Thales satcom system certified for 737, 777

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Thales' multi-service 'TopFlight' satcom system has been certified for Boeing 737NG and 777 passenger aircraft following successful flight tests at Boeing.

The TopFlight satcom system provides a dedicated channel for Inmarsat Classic flightdeck voice and data and another channel of SwiftBroadband for non-critical flightdeck voice, Boeing electronic flight bag and cabin applications.

Thales says the system is the first ARINC 781 SwiftBroadband-enabled satcom capable of simultaneous flightdeck and cabin communications certified for production installation on the 737NG and 777.

"Being first to market for this new technology on both the 777 and next-generation 737 is really important to us. Over 20 airlines have already selected Topflight satcom and now that we have passed these milestones with Boeing we will be able to bring its benefits to even more operators," says Peter Hitchcock, who heads Thales UK's avionics business.

He adds: "Not only does this have huge benefits in terms of weight/drag reduction, but the ability to bring SwiftBroadband into the cockpit as well as the cabin allows operators to access dramatically lower data transmission costs and faster speeds. We expect this to drive demand in the same way that connected IFE [in-flight entertainment] and Wi-Fi/GSM systems are doing in the cabin."