United Airlines to install SB-S flight deck connectivity with Inmarsat and Cobham

The world’s third largest airline, United Airlines, is to evaluate SB-S on board four Boeing 767s, bringing next generation connectivity to the flight deck for the first time

Award-winning United Airlines, the third largest airline in the world, is to install SB-S on board four Boeing 767s as part of an evaluation in partnership with Inmarsat and Cobham. The aircraft will be installed with Cobham’s AVIATOR 300D satcom system.

SB-S brings global, high-speed, secure broadband into the cockpit, putting next-generation connectivity at pilots’ fingertips. From powerful and flexible communications to real-time flight information, the IP-based service enhances airline safety, asset utilisation, security and operations.

Global next-generation IP connectivity

With over 700 aircraft flying to 337 destinations, spanning 54 countries, United Airlines is a truly global carrier and SB-S will ensure the flight deck remains securely connected across the world, anywhere, any time.

The aviation giant operates 4,496 daily departures and, during this evaluation, United’s equipped planes will be deployed in the highly congested North Atlantic airspace. It will use the new platform for communications and surveillance with Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract (ADS-C) messaging, delivering crystal clear voice and high speed data

SB-S also ensures the cockpit is ‘always on’ and always secure with applications like continual positional awareness for flight tracking, proactive maintenance, flight data streaming (known as the Black Box In The Cloud™) and real-time electronic flight bag applications, such as networked graphical weather.

Innovation at its heart

As the first airline to introduce the iconic Boeing 777 into commercial service in 1995, United Airlines is no stranger to innovation. And, with this evaluation, its ongoing commitment to best-in-class operations, safety and service remains first class.

United Airlines joins Hawaiian Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines as innovators in deploying the next generation SB-S platform to upgrade the capabilities in the cockpit and improve airline efficiency.  

Captain Chuck Stewart, United Airlines Chief Technical Pilot for Communications, said: “United is excited about installing and using this powerful new communications capability as we expect to see it enhancing our operational efficiency, especially in places like the North Atlantic.”

Captain Mary McMillan, Inmarsat Aviation Vice President of Safety and Operational Services, said: “As a progressive and innovative airline, United is making an important move anticipating the future of aviation. With SB-S’s secure broadband platform, it will be able to benefit from the fully connected flight deck that delivers improved safety and security, better efficiency and optimized fleet performance.”