SpaceX Expanding Starlink to More Aircraft: Airbus, Boeing and More

SpaceX is planning to expand Starlink hardware to more aircraft, a sign the satellite internet may soon be reaching more passengers in the sky.

According to a recent change on the Starlink website, Nathan Owens (@VirtuallyNathan) says SpaceX is working on supplemental type certificates (STC) for “significantly more aircraft.”

An STC is issued when a company has been granted FAA approval to modify an aeronautical product from its original design, and in this case, it would be Starlink hardware for aircraft, including those from Airbus such as its A321 and A330 and Bombardier’s Dash Q400 and Q300.

SpaceX recently updated its list of aircraft that have STCs in development. The latter list below emphasized in bold (ours) are the latest additions.

Previously, the list below only went to the Caravan C208, but now we see planes from France’s ATR and Airbus, Brazil’s Embraer, Canada’s Bombardier and America’s Boeing, totalling 14 more aircraft:

  • ERJ-135, ERJ-140, ERJ-145
  • G650
  • G550
  • Falcon 2000
  • G450
  • Challenger 300/350
  • Challenger 600, 601, 604, 605, 650
  • Global Express
  • Global 5000
  • Global 6000
  • Global 7500
  • King Air 200/300
  • Caravan C208
  • ATR 72-500, 72-600 
  • Embraer E170, E175, E190, E195
  • Embraer Phenom 300
  • Bombardier Dash Q400 (8-400), Q300 (8-300)
  • Airbus A321
  • Airbus A330
  • Boeing 737
  • Boeing 757
  • Boeing 787

Back in October, SpaceX launched Starlink Aviation, its Internet offering for airplanes. “Starlink can deliver up to 350 Mbps to each plane, enabling all passengers to access streaming-capable internet at the same time,” said SpaceX at the time. “With latency as low as 20 ms, passengers can engage in activities previously not functional in flight, including video calls, online gaming, virtual private networks and other high data rate activities,” explains SpaceX.

Earlier today, SpaceX and Latvia’s airBaltic announced the latter would soon offer complimentary Starlink internet for onboard Wi-Fi.

Current Wi-Fi offerings for aircraft rely on slower internet from legacy satellite operators, but when Starlink is able to go mainstream, it will change how people are online in the skies, as video calling, streaming and gaming will be possible.