Flexjet, Inc., a global leader in subscription-based private aviation, announced on September 19 that it will offer SpaceX Starlink hardware to its aircraft customers and plans to equip aircraft fleet with Starlink. Engineers from Starlink and Nextant Aerospace, the engineering arm of Flexjet, collaborated to earn the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate for installation of Starlink in the Gulfstream G650 jet. The introduction of Starlink is the culmination of an 18-month process that included an industrywide technology evaluation to provide Starlink satellite Wi-Fi to passengers.
“We are committed to providing the finest possible travel experience for our Owners [customers] and this includes high-quality internet access from takeoff to arrival,” said Jay Heublein, who leads Flexjet Global Maintenance and Product division. “Through Starlink, SpaceX has created the most significant technology advancement for private jet travel that we’ve seen in the last 2 decades. Reliable connectivity is vital to our Owners and for the first time, the technology exists to deliver on this expectation.”
“As the first global business jet operator to adopt Starlink, Flexjet is leading the way in bringing a truly reliable high-speed internet solution to its aircraft owners,” said Chad Gibbs, SpaceX’s Vice President of Starlink Business Operations. “Our focus from day one was to solve for the shortcomings of existing in-flight technology and ensure that Flexjet could offer a seamless connectivity solution from ground to flight and back.”
Flexjet is actively working to complete installing the Starlink antennas on its Gulfstream jet fleet. Once completed, the company plans to begin the application process to certify Starlink for other aircraft, including: Praetor 600 and Challenger 350/3500, Embraer Praetor 500, and Phenom 300 fleets. With SpaceX's Starlink service, Flexjet passengers will be able to access the internet as soon as they board the aircraft, rather than waiting until they reach a certain altitude. This consistency provided by the thousands of Starlink satellites operating in Low Earth Orbit ensures that internet connectivity is continuous.
“Internet access is as indispensable to modern life as electric power, and providing seamless high-speed access is vital for a superior travel experience,” said Heublein. “Flexjet is proud to have identified and adapted the most advanced technology to keep our aircraft Owners connected no matter where in the world they are.”
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Featured Image Source: Flexjet, Inc.
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.
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