Heinkel
Topic Author
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:15 pm

Internet / E-Mail connection while in flight (FlyNet)

Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:12 pm

I've read so much about the dangers of using personal electronic devices on board here and yesterday I flew VNO - FRA on an eight year old LH A319-100 (D-AIBD). They offered a FlyNet internet connection at € 3 for the whole 2 hour flight at the lowest bandwith (150 kbit/s). Up to 15 Mbit/s were available.

I bought the low cost version and it worked fine. The device (smartphone, laptop, tablet) has to stay in "flight mode" but WIFI must be activated.

Even at the lowest bandwith (150 k) not only e-mailing worked fine but also Goggle Maps and flightradar24. Google Maps updated the maps of the area below the plane all the time and flightradar24 showed all the a/c around us as we know it from at home. Perfect entertainment.

So it looks like there is a more relaxed attitude to the use of electronic personal devices during flight now. At least at LH. Not long ago we were told, that WIFI during the flight can bring an airliner down...

Question: Is the aerial / antenna for the FlyNet system located unter the "box" on top of the fuselage just in front of the rudder? I've seen many LH a/c at FRA with this cover and I didn't notice this "box" before.
 
airlinereporter
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:34 am

Re: Internet / E-Mail connection while in flight (FlyNet)

Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:31 pm

[quote="Heinkel"Question: Is the aerial / antenna for the FlyNet system located unter the "box" on top of the fuselage just in front of the rudder? I've seen many LH a/c at FRA with this cover and I didn't notice this "box" before.[/quote]

Yes, the satellite antenna is under the "hump" on the top of the aircraft
 
WPvsMW
Posts: 1243
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Internet / E-Mail connection while in flight (FlyNet)

Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:39 pm

You can thank Jeff Bezos, at Amazon, for inflight use of wifi, from gate to gate... on most airlines... CAAC-certificated ones excluded. Mr. Bezos funded the research and the petition to the FAA that showed no interference with a/c comms by pax consumer electronics in airplane mode and wifi on. The FAA originally imposed the rule without data, Dieu et mon droit style of regulation.
 
Bhoy
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:50 pm

Re: Internet / E-Mail connection while in flight (FlyNet)

Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:42 pm

Here's a story about how LH install the aerial and some info on the amount of wiring that gets added for it:

https://airwaysmag.com/industry/visitin ... ght-wi-fi/
 
Heinkel
Topic Author
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:15 pm

Re: Internet / E-Mail connection while in flight (FlyNet)

Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:54 pm

WPvsMW wrote:
You can thank Jeff Bezos, at Amazon, for inflight use of wifi, from gate to gate... on most airlines... CAAC-certificated ones excluded.


So many thanks to Mr. Bezos. How long ago did they change the rules?

On my previous flights this year (SAS/KLM to HEL, SAS to CPH and FlyBE to BHX, all from HAJ) this service wasn't available.
 
Heinkel
Topic Author
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:15 pm

Re: Internet / E-Mail connection while in flight (FlyNet)

Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:26 pm

Bhoy wrote:
Here's a story about how LH install the aerial and some info on the amount of wiring that gets added for it:

https://airwaysmag.com/industry/visitin ... ght-wi-fi/


Interesting read, thanks for sharing.

Question: This system mentioned in the link is for long/medium haul A320 family a/c. What system does LH use for their longhaul fleet?

In the leaflet on board LH says, that the system is currently not compatible to the system on the long haul fleet and that they are working on a solution, that in future you only need one subscription for the whole flight to your final destination, even if you have connecting flights.
 
WPvsMW
Posts: 1243
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Internet / E-Mail connection while in flight (FlyNet)

Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:07 am

Heinkel wrote:
WPvsMW wrote:
You can thank Jeff Bezos, at Amazon, for inflight use of wifi, from gate to gate... on most [U.S.] airlines... CAAC-certificated ones excluded.


So many thanks to Mr. Bezos. How long ago did they change the rules?

On my previous flights this year (SAS/KLM to HEL, SAS to CPH and FlyBE to BHX, all from HAJ) this service wasn't available.


I narrowed my statement to the U.S. First, the government agency that issues AOCs must permit it (e.g., CAAC has not), then the individual operator must permit it. The breadth of the permission varies by operator, even in the US. DL allows gate to gate use of devices (in airplane mode, wifi on). Other operators still impose the 10,000 AGL rule.
 
spacecadet
Posts: 3210
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:36 am

Re: Internet / E-Mail connection while in flight (FlyNet)

Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:08 am

Wifi is a whole different animal from cellular connections, especially on older model cell phones that used the 800/900mhz range. If you noticed, it's still against the rules, and probably always will be, for you to be in anything but airplane mode with your cell phone at any point after the doors of the aircraft are closed. Airplane mode just shuts off the cellular radio. Wifi can still be used.

Not every phone has the potential to be equally disruptive, and at this point there probably aren't any phones on the market at all that really can be because of updated frequencies and better shielding. But it's obviously not possible to have a rule saying "you only need to be in airplane mode if you have one of the following list of 1,000 phones dating back to 1998" and then listing them all, because there's always the possibility that someone does still have one of those phones.

I don't recall ever being told that "wifi can bring an airliner down". What we were told was that radio signals can interfere with airplane systems. And that's as true as ever, and has actually been proven with 800/900mhz cellular signals, especially with poorly shielded or frayed wiring insulation in an airliner (Mythbusters even showed this on TV). But all radio signals are not created equal, and wifi is neither as strong a signal, nor does it operate at the same frequencies as cellular systems.
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