Globalstar Inc. has received an FAA supplemental type certificate for its Part 23 Light Aviation Aircraft Antenna, the company announced March 24. The initial STC was obtained for the Beechcraft Baron, and in the coming months Globalstar plans to add an additional 700 aircraft models to an approved model list (AML) STC.
The STC makes Globalstar’s GSP-1700 satellite phone, announced at EAA AirVenture 2015, available to almost all GA aircraft, allowing telephone calls, text messaging, and emails without the need for cellular access, the company said.
“This announcement comes on the heels of the recent announcement to partner with Avidyne to provide new communications solutions for the higher-end aviation market,” said Dave Kagan, Globalstar’s president and chief operating officer. “With the newest mobile satellite communications network available today, we want to leverage our industry-leading voice capabilities and fastest data speeds to provide innovative communications solutions to a market where until now, reasonably priced hardware and service options were virtually non-existent.”
The antenna will be paired with Globalstar’s STCed cradle and sold with the GSP-1700 mobile satellite phone and Sat-Fi Wi-Fi hotspot. The phone can be removed from the cradle and used outside the aircraft. The GSP-1700 voice and data package includes the cradle; a SPOT Trace tracking device, which reports the aircraft’s location as often as every 2.5 minutes; and the 9600 data interface. The Sat-Fi voice and data package includes the antenna and SPOT Trace. Both packages give pilots and passengers the ability to make and receive calls in flight, as well as to send and receive emails and text messages.
“This is the most exciting development in general aviation avionics in a very long time,” said Ryan Deck, avionics sales manager for Aircraft Spruce and Specialty.
The GSP-1700 package will retail for $1,600 and the Sat-Fi package for $1,700. They will be available from dealers around the country. A variety of airtime plans are available and not included in the price; SPOT Trace activation fees also are not included. Globalstar anticipates that these packages will be ready for shipment in early summer, when there should be at least 25 aircraft on the AML STC; the remainder will be added over the following two months.
For more information, visit the Globalstar website. The company said that it will be exhibiting these products at the Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In and Expo, EAA AirVenture, and other aviation events this year.