Honeywell and Inmarsat on Monday Dec. 9 announced the launch of the first of three satellites, the F1, for the Global Xpress constellation network for their GX Aviation program.
Both companies signed an agreement in April 2012 for GX Aviation, with Honeywell providing onboard aircraft hardware enabling passengers to connect to Inmarsat's network. GX Aviation is expected to deliver high-speed in-flight Wi-Fi comparable to home and office connection speeds for commercial, military and business aircraft over land and sea.
"Passengers want to stay connected online even when they are flying at 30,000 feet. They expect to have an experience that mimics the Internet in their home or office," said Jack Jacobs, vice president of Marketing & Product Management at Honeywell.
F1 has been launched to cover the Indian Ocean region, with remaining satellites expected to launch in the second and third quarters of 2014 providing global coverage by the end of next year.
Honeywell's avionics and hardware developed for GX Aviation is expected to provide more predictive maintenance and better aircraft communications for operators and airlines, creating a more "connected aircraft," according to a statement.
"GX Aviation is changing the face of in-flight connectivity," said Miranda Mills, Inmarsat president, aviation. "It will be the world's first global Ka-band network, specifically designed to provide connectivity to aircraft, and will enable a whole range of new services for both passengers and crew," said Miranda Mills, president of aviation at Inmarsat.