La Jolla, California – When Charles Lindbergh’s grandson, Erik takes to the sky in the New Spirit of St. Louis to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the famous 1927 transatlantic flight, his aircraft will be equipped with a satellite communication systems provided by Blue Sky Network (www.blueskynetwork.com). The system will enable Erik to communicate anytime, anywhere with the flight’s St. Louis based Mission Control Center.
In April and May, Erik Lindbergh will recreate his grandfather’s historic Spirit of St. Louis flights including his non-stop, solo flight across the Atlantic. The New Spirit of St. Louis flight is a project of the X Prize Foundation, and also benefits the Arthritis Foundation and the Lindbergh Foundation.
Jon Gilbert, President and CEO of Blue Sky Network said, “We are proud to be a sponsor of the New Spirit of St. Louis flights. The use of our BlueSkyLink technology will greatly enhance the safety of the flights with equipment that was never available to Erik’s grandfather. Erik will have continual voice and date communications capability whenever and wherever his chooses during the reenactment flights.”
The BlueSkyLink satellite communications kit consists of:
- An STC’d complete antenna assembly
- Antenna designed and tuned for the Iridium Satellite Network, cable, and cockpit panel adapter for portable quick release cable
- A Motorola 9505 Iridium Phone Kit
- A Motorola Iridium Data Kit for laptop connectivity
- Two BlueSkyLink VL-1000 multi-mode “hands free” interface devices (designed for Bose and “other” cockpit headsets)
- A SIM card and unlimited communications airtime donated by the Iridium Satellite Company
The BlueSkyLink kit has been shipped for installation in the New Spirit of St. Louis aircraft. Erik will fly the Lancair Columbia 300 across the U.S. and the Atlantic. The aircraft is being provided by the Lancair Company based in Bend, Oregon. Gibert said his company is providing full support for the BlueSkyLink equipment installed in the aircraft.
According to Gilbert, the use of the BlueSkyLink satellite communications equipment will show how important real time, worldwide voice communication can be in aviation. He said, “this available technology greatly enhances flight safety through reliable and affordable wireless communications. Use of our products and technology through the Iridium satellite network empowers all pilots to have this capability anytime and anywhere in the world.”
Erik Lindbergh underlined the importance of the satellite communications system on his aircraft. He said, “My grandfather was familiar with the stars and needed them to navigate. Since his New York to Paris flight 75 years ago, there is a new constellation in the sky. The new constellation enables me to stay in continual communications with the world through the Blue Sky Network and the Iridium satellite system.”
The History Channel will follow the flight and air a two hour special on May 20th, the 75th anniversary of the Lindbergh flight from New York to Paris. Gregg Maryniak is the executive director of the X Prize Foundation (www.xprize.com) and the Flight Director for the New Spirit of St. Louis program.
Maryniak said, “The biggest difference between 1927 and now is our ability to stay in constant communication with Erik. Our entire New Spirit of St. Louis Mission Control Center is enabled by the use of satellite communications through the Blue Sky Network and the Iridium satellite system.”
Beginning April 14th, Erik Lindbergh will depart San Diego’s Lindbergh Field and follow the “Lone Eagle’s” 1927 flight plan to St. Louis and New York. During the first two weeks of May, Erik will lift off from Republic Airport near Farmingdale, New York and fly non-stop to Le Bourget Airport outside Paris.