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First in industry - Flexjet to launch Starlink by SpaceX inflight connectivity solution

Download: Printable PDF Date: 19 Sep 2023 17:45 (UTC) category:
First in industry - Flexjet to launch Starlink by SpaceX inflight connectivity solution - Business aviation publisher
Dana Ermolenko
Country: United States Aircraft: Airplanes

Flexjet collaborates with Starlink to provide its aircraft Owners in-flight Wi-Fi access that for the first time will align with service expectations they would have in their boardroom. Flexjet is the first shared ownership jet travel provider to offer such fast, reliable access, which will enable its passengers to conduct voice and video calls, stream video, and internet activities that require high-speed capabilities, improving an already seamless flight experience. The introduction of Starlink is the culmination of an 18-month process that included an industrywide technology evaluation followed by a close collaboration between Flexjet, Nextant Aerospace (Flexjet’s engineering arm) and Starlink.

Jay Heublein, Flexjet Global Maintenance and Product division, commented:  “We are committed to providing the finest possible travel experience for our Owners and this includes high-quality internet access from takeoff to arrival. Through Starlink, SpaceX has created the most significant technology advancement for private jet travel that we’ve seen in the last 2 decades. Reliable connectivity is vital to our Owners and for the first time, the technology exists to deliver on this expectation. Internet access is as indispensable to modern life as electric power, and providing seamless high-speed access is vital for a superior travel experience. Flexjet is proud to have identified and adapted the most advanced technology to keep our aircraft Owners connected no matter where in the world they are."

Chad Gibbs, SpaceX’s Vice President of Starlink Business Operations, said: “As the first global business jet operator to adopt Starlink, Flexjet is leading the way in bringing a truly reliable high-speed internet solution to its aircraft owners. Our focus from day one was to solve for the shortcomings of existing in-flight technology and ensure that Flexjet could offer a seamless connectivity solution from ground to flight and back.”

FAA has certified Starlink technology for use in Flexjet Gulfstream G650s. Once work to install the antennas on the Gulfstream fleet is completed, work would begin to certify and install the technology Flexjet super-mid (Praetor 600 and Challenger 350/3500), mid (Embraer Praetor 500) and light jet (Phenom 300) fleets.Starlink was specifically designed to address reliability issues that have plagued legacy systems. The hardware features a phased array antenna with no moving parts, eliminating its susceptibility to the environmental variances that can significantly impact performance on older technology.

Once this technology is installed on aircraft, Flexjet passengers will be able to access the internet as soon as they board the aircraft, rather than waiting until they reach a certain altitude. Nor will they lose access as the aircraft descends from its cruising altitude, unlike other aviation internet providers today. This consistency will ensure that, for example, business video calls, and streaming movies are not disrupted in-flight or on the ground.

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