EBACE (European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition) was back this year after missing two years due to Covid 19. The event was held in Geneva over three days from 23-25 May. Though exhibit numbers were a little lower than in 2019, EBACE 2022 was a success. This year’s convention was a great opportunity for the business aviation industry to once again showcase innovations and developments in person. Attendees were able to view the latest aircraft and technology and discuss the future of the industry.
A Few Highlights from EBACE 2022
- It was a chance to show off a few new business jets including Airbus’ new ultra-long-range bizjet – TwoTwent, Falcon’s 6X, 8X, and 200LX, as well as a mock-up of the cabin and cockpit of the Falcon 10X. Also, on prominent display were eVTOL (electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing) vehicles.
- The event saw the formal launch of the European Business Aviation Association’s Standards and Training for Aviation Responsibility and Sustainability (STARS). This important new initiative sets out guidelines for sustainable aviation practices.
- Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) were promoted along with discussions about the effect on business aviation.
- There were interviews on the current high price of used aircraft and supply chain issues, including those affecting the new Falcon 6X, and panel discussions on sustainable and greener options.
- EBACE 2022 also helped to raise education and awareness on the effort against wildlife trafficking and how the aviation industry can help.
- Two inflight broadband service providers for business jets also showcased their technology developments – Gogo Business Aviation and Satcom Direct. We will delve more into these innovations in this article.
Inflight Broadband for Bizjets
As the demand for charter and business services grows, being able to stand out and provide exceptional inflight broadband access can help capture the market.
Busy passengers want to stay connected on the go. Whether it’s keeping up with the office or taking a break, broadband access wherever we are has become essential. Gogo Business Aviation and Satcom Direct are both satellite internet service providers who shared their developments at EBACE this year. With their latest developments, passengers can stay connected and productive no matter where they are.
Gogo Business Aviation – Low Earth Orbit Satellite Broadband
Gogo was excited to announce plans to launch a global broadband service for business aviation via OneWeb’s new low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. It will use a new electronically steered antenna (ESA) designed by Gogo and Hughes Network Systems, to provide fast, high-performance, cost-effective broadband around the world. The key advantage of Gogo’s technology is the reduced latency and higher bandwidth possible with the use of LEO satellites compared to traditional geostationary satellites.
London-based OneWeb is undertaking an ambitious project. Already 428 of its planned 648 operational satellites are in orbit. OneWeb had intended to complete the full constellation by 2022, however, due to trade sanctions after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, OneWeb changed the launch vehicle from the Russian Soyuz to the SpaceX Falcon 9. SpaceX, which is launching its own satellites forming the Starlink constellation, is an indirect competitor of OneWeb. OneWeb also has a launch contract with New Space India which is part of the Indian Space Research Organization.
When OneWeb’s constellation is complete, Gogo customers will enjoy the ability to have multiple simultaneous uninterrupted live video conferences and access cloud platforms such as Office 365 – a must for the business traveller. Business aviation passengers will also be able to watch live TV or stream videos. With speeds of up to 195Mbps.
The small flat-panel antenna will be able to be installed on any business aircraft, from light jets and large turboprops to ultra-long-range large-cabin jets, making advanced connectivity possible for a wide range of business aviation customers everywhere. Aircraft with an existing Gogo (Avance L3 or L5) air-to-ground connectivity systems will only need one line-replaceable unit inside the aircraft to access this LEO satellite service.
Satcom Direct – Geostationary Satellite Broadband
Satcom Direct, a Florida-based company, is another cutting-edge satellite communications provider that showcased its innovations at EBACE. Satcom Direct is making significant advancements in proven geo stationary broadband connectivity for business aviation. This will allow for faster, more reliable internet connections in the air, which is great news for business aviation.
Satcom Direct is getting ready to roll out its Plane Simple Antenna System to support inflight broadband using the FlexExec network (a global, high-speed geostationary satellite network designed specifically for business aviation). This system is at the in-service evaluations stage and is expected to be commercially introduced later in 2022. With this new system, passengers will be able to stay connected and productive while in flight – without having to buy into the higher speeds.
The satcom connection supports high-definition video, streamed music, and online access to smartphones, tablets, and computers. The connection provides 15 Mbps download from the satellite to the aircraft and 2 Mbps upload from the ground.
The satcom terminal will be a mechanically steered, tail-mounted antenna and SD Modem Unit, plus it can be installed on all major business jet platforms.
Also being developed by Satcom Direct is the Plane Simple system for Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX service (a business aviation inflight Wi-Fi solution, with advanced capabilities that can support all types of online activities, from video streaming and live TV to video calls, large file transfers, and VPN), as well as a fuselage-mounted high-gain antenna for Iridium Certus (a network provider of global connectivity for vehicles, vessels, and aircraft).
EBACE is the world’s largest business aviation trade show and it once again showcased some of the latest and greatest innovations. This event attracts a wide range of exhibitors, including aircraft manufacturers, avionics providers, service companies, and more.
Many new products and services were announced at EBACE this year, including several advancements in inflight broadband systems. Gogo and Satcom Direct are making significant strides using satellite communication to provide exceptional inflight broadband connectivity for business aviation. This will make it easier than ever for passengers to stay connected while travelling. With these new developments, business aviation will be able to keep up with the demands of the digital age.