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LiveTV gets FAA approval for radomes on aircraft

Jan. 27, 2014, Melbourne, Fla. - LiveTV is the first company to gain Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Supplemental Type Certificate approval on a more stringent requirement for bird strike testing for large domes mounted on the top of aircraft that are used for live television, satellite connectivity, inflight entertainment and other uses.


January 27, 2014
By Carey Fredericks

These radomes are in service on Boeing 737-800, Boeing 737-900 and JetBlue's Airbus A320 aircraft with broadband WiFi.

Previously, the FAA accepted a probability analysis for test validation and did not require a physical bird strike for domes on the top of aircraft. However, the FAA recently advised LiveTV and others that actual bird strike tests would be required to demonstrate that a flight could be successfully completed with structural damage sustained when a radome is struck by a four-pound bird at speeds of over 400 miles per hour. Tests were conducted on LiveTV's radome, which was co-developed with General Dynamics Ordinance and Tactical Systems.

"This is an outstanding accomplishment for LiveTV and a tribute to what can be accomplished when government regulators raise the bar in the interest of public safety and the industry works in collaboration by leveraging technical advances in manufacturing to meet a common goal," said Nick Drivas, LiveTV Vice President of Corporate Quality and Certification.

"We were excited for the opportunity to work with LiveTV to develop a radome solution that could perform across the wide frequency bandwidth while achieving bird strike survivability requirements mandated by the FAA," said Geoff Caywood, Senior Manager, Business Development for General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems' Advanced Materials group.

This FAA approval will remove the bird strike exemption from LiveTV's Supplemental Type Certificates needed for aircraft installation of satellite connectivity and inflight entertainment systems. This approval applied to an Airbus A320 STC and similar approvals are expected for Boeing 737 and 757 aircraft for LiveTV.