SD connectivity part of the race in Australian navigation competition

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A team competing in The Classic Safari Company Outback Air Race time trial in Australia – which relies on intelligent navigation – is being sponsored by Satcom Direct (SD).

The company’s aviation connectivity services will be used to keep the pilots and ground support team in close contact and optimize flight planning. Success in the competition requires teams to anticipate flight times between self-designated start and end points.

To ensure connectivity for the event duration, The Airplane Factory two-seat Sling aircraft is carrying a Broadband Global Area Network terminal, ‘GO’ and press-to-transmit radios. The connectivity platforms enable pilots Stephen Limkin and Shannon Samarasekera to use voice and text messaging, browse the internet, review latest weather and route info, as well as maximize VOIP and push-to-talk services to meet the anticipated flight times between the start and finish points. It also links the duo with the ground support team and online followers.

“Our decision to sponsor is multipurpose,” said Nathan Andrews, SD’s APAC regional director. “We want to support the aviators on their challenging journey by providing a robust connectivity solution to keep them safe and connected, showcase how SD makes synchronizing flight operations a reality, stimulate awareness of the importance of general aviation to the Australian nation, and most importantly, help raise funds to outfit vital RFDS aircraft. We are extremely proud to be part of the event.”

“Having access to the SD equipment and satcom facility is a major boost to our winning potential,” said Limkin. “The race is not about speed, it’s about navigating with accuracy and adjusting routes according to flying conditions. Connectivity is crucial in making this happen. We can also interact with our followers, donation givers, family and friends to tell the story of our adventure. We can’t express how important it is to have this. We only started planning a few months ago and the SD services have helped make the impossible, possible.”

“We believe in inspiring a new generation to get involved with aviation,” continued Limkin. “If we have a vibrant aviation sector, we have more connected services in remote and regional Australia. Living away from large population centers can make it more difficult to access services like health, education, transportation and basic everyday items others may take for granted. Being connected physically and virtually is extremely important which is why having SD on board with us really adds a value to the team.”

The Classic Safari Company Outback Air Race sees competitors and aircraft pit their skills against each other in a GPS navigation time-trial crossing Australia’s outback. The 9,000km (5,592 mile) aerial voyage from the east to west coast has raised more than A$2m for the Australian Royal Flying Doctors service since wheels up in 1996. In 2018, crews took off from Brisbane, Queensland, and will finish the race in Broome in Western Australia.

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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, Railway Interiors International and Winter Sports Technology International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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