SmartSky Networks, a US provider of inflight air-to-ground (ATG) connectivity for business aviation, has been granted the first commercially available FAA STC for its SmartSky LITE system, the industry's only streaming-level in-flight connectivity solution designed for smaller business aircraft.
SmartSky LITE brings its patented high performance, multi-Mbps, low latency connectivity to small business aircraft for $99/hour with unlimited data and no device limits, whereas competitors have only non-streaming offerings at this price point. On the first two flights of the Learjet 60, the customer averaged over one GB per hour, reaching speeds over 10 Mbps with 80 per cent of the data downloaded to the plane and 20 per cent uploaded off.
The STC was granted following installation on a Bombardier Learjet 60 business jet by sales and installation partner Reliable Jet Maintenance of Boca Raton, Florida. Liberty Partners of Okmulgee, Oklahoma provided engineering services.
“We are happy to be part of the first customer installation of SmartSky's groundbreaking LITE system, which brings streaming services to light jets and turboprops. We can finally make high-performance connectivity a reality for our Learjet 60 customers and all owner-operators of similar size aircraft,” says James Stormont, president of Reliable Jet Maintenance. “We look forward to continuing to partner with SmartSky Networks on upcoming installation projects.”
The news comes amid the in-progress installations for many additional SmartSky STCs, including several more for the SmartSky LITE system anticipated in the next several months. Most recently, the Falcon 2000 aircraft series was granted an STC for SmartSky's Flagship system for mid- to large-cabin aircraft.
“Reliable Jet is one of our newest sales and installation partners. It is exciting that it completed their first SmartSky installation within a very short time and also own the title of first to complete a LITE installation on a customer aircraft. SmartSky's LITE system shatters industry expectations for what is possible on a smaller business aircraft, as its diminutive size and high performance deliver streaming to smaller aircraft, unlocking capabilities they've never had before. Reliable Jet's expertise played a big part in this project's success and marks a major milestone in our pursuit of powering more business aircraft with SmartSky's industry-leading connectivity technology,” states Rich Pilock, vice president of product management for SmartSky.
SmartSky has already been awarded STCs for more than a dozen models from major manufacturers such as Textron Aviation, Gulfstream Aerospace, Bombardier, Embraer and Dassault, with many more in progress and scheduled in the coming months covering thousands of more aircraft.