Duncan Aviation Supports Technical Development at SmartSky Networks

LINCOLN, NEB. — For the last year, Duncan Aviation aerospace engineers have been providing operational support and design direction to SmartSky Networks, which recently announced that it is developing a 4G LTE-based airborne network capable of providing customers with high performance Wi-Fi for real-time internet access, video streaming and video conferencing.   

According to SmartSky Networks Chairman and CEO Haynes Griffin, “SmartSky had the patented technology to usher in business-grade broadband for aviation, but we had to make absolutely sure that the design and equipment form factor was optimized for installation in aircraft of all shapes and sizes. As a clear industry thought leader and given the significant number of connectivity equipment installations they’ve done, Duncan Aviation was an obvious choice as an early program advisor. They helped us evaluate tradeoffs so we could develop a highly reliable and certifiable system that would give them confidence before going through the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) process.”

“Duncan Aviation is consistently called upon to provide technical advice and opinions to industry experts throughout business aviation when they are working on bringing new products and technologies to the marketplace,” said John Slieter, Vice President of Sales with Duncan Aviation. “The technology SmartSky Networks is developing appears to be a breakthrough product in which many of our customers might be interested. To assist SmartSky in the development of the best product possible for the industry, we have collaborated with them on things like antenna size, placement and other installation considerations.

“We will continue to assist SmartSky Networks as needed during the development phase of their products and network,” Slieter continued. “As the demand for in-flight connectivity and bandwidth continues to grow, our goal is to ensure that Duncan Aviation is in a position to offer our customers options based on how they want to utilize this technology in the future.”

Duncan Aviation’s aircraft engineering and certification team has more than 30 years of experience working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for approval of modifications and installations. The team regularly works with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) data or from conceptual designs and provides engineering expertise for Duncan Aviation installations as well as for other aircraft installers.

In addition, Duncan Aviation holds Organization Designation Authorization (ODA), an appointment by the FAA authorizing the Duncan Aviation organization to perform approved functions on behalf of the FAA. This designation authorizes Duncan Aviation to approve design data, analysis and test procedures, witness compliance testing, as well as make a finding of compliance to the regulations and issue STCs for interior and airframe modifications and avionics systems and system upgrades. In addition, the ODA is authorized to issue airworthiness certificates, as well as domestic and export worthiness approvals. It has oversight from the FAA’s Wichita, Kansas, Aircraft Certification Office (ACO).

Ryan Stone, President of SmartSky Networks, explained why SmartSky chose Duncan Aviation as an early technical advisor, “In aviation, it’s important to start with customer expectations and then work backwards to achieve an optimum design.  Duncan Aviation’s years of connectivity system certification and installation experience helped us enhance the radio engineering and gave us confidence that our SmartSky 4G solution will work on aircraft ranging from turboprops to business jets and beyond.”

For more information about SmartSky Networks and SmartSky 4G, visit the SmartSky booth at #2989 at NBAA 2014 held Oct. 21-23 in Orlando, Fla.

For more information about Duncan Aviation’s engineering capabilities as well as future SmartSky Networks installations, visit the Duncan Aviation booth, #208, or watch for announcements at www.DuncanAviation.aero/nbaa.

About Duncan Aviation

Duncan Aviation is an aircraft service provider supporting the aviation needs of government and business operators and other service providers. Services include major and minor airframe inspections, engine maintenance, major retrofits for cabin and cockpit systems, full paint and interior services and preowned aircraft sales and acquisitions. Duncan Aviation also has international aircraft components solutions experts available 24/7/365 at +1 402.475.4125 who can handle any aircraft system problem with immediate exchanges, rotables, loaners or avionics/instrument/accessory repairs and overhauls. Complete service facilities are located in Lincoln, Neb., and Battle Creek, Mich. Additional locations include Provo, Utah, and more than 20 other facilities strategically located throughout the United States to provide customers with local support and the quickest response to avionics, engine and airframe Aircraft On Ground (AOG) situations. 

For more information about any of Duncan Aviation’s services, call +1 402.475.2611 or visit www.DuncanAviation.aero

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