In this week's Check 6 podcast, Aviation Week editors discusss what connectivity means for aircraft and what aircraft can do for connectivity.
News of Facebook's work on using unmanned aircraft to bring the Internet to all corners of the world coincides this week with a feature package in the latest Aviation Week & Space Technology on how broadband communications to the aircraft can used for more than just passenger connectivity.
Executive Editor Jim Asker leads the discussion with managing editor for technology Graham Wawrick and Madhu Unnikrishnan, who has returned to the Aviation Week team as Managining Editor of Aviation Daily, after a stint in the airline industry. Madhu shares his insights into how airlines are using broadband connectivity to provide inlfight connectivity in the cabin, and some the choices they face on pricing and speed.
Graham talks about some of the uses being explored for the new high-speed connections, bringing new capabilites to the cockpit and for machine-to-machine communication between the aircraft and the ground. With Jim, they also discuss Facebook's unmanned "connectivity aircraft" plans, and whether they have more chance of becoming a reality than the previous failed, multi-billion dollar efforts to launch fleets of low-orbiting satellites to provide an "Internet in the sky". Could the two aspects of connectivity and aircraft come together in the future?