Nearly every conversation about in-flight connectivity at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022 in Hamburg this week includes mention of the SpaceX Starlink offering. Company executives are wandering the show floor carrying an antenna panel that they hope will soon be certified to fly, while airlines and competitors alike debate the unique path the company has chosen for nearly every facet of the offering.
Viasat took another major step forward in its efforts to deliver in-flight Wi-Fi service over China. The CAAC now will permit installations on A320 family aircraft thanks to a newly issued certification.
Gogo’s new 5G in-flight WiFi service moved step closer to reality, with the airplane antenna receiving certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Air vortices off the 2Ku antenna system are once again causing troubles. This time it is the Airbus A220 affected, with some 65 fitted aircraft up for additional inspection and hardware replacement as a result.
Airlines around the world removed the seats from their passenger planes to make more room for cargo. But not in the US. That could change very soon, as the FAA now allows for exemptions to cargo restrictions, engineering companies are securint certifications for the new configurations and airlines are getting the paperwork in order to make the shift.
Earlier this month EASA issued an Airworthiness Directive affecting certain of Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity installations. Air vortices created by the 2Ku radome cause excessive vibration in the ELT antenna, potentially shaking it loose or causing structural issues in the fuselage. Fortunately the issue was discovered relatively quickly, the number of aircraft affected is low and a revised installation process is expected to be in place in the near future.