Rockwell Collins has marked its entry in to the business aircraft inflight cabin systems industry, with the installation of its Airborne Satellite television unit on a Gulfstream V business jet.

Collins provides the steerable direct broadcast satellite antenna and receiver decoders, while DirectTTV provides the satellite and content package. Airborne Satellite TV is offered with seven receivers, which provide access to 88 television channels. The system, which costs $6,450 for an annual subscription, is also being developed for the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ).

The avionics company, which was the first to offer a live TV product to airlines, clinched a deal with Gulfstream last year to provide satellite television on all new GIVSPs and GV aircraft. "The business aircraft market is potentially huge and we expect it to grow substantially in the next few years," says Collins director of business development, Robert Walzer.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based company anticipates sales of "several hundred" aircraft a year by 2005. "These systems are considered unique at the moment, but in the next few years they will become the norm on large aircraft, like the GV, BBJ and the Airbus A319CJ," he says.

Collins plans to introduce satellite Internet access to the business aircraft by the end of the year. "The customer is crying out for this service and we expect demand for this product to be higher than for the TV," says Walzer.

Source: Flight International