L2 Aviation, a provider of avionics services and products including engineering, parts, certification, installation and manufacturing, has received FAA STC for the installation and operation of the Honeywell JetWave system in a VIP-configured Boeing 767 aircraft belonging to a Middle Eastern operator.
Utilising L2's engineering and design, kits were prepared at the company's headquarters near Austin, Texas, and installers from its Remote Avionics Modification Service (RAMS) team were able mount a fuselage antenna on the Boeing 767 aircraft at the customer's location. The unique elements of this design allow Boeing 767 aircraft operators to connect with Inmarsat's Ka-band GX Aviation satellite constellation providing high-speed data transfer rates for passengers to enjoy continuous internet connection throughout the flight including seamless streaming of ipTV content.
“This project required a huge design and certification effort”, says Kevin Paul, VP of engineering value stream, “There were many instances in this programme where things could have failed and L2's commitment to the project and our customer were tested. The global pandemic challenged our engineering team, who had to adjust to remote collaboration. We had to find ways to perform remote witnessing of the certification effort that took place in the Middle East and our RAMS teams had to overcome many integration hurdles. In the end, the system is operationally excellent.”
“People take for granted that Wi-Fi and internet access is just a part of the modern flying experience but the truth is connecting an aircraft travelling at high speeds to a geosynchronous satellite constellation is very complex,” adds Mark Lebovitz, founder and CEO of L2. “Our team has the experience and skills to integrate and certify this extremely intricate system with a focus on continual performance that is seamless to the passengers. The best system is the one that nobody even knows is there and works flawlessly without any interaction to make it happen. The result exemplifies the potential of L2 Aviation's teams to achieve amazing results no matter the complexity.”
Honeywell's JetWave is the exclusive hardware that enables air transport and regional aircraft to connect to GX Aviation, Inmarsat's Global Xpress Ka-band service and the first consistent high-speed broadband service to span the world. As a result, passengers can enjoy greatly improved productivity with in-flight Wi-Fi speeds up to 50 Mbps.
Tony Bailey from L2 concludes: “The operator is in the Middle East and when we started, they brought the aircraft to the US but it relocated back to the Middle East while we were waiting on FAA approval. Because of the pandemic, we had to jump through hurdles to get the conformity completed and we were able to make a special arrangement with the FAA who granted us authority for remote witnessing. Our team went to and was able to complete the conformity in the Middle East despite all the restrictions and challenges. It truly is quite an accomplishment.”