Air-to-ground (ATG) inflight connectivity provider SmartSky Networks announced it has at least seven models of aircraft with expected STC completion this quarter. Once an STC is granted, customers can go to any SmartSky dealer to request installation, which currently includes about 20 MROs and OEMs.
The next expected STC certification to be received from the FAA is on the Dassault Falcon 2000, which finished its SmartSky Flagship system installation and returned to service on 15 April. This will complement the Dassault Falcon 900 STC received earlier this year. A Bombardier Learjet 60 nearing completion represents the first customer installation of the SmartSky Lite system, a streaming-capable inflight connectivity solution specifically designed for smaller aircraft.
“We’re pursuing an aggressive strategy to get the majority of business aircraft certified for SmartSky as soon as possible because the demand signals we are getting from the marketplace are significant,” said David Helfgott, CEO of SmartSky Networks. “Not only are our customers flying with highly satisfactory results, we are hosting numerous demonstration flights across the country for prospective customers. Each SmartSky-equipped passenger flight delivers an experience unlike anything they’ve had before, making passengers and crew eager to have our system on the planes they fly.”
With a dozen STCs already granted and many more on the way, the SmartSky system is rapidly becoming available for thousands of the most popular business aviation jet models currently in service. The seven STCs expected this quarter include the Gulfstream 200/280; Cessna Citation Excel/XLS; and Dassault Falcon 2000; all of which would be for Flagship systems. For the LITE system, they include the Cessna CJ 525 Series (M2 and CJs); the Pilatus PC-12; the Embraer Phenom 100; and the Bombardier Learjet 60.
Many additional types are advancing in the pipeline, including popular Textron airframes like the King Air B200/250/300/350 and Citation Sovereign; the Embraer Legacy 450/500 and Phenom 300; Bombardier Challenger 300/350; and more. In total, SmartSky expects to have certification covering over two-thirds of major aircraft types in service in North America by the end of 2023.
SmartSky said its STC completion programme line-up is strengthened by the company’s horizontal integration strategy. It actively involves working with customers, prospects and dealers. Customers who want to offer their aircraft to be a first-of-type model for the STC programme can contact their OEM, preferred MRO, or SmartSky directly.
SmartSky has already received STCs from the FAA for the Bombardier Challenger 601/604/605/650; Dassault Falcon 900; Embraer ERJ135/140/145; Gulfstream G350/G450/G500/G550/GIV/GV-SP; and Textron Citation X series.