Airtext Brings Cell Phone Convenience and Other Data Collection to GA

Airtext lets users text without having to subscribe to an expensive in-flight Internet service. AirText

There are people who claim their cell phone works everywhere, even while cruising along at 10,000 feet in their Baron, or PC-12. Experts will tell you of course that while there’s always the chance an airborne phone might grab a scrap or two of cell service in flight, it’s never reliable enough to regularly send a text or complete a voice conversation.

Send Solutions aims to bring serious reliability to cell phone calls and texting while airborne with a number of products. Airtext, for instance, allows users to text without the need to subscribe to a costly airborne internet service. By installing a single one-pound box on a Citation, or a King Air or Baron, Send Solutions software permits as many as 16 users to text through the Iridium Network for a fraction of the cost of traditional satcom hookups. Cell phone calls with a Send Solution system can be made for just over a buck-and-a-half a minute, too, when voice contact is a priority.

Switching between texting and voice options demands nothing more than the flip of a cockpit switch. Send Solutions president David Gray said the cost of text messages can drop to as little as a nickel each, while “phone calls can be initiated for as little as $1.60 per minute when using a prepaid sim card.”

Send Solutions has created other options that were also once only to be had on board the heavy iron. Send Solutions FleetLink service capture critical operational data for Part 135 aircraft while also keeping pilot, passenger information organized. Using AirText Plus with FleetLink can add unlimited texting for as little as $300 per year per aircraft.

Then there’s FBOLink, designed to offer flight crews a method to stay in digital touch with the FBO of their choice through their cell phone while still hundreds of miles away from the destination. FBOLink means flight crews can text back and forth with an FBO running the FBO Link software and be nearly 100 percent certain the ground operator will see the message and respond. Once pilots install the FBOLink app on their phones, Bluetooth technology connects them to the FBO Link system, opening the door to receiving digital ATIS messages, as well as TAFs and METARs just like larger aircraft equipped with sophisticated digital flight management systems. The Send Solutions booth at NBAA is N1329.

Rob MarkAuthor
Rob Mark is an award-winning journalist, business jet pilot, flight instructor, and blogger.

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