“The installation of Ka-band on larger jets is the norm, but this is the first Challenger 604 that we have upgraded to the high-speed offering,” said Eric Gillespie, executive vice president of Flying Colours. “It highlights the growing importance of connectivity across the aviation spectrum. Our customer recognised the many benefits of the higher frequency service and how it enhances the flight experience, especially on international flights. The upgrade was available through the Bombardier service bulletin and we’re excited to make the installation. Looking forward we anticipate we’ll be seeing more requests for faster connectivity solutions on a wider number of airframe sizes as connectivity becomes a lead priority for owners and operators.”

As an authorised Collins Aerospace dealer, Flying Colours is geared up to install the Pro Line Fusion avionics system on Challenger 604 flight decks. The system features 14.1in touchscreen navigation, ADS-B Out, FANS 1/A, synthetic vision and graphical weather capabilities. The company said the system delivers similar capabilities to those of the Challenger 605 and Challenger 650.

“We are a Bombardier-authorised service facility, as well as a preferred completion centre for the OEM, so we have extensive experience with the Bombardier Challenger 604 model,” said Gillespie. “With many of the type still in service, this upgrade reduces obsolescence, supports asset value retention and delivers owners an aircraft compliant with existing and upcoming international mandates. Whether it’s a simple flight deck upgrade, or one facet of a wider MRO project, we are ready to support owners from around the world with this installation.”

Flying Colours offers Pro Line Fusion installation capabilities for the Challenger 604 at its site in Peterborough, as well as in St Louis, Missouri.

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Izzy has been part of the Business Jet Interiors International team since its second issue, and the editor since 2011. She also edits Auditoria and Railway Interiors International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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