JetBlue subsidiary LiveTV this week announced it is the first inflight connectivity provider to successfully meet the US FAA’s more stringent requirements for bird strike testing of large radomes that are mounted atop aircraft to house antennas for Wi-Fi and live television.
But late last year, the company was still working towards this coveted approval. In this video with Runway Girl Network, LiveTV president Glenn Latta explains how LiveTV went to an aircraft graveyard in the desert, cut out aircraft structure from the aircraft “and we use that structure to actually do an installation on it and we take that section of the aircraft and run a bird strike test”.
The FAA previously accepted a probability analysis for bird strike test validation and did not require a physical bird strike for domes on the top of aircraft. However, the FAA now requires a certain amount of actual bird strike tests to demonstrate that a flight could be successfully completed with structural damage sustained when a radome is struck by a 4-pound bird at speeds of over 400 miles per hour.
Let me reiterate that this video was taken late last year before LiveTV won FAA approval.