BendixKing unveiled its path to General Aviation (GA) connectivity at the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) Convention in Nashville, Tenn. Via an Ethernet jack, low gain antennas and satellite connectivity with international over-ground coverage, aircraft owners can deploy in-flight connectivity in both cockpit and cabin.
BendixKing's AeroWave 100.
An Ethernet jack for plug-in to a compatible Wi-Fi router or to a single device comprises the solution and, while not fast enough for video streaming, according to BendixKing Director of Product Development Roger Dykmann, the 150-200 kilobyte bandwidth allows passengers to text, send emails, use social media and even conduct video calls. The service comes at an hourly rate and a monthly plan costs “in the $100s,” said Dykmann, though no formal pricing plan has been released.
AeroWave100 enables a connected cockpit as well, allowing real-time weather for use in iPad apps for increased situational awareness. When asked if increasingly popular Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out solutions like Universal Access Transceiver FIS-B and TIS-B capabilities might make weather on iPad redundant, Dykmann said FIS-B is targeted at a very niche population. The targeted BendixKing user is more likely to have a 1090 Mode S transceiver, he said, which traditionally does not come with TIS-B and FIS-B.
Orders begin shipping in the next few weeks, said Dykmann, as the order books open today. The AeroWave100 box is TSO’d (Technical Standard Order), and the connectivity solution includes two boxes, a controller and an antenna. Instead of STC (Supplemental Type Certificate) certifications, the product only requires Designated Engineering Representative (DER) approval.
Dykmann said complementary In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFE&C) opportunities are not yet slated for announcements, but that BendixKing is exploring several options.