Success Stories - FLYHT Aerospace Solutions Ltd.
FLYHT Aerospace Solutions Ltd. (FLYHT) is a leading provider of real-time data communications and flight information reporting systems to the global aerospace industry. FLYHT also provides the tools for interpreting the data; supporting proactive risk management for aircraft awareness and optimizing fuel management.
The FLYHT-SADI project involved a two and a half year research and development (R & D) initiative to substantially enhance and upgrade its existing Automated Flight Information Reporting System (AFIRS) 220TM, its flagship on-board avionics communications system. Improvements to the AFIRS 220's data capabilities, processing power and speed were necessary to address both safety and non-safety services in one system and to meet pending regulatory requirements and customer demands.
With the assistance of the SADI contribution, FLYHT's strategic R & D effort has resulted in an innovative product upgrade, the enhanced Automated Flight Information Reporting System 228, or AFIRS 228TM, that delivers a highly integrated, flexible and cost effective aircraft-to-user data and voice transmission system.
The AFIRS 228 interfaces with Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) for Safety Services for short, simple messages but also goes beyond this by providing on-demand live streaming of black box and diagnostic data using Iridium's global satellite network, which is an industry first. This enables immediate awareness and proactive risk management anywhere in the world in case of an abnormal situation on an aircraft. In addition, AFIRS 228 also provides numerous "value added" non-safety services that competitors do not presently have, such as a fuel monitoring and an electronic flight bag interface, which allow data, such as weather reports, runway conditions, new destinations and next flight information, to be communicated to the pilot electronically in real-time.
FLYHT is in an enviable market position as they have the necessary certifications and designations from regulatory bodies to modify an aircraft's design while retaining airworthiness. Given these market advantages, FLYHT's unique product offerings have already resulted in successful sales contracts.
We provide an end-to-end solution for our customers – we provide the device that goes on the aircraft and the software on that device to collect and monitor the information. We are also an Iridium value-added reseller so we provide the Iridium satellite connectivity as well as the ground infrastructure to deliver the data in real-time anywhere on the planet.
To ensure the right competencies are in place, FLYHT has gained staff to improve its breadth of technical skills and has become much more sophisticated in the areas of both software and hardware engineering and development. These skill sets are transferable to other areas of R & D currently taking place within the company and will be applicable to future activities.
Three patents are currently pending related to technologies developed as part of the AFIRS 228 project. Firstly, a patent application for FLYHT data streaming capabilities has been filed. As such, FLYHT may be the only company in the world that can transmit meaningful amounts of data from the flight data recorders in near real time to both avert accidents and assist in reconstructing situations in the event of an accident. Two additional patents are also under review related to antenna technology and FLYHT's proprietary method of transmitting and disseminating information to its clients.
FLYHT has achieved this success by collaborating with local firms in its supply chain, which have participated in the project. These partnerships will continue to build on Canadian-based technology and expand business opportunities for all the firms involved. Through these collaborative relationships, knowledge transfer and economic benefits have occurred and expertise in the aeronautical product development sector is expanding in Alberta.
There are also numerous wider benefits and impacts that may result due to the success of the SADI project activities. These include (i) increased energy efficiency from fuel use reductions, thus offering airlines the opportunity for reduced carbon footprint, (ii) improved safety through real-time awareness of critical aircraft diagnostics to avert accidents, and (iii) increased national security resulting from the ability to detect and automatically report any abnormal behaviors of an aircraft.
With the assistance of the SADI contribution, FLYHT's research efforts have resulted in the successful development of an innovative product upgrade, the enhanced Automated Flight Information Reporting System 228, or AFIRS 228TM, that delivers operational efficiencies, enhanced safety and cost savings to the aviation industry. More and more major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and airlines have come to realize the necessity of data capture and analysis tools. The AFIRS 228 provides new and efficient solutions to connect airlines with vital information about their aircraft. There are vast parts of the globe, such as the oceans, deserts and large unpopulated regions, which do not have reliable radar or radio coverage. The AFIRS technology is designed to work on any aircraft, to interface with all existing technologies onboard and to stream data in real-time anywhere on the planet at any time via Iridium's global satellite system. As such, FLYHT has a unique competitive advantage and builds on Canadian strengths in the aviation communications industry.
SADI allowed us to move more quickly to address the market opportunity by offering support to our research efforts, and allowed us to attract additional talent due to the credibility the government endorsement gave our project.
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