Airbus conducts first flight test of new HBC platform on A330 aircraft


Airbus has successfully flight-tested its new standard high-bandwidth connectivity (HBC) on-board architecture on an A330 development aircraft.

The platform will soon enable customers to choose among a new range of high-throughput satellite technologies such as Ka-Band, SwiftBroadband (L-Band) and Ku-Band.

This platform will enable passengers and crew to remain connected during the flight.

During the flight-test, Airbus’ HBC platform was demonstrated along with the new HBC offering from Zodiac Inflight Innovations (Zii), which is based around Inmarsat’s new Global Xpress Ka-Band satellite network and can offer continuous worldwide high-bandwidth coverage for commercial aircraft.

"This platform will enable passengers and crew to remain connected during the flight."

Panasonic Avionics has been chosen as a supplier for Airbus’ HBC line-fit solutions, which will be fitted across the A320, A330 and A380 product families and compatible with the Airbus new HBC architecture.

The selection of Panasonic, whose system uses the Ku-Band, follows HBC supplier selections, including Zii, Thales, and Rockwell Collins.

The new HBC platform will be rolled-out from next year onwards.


Image: First flight-test of Airbus’ HBC platform aboard an A330. Photo: courtesy of Airbus Group.