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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
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Avcon Jet commits to SD Plane Simple fuselage mount ESA terminal
With Avcon Jet, SD can demonstrate the advantages of working with the multi-faceted Plane Simple portfolio of antenna systems to fulfil the demand for high-speed connectivity across a broad portfolio of airframes.
Avcon Jet will equip its fleet with the advanced SD antenna systems.

Private aviation management company Avcon Jet is confirmed as the launch customer for the SD Plane Simple Electronically Steered Antenna (ESA) Ku-band, flat panel terminal.

On service introduction, Avcon Jet is looking to equip multiple aircraft with the advanced technology as part of a wider fleet upgrade programme. The first operator to optimise the numerous benefits of the full SD Plane Simple antenna portfolio, Avcon Jet will also look to outfit aircraft with the SD Plane Simple Ku-band tail mount antenna powered by the dedicated-to-business-aviation Intelsat FlexExec airtime and the Ka-band tail mount variant, which connects with the Viasat Ka-band existing and next-generation satellites.

The SD Plane Simple ESA terminal connects with the Eutelsat OneWeb Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation and is the only antenna on the network that is fully duplex and multichannel. Delivering genuinely global connectivity, the entire network delivers terrestrial-style speeds of 195Mbps download and 36Mbps upload. Purpose-built satellite technology for business aviation, the SD hardware, combined with SD ground infrastructure and award-winning customer support, will provide Avcon Jet customers with unparalleled, consistent and reliable connectivity service, enabling passengers access to an enterprise-grade experience, wherever they are flying.

"The agreement with Avcon Jet heralds a new era for fleet connectivity," says Satcom Direct president Chris Moore. "We are committed to meeting the needs of aircraft operators seeking genuine global coverage and are excited that with Avcon Jet, we can demonstrate the advantages of working with the multi-faceted Plane Simple portfolio of antenna systems to fulfil the demand for high-speed connectivity across a broad portfolio of airframes."

The decision to utilise the complete SD Plane Simple antenna portfolio adds multiple benefits for Avcon Jet and its customers. Built on an open architecture structure, the agnostic antenna designs reduce obsolescence by enabling simple upgrade pathways, adapt to the evolving connectivity landscape and simplify management and administration to deliver a streamlined connectivity experience.

"Avcon Jet has always been at the forefront of innovation. We strive to deliver our customers the best connectivity experience possible, which is why we welcome the opportunity to equip our fleet with the advanced SD antenna systems," says chairman Alex Vagacs. "The superior technology aligns perfectly with our mission to deliver exceptional services to our customers."

Satcom Direct has also launched a new portfolio of pricing plans for customers installing the SD Plane Simple ESA.

"With our new plans, which are similar to the cell phone model many of us subscribe to, we are changing the parameters for business and general aviation connectivity by providing a more transparent and easy-to-administer connectivity option," says Moore. "We know that smaller airframe owners are often more cost-conscious, run operations with just one or two aircraft and need services requiring minimal administrative management, while larger aircraft operators constantly seek enhanced fiscal management solutions. With our monthly pricing models, we are addressing both requirements."

Recognising that inflight high-speed broadband will be a first for many owners and operators, SD adds value by including entry-into-service guidance, software tools, award-winning 24/7/365 customer support and customised training services to optimise the connectivity solution. "We want to make sure our clients have the best experience possible. By connecting to the OneWeb LEO constellation, we are introducing a brand new class of connectivity to a whole new set of users as well as providing another great option for our existing customers. We are once again breaking the mould with these original pricing models as we deliver purpose-built satellite technology and a groundbreaking service," he adds.

Flight testing for the ESA begins in August as validation flights are undertaken on a Cessna CitationJet 1 and Cessna Caravan. The development so far points to the ESA being as reliable and consistent as the existing Plane Simple Ka-band terminal and the Ku-band variant, which has performed consistently well globally since rollout.

"OneWeb is committed to delivering reliable connectivity to all business aviation aircraft, no matter where they fly. The first-of-a-kind pricing model including SD hardware together with service from OneWeb will secure broadband connectivity for operators of any airframe size at a fixed operating cost," adds Eutelsat OneWeb head of business aviation Jason Sperry.

Once the ESA is in service, which is planned for Q1 2025, customers can easily equip or enhance existing satcom installations with the ESA terminal, which consists of just two Line Replaceable Units (LRUs). The compact, fuselage-mounted flat panel antenna and Satcom Direct Modem Unit (SMU) are simple to install and are future-proofed to stay aligned with the changing connectivity landscape.

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