6-Mar-2023 Source: Mass Mutal
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (Mass Mutual) continues to maintain its reputation as a leading innovator in corporate rotorcraft operation by teaming with Sterling Helicopter and Outerlink to STC the Air IP™ Wi-Fi system in their AW139 helicopter.
Mass Mutual has consistently recognized their employees’ precious time wasted during air travel and sought a cost-effective wireless solution to keep a full-loaded cabin of helicopter passengers reliably connected to the internet. The Air IP system by Outerlink provides a full range of internet connectivity from texting and email to streaming video.
“We have a long history of developing innovative aircraft satellite communication products and services,” said Outerlink VP Jeff Warner. “We are fully aware of satellite limitations for helicopters, so we decided to build a system that could keep the customers connected and provide them with a triple-redundant, bonded network that would minimize any loss of service or interruption during flight. Video streaming to and from the helicopter is also now available on this aircraft.”
The need to provide a stable platform with sufficient bandwidth was paramount. Mass Mutual has operated the Air IP system for over six months, and the data shows solid connectivity to the internet. The operational data shows a varying number of clients logging in with an average of five (5) devices simultaneously logged in with an average of 7 – 20 Mbps of bandwidth for entire flight durations.
“We were excited to partner with Outerlink to bring this system to market via an STC, as it offers something you simply cannot get anywhere else. I knew the patented bonding technology would set this system apart from any other available on the market,” said Edward Allen, Director of Engineering for Sterling Helicopter. “We plan to expand this STC globally in 2023 into EASA, ANAC, and TCCA to start. We are also adding more Part 29 and Part 27 models”.
Owners, operators, and passengers are keenly aware of the need for uninterrupted connectivity in this modern era. Still, they have so far been subject to the limitations of existing satellite-based systems. The Air IP system uses proven proprietary technology to establish a seamless and secure Wi-Fi signal throughout the entire aircraft at a fraction of the cost.
Now owners can bring the newest technology to their aircraft and enjoy all the amenities of the Digital Age. Passengers will no longer be concerned with losing access to critical cloud-based documents or suffering dropped connections mid-flight. They can attend time-sensitive meetings and deals, stay abreast of the latest news and market trends, remain in contact with family, or entertain themselves with their favorite streaming and social media services.
The current STC is available for Leonardo AW139 (Part 29) rotorcraft. Outerlink and Sterling plan to add more aircraft models soon.