Pilot's Guide to Avionics 2015-16 Edition - 54
ADVANCING CORDLESS COCKPITS
Continued from page 53
hardware's brain of an Avidyne, Honeywell or Garmin
GPS. This includes the GNS 400W or GNS 500Wseries navigators and successors; BendixKing by
Honeywell's KSN 770 all-in-one; and Avidyne's new
plug-and-play replacements for the GNS 430/530, the
IFD540 and IFD440 touchscreen.
No added knob turning, no switch-twisting, no button
pushing - aside for the swipe-and-tap instructions the
iPad needs to upload the flight plan. Android apps have
been expected from the start, but software developers
weren't really rushing to offer Android versions of some
programs. That's changing.
The Aspen CG100 may offer the
closest you'll find to universal connectivity. The box provides both
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless
connections as well as a USB
port for the option of using a
Bose A20 ANR
wired hardware connection to
manage the box and its confor phones
nected devices. The apps for
Aspen's various and numerous partners are available
at the App Store on iTunes.
for business aircraft
The next frontier for
light general aviation
already holds a fistful
of turf in the light end
of business-turbine aviation - where cabin systems provide global Internet
access through a satellite connection.
Finally, an Internet portal for Part 23 aircraft appears
ready to expand the access of private pilots and their
passengers to match that of counterparts flying miles
higher, in near-Mach speeds - and on budgets that
dwarf most aircraft owners.
Aircraft Electronics Association members who attended the association's 2014 convention heard about
it firsthand from BendixKing, which introduced the
AeroWave 100 system, arguably the first full-duplex
Internet-access point for the lower end of the general
aviation spectrum - up to light jets and propjets.
The BendixKing AeroWave 100 offers Internet at
speeds of up to 200 kilobits per second via an active
low-gain antenna; the AeroWave 100 uses satellites to
provide worldwide, high-speed service in areas not capable of being served by ground-based systems.
More than a simple in-flight entertainment hub, this
full web portal offers the same scope of Internet access
as grounded office and home systems.
Satellite-based Internet service plans are typically
measured by the amount of data transmitted, which
can be difficult for end users to track and often result in
bills that are significantly higher than expected.
BendixKing crafted a pricing regimen for its service
plans more aligned with aviation mores: Service plans
based on hours used versus data. Time should make
charges easier to manage and account.
For years, a number of companies have offered service variations centered on the Iridium satellite constellation, which today enjoys greater speed, robustness
and reduced latency to make various short-messaging
and email communications a viable tool for operators
around the world.
Comparatively, these systems hold little of the utility
of a full-access in-flight, mobile Internet portal of the
types long available for business-turbine aircraft
and, increasingly, on commercial aircraft around
the globe. But even with systems shrinking in
size, weight and antenna footprint, costs made
them a difficult choice for many operators of
older aircraft - older, as in still performing their
role well, but with a residual value that rendered moot making a six-figure-plus investment in in-flight Internet access.
So BendixKing's price point for the
AeroWave 100 should contribute to its potential as a game changer for bringing Internet
access to light aircraft in flight.
The systems available up to now weigh
somewhat more, and cost significantly more;
$ 100,000 would barely get you the hardware - plus
The aircraft getting an AeroWave 100 must be able
to handle about 16 pounds of hardware in three components, one of about 8 pounds, another just short of
6, and an antenna weighing a half pound. The aircraft
also must be capable of handling an extra 80 watts of
electrical-system demand - from 20 to 32 volts DC.
Expect to see and hear more of these types of systems for light general aviation, and don't be surprised if
pricing gets even more competitive.
Audio of your choosing
While EQ1 likes 2.4 MHz wireless technology for
its wireless link to connect headsets to audio panels,
Bluetooth remains the technology that dominates connecting music players and mobile phones to our headsets via the panel-mounted audio-control system.
First up, Bose; its well-regarded A20 ANR (active
noise reducing) comes in a Bluetooth version cost-
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