Can You Surf Me Now?

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It’s just the thing for the gearhead who has everything, including his own GV: Gulfstream last week said it received the necessary certification to offer its exclusive ultra-high-speed Internet connection in the company’s long-range business jet. Gulfstream says the FAA issued a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the GV allowing the company to install its Broad Band Multi-Link (BBML) system on all 186 GVs in the fleet. The latest STC follows one awarded in October for Gulfstream’s GIV. Instead of a really long wire, Gulfstream’s BBML system consists of a dish antenna mounted under the tail radome of the aircraft, an antenna control unit, a transceiver router and a server. The Gulfstream hardware and software works through the SKYLink system offered by ARINC Direct, a Ku-band service. The service is currently available over the United States, with expansion planned for the North Atlantic, Europe and the Middle East next year and the Pacific in 2006. "Gulfstream is the first and only purpose-built business-jet manufacturer to currently offer in-flight Internet capability at data speeds up to 3.5 megabits per second," said Pres Henne, Gulfstream's senior vice president of programs, engineering and test. FAA approval to install the BBML system on G550 and G500 aircraft is expected before the end of 2004; for the G450 and G350, it is expected by the first quarter of 2005.