GDC Technics and Hillwood Airways debut in-flight wireless service
GDC Technics, an engineering and technical services, modifications, and electronic systems, has announced the delivery of its first Falcon 300 equipped aircraft to Hillwood Airways, a Texas-based premium airline.
Through the development partnership with Hillwood, GDC is striving to redefine the standard for in-flight connectivity and cabin-based media delivery platforms via an open network – offering service provider flexibility to its customers, the company said July 15 in a news release.
GDC and technology collaborators Thinkom, Kontron, and Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), are pushing to achieve extraordinary performance, thus assuring passengers an internet experience rivaling “at home” media services, the company said.
In line with these performance expectations, and leveraging the power of the Hughes JUPITER System, the Hillwood Boeing 737-700 demonstrated strong performance in both service level adherence, as well as “on demand” capacity during its test flights.
These tests emphasized maintaining a “typical” performance bundle of 25Mbps, but with the ability to provide 150Mbps or more when missions and passengers dictate a higher quality of service and application responsiveness, the news release said.
The GDC Falcon 300 system is a new Ka-band SATCOM and Cabin Wireless Connectivity platform for the aerospace industry.
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.
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 capacity from the JUPITER 1 (EchoStar XVII) and JUPITER 2 (EchoStar XIX) satellites, all provided by Hughes as a managed service.
“Powering a connected future everywhere is what Hughes is all about – even in an airplane at 35,000 feet,” said Paul Gaske, executive vice president and general manager, North America Division, Hughes. “It’s exciting to see the JUPITER System in action with GDC’s Falcon 300 to deliver connectivity for Hillwood’s aircraft, enabling the in-flight Internet experience that travelers want and need.”
The news release said the certification of the Falcon 300 on Hillwood’s Boeing 737-700 will be the first of many for the GDC system. GDC said it anticipates installations on Boeing and Airbus platforms in the second half of 2020.
The system will be available for installation at GDC facilities in the U.S., or via its partnerships around the globe – including GDC supported facilities in India and the Middle East.
“Our challenge to GDC was to create an industry leading wireless cabin for our premium clientele,” said 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 availability for the A320/319, A330, B787, and B777 prior to the end of 2020.
– FWBP Staff