Very light jets (VLJs) are a new class of airplane, making personal and corporate aircraft more affordable to a broader range of customers.
Eclipse Aviation is the manufacturer of the world’s first VLJ. By the end of 2007, in its first year of production, the company had manufactured 104 aircraft and had a backlog of just over 2 600 aircraft orders.
From the start, Eclipse planned that each aircraft would have satellite data communications onboard. Iridium was selected as the standard on every jet, based on its reliable, global network and DirectIP interface with Iridium’s data centre.
“For the first time, ground operations will be able to communicate with smaller jets to transmit real-time information including departures and arrivals, in-flight operational data, as well as data related to the maintenance status of the aircraft,” according to local Iridium distributor, Satcomms.
“Iridum’s DirectIP interface provides an automated link between the Eclipse data center and the Iridium ground data center. This streamlines the connection between the jet and the fleet operator’s data center, eliminating the time lag common with other communications networks,” says SatComms chairman Anthony Glass.
Eclipse has plans to collaborate with Iridium on expanded offerings in the future with Iridium voice communications for passengers, voice communications for pilots as a backup to the traditional flight data recorders, and video transmissions from the cockpit to assist with training and emergency support.