EBACE2018: Acropolis Aviation confirms IFE partner for new ACJ320neo

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UK-based VVIP charter operator Acropolis Aviation will receive the world’s first ACJ320neo VIP aircraft during the fourth quarter of 2019.

Delivered green by Airbus to Acropolis’ chosen outfitter, AMAC Aerospace before year end, AMAC will be installing a new Alberto Pinto cabin at its Basel, Switzerland facilities.

AMAC and Acropolis selected Rockwell Collins’ Venue HD cabin management and entertainment system which includes the Stage on demand wireless streaming solution, Airshow Moving Map and the company’s innovative Viu LED interior lighting system.

“In choosing Rockwell Collins to provide the cabin management system for our new aircraft, we are continuing a successful relationship which began in 2015 and continues through to the introduction of Stage earlier this year,” said Acropolis Aviation CEO Jonathan Bousfield.

“We are honoured to have been selected by ACJ’s launch customer, Acropolis Aviation, for completing the first ACJ320neo in V/VIP configuration at our facility in Basel. With Rockwell Collins, we have a strong team and we look forward to continuing a fruitful relationship,” said Bernd Schramm, group chief operating officer at AMAC Aerospace.

Acropolis Aviation will benefit from Venue’s fault-tolerant, rugged fibre optic backbone, which ensures maximum system availability while providing necessary bandwidth to integrate the latest consumer technologies. It also features intuitive cabin controls for its passengers to easily manage their ride environment, both from on-board interfaces and personal devices.

“Acropolis will be among the first customers to experience our expanded cabin offering featuring industry-leading comfort and entertainment solutions all from one source,” said Craig Olson, vice president and general manager of Business and Regional Systems for Rockwell Collins. “We are committed to delivering a new level of productivity and enjoyment to VIP passengers in all aircraft types, and we look forward to working with AMAC Aerospace as they outfit the first ACJ320neo.”

Additional technologies to augment passengers’ overall cabin experience include 4K displays to provide more dynamic viewing pleasure, wireless remote applications for a more convenient user experience, major Hollywood AVOD, and energy/weight-saving lighting technologies that integrate with on-wing and personal electronic devices (PED).

EBACE2018: ‘Live hacks’ highlight importance of cyber security management

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In a demonstration of how identity information capture, social engineering, phishing, password cracking, and system compromise occurs, Satcom Direct is hosting ‘live’ hacks from ethical hackers during EBACE 2018.

The presentations explain the potential impact of malicious intent, and how data network vulnerabilities are exploited. Using real-world scenarios, the digital security professionals from security testing company Shorebreak Security, outline practical solutions that can reduce potential dangers from the “black hat” threats.

Demonstrations of the SD Cyber Security Solutions portfolio, which combines the benefits of SD’s hardware routers, software services, ground infrastructure and technical expertise to protect business aviation data, complement the presentations. The portfolio also includes the SD Threat Monitoring Module, a feature supported by digital flight operations dashboard SD Pro. The proprietary software provides customers with current and previous views of network security, highlights potential threats, and identifies incidents. With SD’s secure network infrastructure, SD customers also benefit from full data encryption from the air to the ground, while SD’s certified cyber security experts actively monitor data traffic to evaluate any risk.

The SD family of routers, added to SD connectivity and SD Pro software solutions, will then also provide detailed connectivity information, aircraft performance details, and cyber security data giving the customer real time flight management feedback to better support network and operational planning. When combined with the SD Private Network, the full suite enables IT departments to apply full corporate compliance protocols to their fleets, just as they would in their offices. Customers using the combination of SD hardware, SD software and the SD Private Network benefit from the SD guarantee of network security.

“As business aviation becomes more connected, aircraft become digital platforms for incoming and outgoing data transfer, and we want to provide our customers with the most innovative solutions to protect vital information. Each system will have its own vulnerability, so the need to constantly monitor, and proactively prevent cyber-attacks is now imperative. We anticipate that our independent data security experts will drive home just how important it is to be aware of the threat of cyber security, and the need to implement the necessary hardware and software to better protect data,” said Michael Skou Christensen, VP SD International.

SD is also introducing delegates to CyberSAFE, (Securing Assets For End-users) the industry’s first certified training course which teaches aviation professionals how to avoid cyber security failures. Delivered in partnership with Logical Operations, the course educates users about technology related risks, compliance considerations, social engineering, and other data-security-related concepts. Those new to cyber security in aviation can benefit from SD’s free Cyber Smart Kit. Available at the booth, the kit gives real-world scenarios, quick tips, recommended actions and suggests protocols to implement specifically designed for aviation.

EBACE2018: MNG Jet goes with Honeywell’s Godirect for cabin upgrades

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Istanbul-based MNG Jet has selected Honeywell GoDirect Datalink and Cabin services.

“MNG Jet is the leading business jet operator and maintenance organisation in Turkey and Central Asia, and we take pride in ensuring our fleet of aircraft operates at optimum levels of efficiency and safety with an enhanced flight experience for our clients and customers,” said Can Sasmaz, general manager, MNG Jet. “Honeywell’s GoDirect Datalink and Cabin services will support us in improving our aircraft through cost-efficient connected aircraft services, which have the further benefit of flexible terms of use.”

Honeywell’s GoDirect Datalink helps reduce a pilot’s workload by enabling seamless cockpit communications, like text messaging with air traffic control, using the robust two-way Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, which is compatible with all Very High Frequency and satellite networks across the globe. In addition, GoDirect Cabin offers a comprehensive suite of satellite communication services, including dedicated access to GoDirect apps and all the benefits brought by reliable high-speed internet, thanks to its next-generation routers and routing software.

“We’ve worked closely with MNG Jet for several years as an authorised Honeywell Service Center, Channel Partner and Fleet Operator to provide a modernised aircraft experience; the latest selection of Honeywell’s GoDirect Datalink and Cabin services further enhance its fleet by keeping them better connected,” said John Peterson, senior director, Connectivity Services, Honeywell Aerospace. “Honeywell’s GoDirect Cabin provides the tools needed by operators to expand the in-flight experience for their passengers, while GoDirect Datalink offers pilots a dependable connected communication tool.”

European Aviation Network to serve business aviation market

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Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network (EAN) in-flight Wi-Fi solution will be available for the business aviation market by January 2019.

EAN is the world’s first in-flight W-Fi solution that integrates connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and an LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom, covering all 28 member states of the European Union, as well as Switzerland and Norway.

The business aviation rollout follows EAN’s successful introduction in the commercial airline market, with major launch customers already announced and installing the service on aircraft, plus ongoing discussions with other interested carriers across the continent.

Philip Balaam, president of Inmarsat Aviation, said, “EAN is a game-changer for the business aviation market, offering gold standard in-flight Wi-Fi to a broad spectrum of aircraft, from small turboprops to larger platforms such as the Citations, Learjets and Phenoms. It really is ideal for any business jet whose mission keeps them predominantly in Europe.

“Our projections show that the European business aviation fleet will grow beyond 5,000 aircraft in the coming years. We expect a strong uptake for EAN by offering a variety of data plans to meet every budget. Work has already commenced with a large business aviation launch customer for the service and planning for our first STC is underway.”

EAN’s integrated satellite and ground network is fully operational, with a number of flight trials successfully completed across Europe, demonstrating that the next-generation service meets its design performance in practice. The evaluations were conducted with partners Cobham, Thales and Nokia using a CESSNA 550 Citation II provided by Dutch company NLR.

Cobalt Air introduces Bluebox Aviation’s wireless IFE onboard

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Cobalt Air has introduced in-flight entertainment (IFE) across its Airbus A319 and A320 fleet via portable wireless IFE platform, Bluebox Wow, with the system set to go live this week on the airline’s route network.

Bluebox Aviation Systems’ platform, Bluebox Wow, will stream wireless media content to passenger’s own devices. Accessed through a web browser, passengers will be able to enjoy movies and TV shows, with music, games and magazines to follow later.

“We are very pleased to be offering in-flight entertainment on board our flights now, just ahead of the peak summer and family holidays,” said Cobalt Air CEO Andrew Madar. “From the outset we were clear that we didn’t want to have any disruption to our extremely busy fleet that a fitted system would incur. This solution from Bluebox was ideal for us – affordable and excellent quality – just like us. All our cabin crew have to do is turn it on and swap batteries when required. Families always travel with multiple devices so we are making sure that every passenger can access our movies and TV shows.”

Cobalt Air has specified three Bluebox Wow boxes per aircraft, secured in overhead lockers, ensuring all passengers can access IFE content throughout their flight.

“As Cobalt Air is an airline committed to offering its passengers exceptional service – we’re thrilled to be part of this latest enhancement on board,” said Kevin Clark, CEO of Bluebox Aviation Systems. “We’re delighted that Bluebox Wow will be engaging Cobalt passengers throughout the peak holiday season and beyond.”

Image: Cobalt Air IFE user interface

In-flight rights appointed for ‘Fight of Champions’

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Havas Sports & Entertainment, a division of Havas Media Asia Pacific, has been appointed as the International Media Rights and Commercial Partner by fight promoters MP Promotions and Events for the upcoming Fight of Champions’ World Boxing Association (WBA) Welterweight Championship featuring Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse on 15 July 2018.

The deal covers worldwide distribution across the Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Africa and includes media rights across all platforms and devices including in-flight rights.

Arnold Vegafria, head of sales and marketing at MP Promotions and Events commented, “We are pleased to collaborate with Havas Media Asia Pacific, who is an important player in the media industry. This media distribution partnership underlines our commitment to leverage on this world-class sports event to raise Malaysia’s profile and bolster international tourism in major strategic territories worldwide.”

Melvin Lim, CEO of Havas Sports & Entertainment, APAC added, “We are delighted to partner MPKL to distribute the Manny Pacquiao versus Lucas Matthysse fight across the world. We are committed to tap on our international network to expand the reach of this event and break into key markets as well as grow new audiences for the sport.”

Sixth successful Iridium NEXT launch completed

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SpaceX has successfully launched five Iridium NEXT satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, formally bringing the total number of Iridium NEXT satellites in orbit to 55.

Two more launches are scheduled to complete the program which will see 66 interconnected low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites deliver the new global broadband service, Iridium Certus.

Iridium Certus will bring users an upgraded infrastructure using Iridium’s resilient L-band spectrum, with higher throughputs and faster speeds.

“Our strong presence in the world of safety services is a testament to the unique benefits our network can enable,” said Matt Desch, chief executive officer at Iridium. “With every successful launch, we are one step closer to Iridium NEXT being fully operational, which officially starts a new age of satellite connectivity. When it comes to safety communications, especially for those operating in the skies or out at sea, having built-in network redundancy and resiliency enabled by our satellite’s crosslinks is paramount, especially during times of distress. We recognise this and feel that as the only network covering the entire planet, we have an inherent responsibility to constantly innovate for this critical arena.”

Iridium NEXT is the company’s US$3 billion, next-generation, mobile, global satellite network scheduled for completion this year. It will replace the existing network in one of the largest technology upgrades ever completed in space. The five newly launched Iridium NEXT satellites are now in orbital plane six where they will immediately begin preparations for the pre-operational testing and validation processes. The network is comprised of six polar orbiting planes, each hosting 11 satellites, blanketing the earth with reliable satellite connectivity.

RUAG completes Wi-Fi installation on Bombardier Global Express XR

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RUAG Aviation recently completed an 8C check on a Bombardier Global Express XRS, which included a communication technology upgrade.

Seeking to upgrade the communication technology configuration available on their Bombardier Global Express XRS, the customer specifically chose SwiftBroadband (SBB) to ensure continuous global coverage in both the cabin and cockpit, as well as a new Wi-Fi router installation with Global VT and XStream for seamless device interfacing. RUAG relied on in-house engineering expertise to tailor the solutions to the specific aircraft as well as enable additional personalised options.

Axinom Live TV joins Taqnia Space’s UON service

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Axinom has become the latest partner in Taqnia Space’s UON service – Taqnia’s new satellite-based in-flight entertainment and connectivity service, which will be launched by Saudia in the second quarter of this year.

As part of the collaborative effort which also includes satellite operator Eutelsat, aero design and engineering firm Jamco, satellite technology provider Idirect, and connected aircraft solutions provider Sitaonair, Axinom will provide the component for Live TV streaming to passengers’ personal devices.

Axinom’ solution allows airline customers to significantly cut their operating costs by determining the bandwidth of each channel and by controlling their streaming quality. The solution monitors passengers’ activity and adjusts the streams’ quality to actual usage on-board, while assuring that even common variations in satellite connectivity will not impact passenger satisfaction.

“It is fantastic to see that Axinom’s recently introduced solution for Live TV to Aircraft is already powering the new service for Taqnia Space. We have developed the software and smart traffic management technology needed to optimise satellite bandwidth consumption for live streaming to passenger devices,” said Ralph Wagner, CEO, Axinom.

“Taqnia Space’s new UON service aims to revolutionize the way we picture passenger entertainment and connectivity on-board, and its rollout to the market certainly depends on working with a confident and experienced partner, which we saw in Axinom. Relying on their deep industry expertise and a track record of delivering IFEC solutions, we successfully included Live TV streaming options to the new UON solution”, said Abdullah Alosaimi, CEO, Taqnia Space.

TE Connectivity new simplified backshell

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TE Connectivity (TE) has unveiled its newly developed ‘cost-optimised’ backshell for DMC-MD single module connectors, among the most widely used connector styles in aircraft in-flight entertainment (IFE),cabin and avionics systems.

The new backshell offers a cost-saving addition to TE’s existing DEUTSCH DMC-MD single module series product line.

“By eliminating thread locking screws and molding our logo and part number on the connector, we’ve created a simplified, less expensive connector with no loss in performance,” said Christian Cavailles, product manager at TE Aerospace, Defense and Marine. “The new backshell complements our current DMC-MD product line by offering features not typically seen in this industry.”

TE’s new cost-optimised backshell offers several advantages including a hermaphroditic (identical halves) design and includes two stainless steel self-tapping screws, which eliminates the need for thread locking screws, and is fully compatible with standard aerospace-qualified DMC-MD single series connectors.