Bombardier is still studying in-flight connectivity options for its 110/130-seat CSeries, and says it has ample time to make a decision.

"On the passenger side, what we're doing is basically making sure we have provisions for the new wireless technology that is rapidly evolving. We don't need to make a final decision on that until we get much closer to the initial deliveries, so a final decision hasn't been made," says Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Gary Scott.

From an operational standpoint, he says, "being e-enabled is an integral part of the [CSeries] development, so for example, we are building a health monitoring system within the aircraft, which will relay information to the ground stations in real-time so that they can be prepared to service the airplane as needed when it arrives".

A number of different connectivity pipes are under consideration at Bombardier, including Inmarsat SwiftBroadband as well as Ku-band satellite-based connectivity. Airbus is using SwiftBroadband as its entry point into connectivity for its long-range aircraft, while indicators point to Boeing taking a similar path for its 787 twinjet.

"What we're looking at is what kind of systems are developing, what you need to put on the aircraft to capture information, receive and transmit, and how you would manage that information throughout the aircraft," says Scott.

First flight of the CSeries is scheduled for 2012, followed by service entry in 2013.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news