FAA Approves 1st Retrofit Aspire 400 in Global Express

 - September 26, 2022, 10:57 AM
Honeywell has received FAA approval for retrofit installation of its Aspire 400 Inmarsat L-band SwiftBroadband satcom in a Bombardier Global Express. (Photo: Barry Ambrose)

Honeywell has received its first aftermarket supplemental type certificate (STC) for installation of its Aspire 400 Inmarsat L-band SwiftBroadband satcom, in this case in a Bombardier Global Express. Further approvals by Transport Canada and EASA are expected in the coming months, according to Honeywell.

The Aspire 400 has the advantage of providing SwiftBroadband safety-service communications for secure satellite communication between pilots and air traffic controllers, as well as meeting FANS needs. The system is more compact and draws less power than high-speed broadband satcoms without safety service capability. Segregated channels are available for secure communications, leaving bandwidth available for non-safety voice and data service for passengers.

With a high-gain antenna, the Aspire 400 provides speeds up to 432 Kbps, but Honeywell’s high-data-rate software boosts that up to 650 Kbps. Products that can be used for communications with the Aspire 400 include electronic flight bags, telemedicine, and standard IT applications. It can also facilitate offloading of aircraft health and performance information.

“The approval of this STC is a significant achievement for Honeywell and Bombardier Global Express operators and owners,” said Mark Goodman, the senior director of cockpit communications at Honeywell Aerospace. “Aspire 400 provides pilots with a highly reliable and secure link to support enhanced cockpit applications to drive operational efficiency.”