The first aircraft equipped with the Falcon 300 in-flight connectivity system has been delivered to launch customer Texas-based premium airline, Hillwood Airways, for its Boeing 737-700 aircraft.
Developed by GDC Technics and technology partners, Thinkom, Kontron and Hughes Network Systems, Flacon 300 is an open network Ka-band satcom and cabin wireless platform capable of delivering up to 150Mbps.
Building upon Thinkom’s resilient, responsive, and robust Ka-2517 phased-array antenna, the GDC solution pairs with premium Wi-Fi and media server elements from Kontron to provide exceptional end-to-end performance to all cabin passenger and crew devices. Furthermore, the system is assured to be “always on” by leveraging a multi-modem satcom array. The multi-modem array is designed to communicate and switch between several Ka-band networks to meet the needs of our customers’ mission profiles. The multi-modem architecture maximises current and future connectivity options including new GEO, HEO, LEO, and MEO Ka-band constellations.
The Hughes JUPITER System powers the connectivity to the GDC Falcon 300 system and includes the Hughes ModMan, a dual high-performance aero modem with a full-featured airborne server, and high-throughput satellite (HTS) capacity from the JUPITER 1 (EchoStar XVII) and JUPITER 2 (EchoStar XIX) satellites, all provided by Hughes as a managed service.
GDC anticipates further installations on Boeing and Airbus platforms in the second half of 2020. With these installations, the company will extend the STC/Kit options available for installation at GDC facilities in the US, or via its partnerships around the globe – including GDC supported facilities in India and the Middle East. The company will also continue to build upon its experience with Hughes and extend Service Provider options.
“Our challenge to GDC was to create an industry leading wireless cabin for our premium clientele,” stated Ched Bart, CEO of Hillwood Airways. “Since our inception, we have focused on providing our passengers the safest, most comfortable, productive, and connected experience as they traverse the globe. With the new GDC Falcon 300 system, our aircraft will provide passengers with “gate-to-gate” Wi-Fi and unfettered access to streaming media, collaboration, video conferencing, and social media sites, all at speeds heretofore unseen in any airline environment.”
GDC’s Falcon 300 system is available for immediate installs across the Boeing 737 family. The company also anticipates STC’s and availability for the A320/319, A330, B787, and B777 prior to the end of 2020.