Paris Air Show

Avionica STC Connects Aircraft Wirelessly

 - June 18, 2017, 4:24 PM
Avionica’s e-enabled satLINK MAX (left) and aviONS (right) onboard network server.

Kalitta Air is the first airline customer to implement Avionica’s newly amended supplemental type certificate (STC) for the avWiFi router, allowing the airline’s flight crew members to use wireless applications—such as electronic flight bags (EFBs)—in all phases of flight. Kalitta Air is also using the avWiFi router for on-the-ground, dual-path Internet access, which provides low-cost broadband data transfer when the aircraft is not flying, as well as for terminal wireless connectivity for automated data downloads. Avionica (Hall 3 DE19) is celebrating its 25th year in business.

The amended STC covers a variety of airframes under an approved model list, including Boeing 777, 767, 737, DC-10, MD-10, and MD11 series and Bombardier DHC-8-200 series. Avionica partnered with Air Greenland to develop the DHC-8-200 STC.

The avWiFi router is available with up to one terabyte of solid-state storage, and it is equipped with two 10/100-Mbit Ethernet ports with an 802.11a/b/g/n access point. The router supports distribution and loading of software parts and EFB operations, including updating “IFE systems, electronic flight bags, onboard maintenance terminals (such as Avionica’s RSU II OnBoard), and other Ethernet-enabled mass-storage systems,” the company said. Other features include automatic download of Ethernet-enabled quick-access records, and the ability to be combined with Avionica’s avRDC (remote data concentrator), which allows the avWiFi to deliver real-time flight data to onboard EFBs and in-flight entertainment systems.

For aircraft without a data loader or an older data loader, the avWiFI combined with Avionica’s avRDC provides wireless 615-4 and 615A data loading. This eliminates the hassle of maintaining stacks of floppy discs and distributing them to each aircraft. Operators can also develop their own applications that can access avWiFi-based features and services. 

For aircraft equipped with Avionica’s Iridium-based satLink Max satcom, avWiFi allows the use of multiple VoIP cabin handsets to make and receive satellite voice calls. 

This is another important step toward e-enablement and EFB connectivity,” said Anthony Rios, vice president of sales for Avionica. “It builds on our long history in terminal wireless that began in 2003 with our secureLink. We appreciate Kalitta’s support and assistance in this development project that now allows Avionica to provide our customers with Gatelink services on a large array of aircraft.”

Avionica also announced e-enablement equipment selections by the following airlines: Cathay Pacific, for its Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon fleet (Boeing 747 and 777, Airbus A320, A330); Icelandair, for 16 new Boeing 737 Maxs; Korean Airlines; and FlyDubai. The Cathay Pacific and Icelandair equipment includes satLink Max Iridium satcom, aviONS onboard network server, avCM 4G cellular device, and avSync quick access recorder download (which also automatically sends data between the aircraft and its operation center).