Outerlink Global Solutions has teamed with Pennsylvania-based Sterling Helicopter to certify Outerlink's Air IP product on several aircraft. The two companies will develop the initial STC on the AW139 because of its keen focus on keeping the installers' needs in mind. As an FAA-certified repair station, Sterling deals with many product STCs and knows the pitfalls facing the mechanics performing the installations and maintenance.
“We were eager to participate in the STC development for what we see as a truly revolutionary product in our industry, and Outerlink brings a time-tested reputation for building and supporting high-quality products and services,” says Sterling general manager Jason Smith. “Air IP is exactly the product our corporate and law enforcement customers have been asking for, and we had the opportunity to work alongside Outerlink to ensure this product and installation met the demanding standards our customers have come to expect from Sterling.”
Air IP offers dual-band wi-fi throughout the cabin, giving passengers a uniquely stable connection to the internet across multiple networks and the bandwidth they need for business, medical, law enforcement and firefighting missions. The Air IP system allows multiple users to access the internet simultaneously while maintaining an average digital throughput of 10 Mbps for each user.
With the constant need for network security, Air IP offers Internet Protocol Security (IPsec), a secure network protocol for encrypted communication between computers, and the ability to create and maintain a virtual private network (VPN) built for the individual customer. This level of network security will allow for streaming highly secure video from law enforcement helicopters and conducting confidential meetings and email correspondence.
“Sterling has always been a leader in the helicopter industry and came to us searching for an innovative solution to meet today's needs for true broadband connectivity for rotorcraft,” says Outerlink VP of sales Jeff Warner. “It took many years to develop a platform that could provide a solid communication link that possessed all the security features the customers had. We went beyond the immediate need, incorporated Iridium tracking and SBD communication, and provisioned for several future features.”
The AW139 STC is slated for completion this autumn, and the companies are hoping to soon have STCs for the Bell 407 and Airbus H125.