Approves Low-Cost Airborne Ellipse TV System
February 29, 2008—DeKalb Peachtree Airport (PDK) Atlanta, GA… Flight Display Systems and The Maintenance Group, Inc. jointly announced today the receipt of an FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) award for their new low-cost airborne satellite TV system, Ellipse TV.
Positioned to revolutionize the industry in terms of cost and application, Ellipse TV is listed at $99,650 for the system hardware, approximately one third the cost of other airborne TV market offerings.
The system, which can be installed on virtually any corporate aircraft,
is initially approved for the
In making the announcement, Flight Display Systems’ President David Gray said with the STC award, the Ellipse TV product will be available for delivery and installation within 30 days.
“The STC award has been a highly anticipated milestone, not only for Flight Display Systems and The Maintenance Group, but for numerous potential customers who have shown great interest in this product,” Gray said. “Since we first introduced the concept, we have had nothing but positive response from the industry. Aircraft owners and operators who have been reticent to purchase an in-flight TV system because of either cost or airframe application restrictions, now have available an affordable low-cost product that brings high quality, real-time satellite TV reception into the cabin.”
According to Gray, the new Ellipse TV system not only offers a hardware cost savings, it also has been engineered to realize a significant downtime and cost savings on installation. “Installation of competitive systems can run up to 600 man hours and take as many as 15 days. With our new system, we estimate the installation cost and downtime to be significantly less.”
Gray said Ellipse TV will also expand the marketplace for in-flight TV. He said current competitive products require either a tail mount antenna installation or a series of fuselage mounted antennas that require large surface areas. Further, Gray said tail mounted antennas require long cable runs that diminish signal strength and only a small portion of the corporate aircraft fleet has a large enough platform area in the tail to mount the antenna. Also, he said tail mounted antennas result in added tail height that can cause some hangar door clearance issues.
“No longer does the size of the aircraft make a difference,” Gray explained. “With the Ellipse system, we can install satellite TV on virtually any business class aircraft, from Gulfstreams, Challengers and Falcons to Citations, Hawkers and even single engine turboprops such as the Pilatus and Caravan.”
At the heart of the Ellipse TV system is an elliptically shaped, dorsal mounted, low profile antenna. It is a proven phased array, mechanically steered antenna manufactured by KVH Industries which is an industry leader in providing antennas for rugged mobile applications.
“The unique antenna installation results in improved TV performance” Gray said. “The antenna used in our installation has the ability to change heading up to 40 degrees per second and can acquire a satellite signal without the need for GPS or aircraft navigation systems. This results in greater signal strength and performance.”
Under the joint agreement with The Maintenance Group, Flight Display Systems will be granted Parts Manufacturing Authority (PMA) to manufacture the antennas for the STC installation kit.
Dan Furlong, President of The Maintenance Group, has developed a multiple STC Data Package for the entire Challenger 600 series product line. “In designing the STC kit, we have engineered an installation friendly product,” Furlong said. “The result is we have taken the guesswork out of the STC package. We are also in the process of obtaining a multiple STC for the Gulfstream GII, GIII, GIV and GIVSP series aircraft”.
Furlong said every STC package purchased from The Maintenance Group will have all the necessary items to complete the antenna installation. Also, The Maintenance Group will provide full professional and technical support.
For more information about the Ellipse TV system, call Jay Healey, Vice
President, Flight Display Systems, at 702-361-0958 or visit the website
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