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Mass Mutual takes initiative with Outerlink installation
Owners, operators and passengers are aware of the need for modern era uninterrupted connectivity. Still, they have so far been subject to the limitations of existing satellite-based systems. Outerlink has a solution.
Read this story in our April 2023 printed issue.

US corporate operator Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance (Mass Mutual) is teaming with Croydon, Pennsylvania, FAA repair station Sterling Helicopter and Outerlink to STC the Air IP wi-fi system in its AW139 helicopter.

Mass Mutual recognised that employee time is wasted during air travel and sought a cost-effective wireless solution to keep a fully loaded cabin of passengers connected to the internet. The Air IP system by Outerlink provides a full range of internet connectivity, from texting and email to streaming video.

“We have a long history of developing innovative aircraft satellite communication products and services,” says Outerlink VP Jeff Warner. “We are fully aware of satellite limitations for helicopters, so we decided to build a system that could keep the customers connected and provide them with a triple-redundant, bonded network that would minimise any loss of service or interruption during flight. Video streaming to and from the helicopter is also now available on this aircraft.”

The need to provide a stable platform with sufficient bandwidth was paramount. Mass Mutual has operated the Air IP system for over six months, and data shows solid connectivity to the internet. The operational data shows a varying number of clients logging in with an average of five devices simultaneously, with an average of seven to 20 Mbps of bandwidth for entire flight durations.

“We were excited to partner with Outerlink to bring this system to market via an STC, as it offers something you simply cannot get anywhere else. I knew the patented bonding technology would set this system apart from any other available on the market,” states Edward Allen, director of engineering for Sterling Helicopter. “We plan to expand this STC globally in 2023 into EASA, ANAC and TCCA to start. We are also adding more Part 29 and Part 27 models.”

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