ICG and Cobham granted STC for Sora
April 8, 2010, Newport, Va. - International Communications Group (ICG) and Cobham Antenna Systems announced on Tuesday that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for Sora, a product that offers both Iridium and Swift Broadband (SBB) voice and data services worldwide.
The first Sora system was recently installed on a Gulfstream G200. Gulfstream, Cobham and ICG cooperated to obtain the STC for the system providing the basis for installation on a variety of business jets.
ICG and Cobham jointly developed the Sora package and announced it at the National Business Aviation Association Annual Meeting & Convention last November. Sora, which is Japanese for “Sky,” integrates ICG’s NxtLink 220A Iridium system and NxtMail Server with a Cobham Inmarsat SBB terminal. This combination will enable WiFi devices such as Blackberries, iPhones and personal computers to operate on the high speed SBB channel, while the cabin and crew communicate using Iridium’s worldwide voice. Additionally, the flight crew can utilize a dedicated Iridium channel for AFIS/ACARS safety messaging and also have the use of a priority voice channel for air traffic management and flight operations personnel.
“Now that the first installation of Sora has been completed, and an STC with PMA have been secured, the project moves from development status to a full production program,” said Jeff Saucedo, ICG’s vice president of OEM Sales. “We can begin delivering hardware to customers as soon as their aircraft can be scheduled into an installation facility. Sora not only offers exceptional versatility, but it is also the smallest, and lightest, Iridium/Swift Broadband combination in the industry.”
“Having an STC is an important benefit to both customers and installation facilities, because it expedites the installation and certification process,” added Saucedo. “But of even greater interest is the value that Sora offers. It’s priced at around $150,000 MSRP, and increases the productivity, convenience, flexibility and safety of flight operations through reliable, redundant communication options. The installation on a G200 is just the first of an expansive list of aircraft for which it is extremely well-suited.”
A fully certified Sora system will be available for delivery to aircraft manufacturers in May, 2010. Deliveries to ICG dealers will commence shortly thereafter.