US Airways - August 2012 - (Page 12)

embark Making It Happen Behind the scenes of Your Flight High Technology New wireless service is being installed on all aircraft to keep you connected — even at 30,000 feet. By tara titcombe Need to send an urgent email or just get a Facebook fix? You can do both on your next flight thanks to Gogo inflight wireless service. How does it work? We visited the US Airways hangar in Pittsburgh during an installation to find out. “It’s definitely a team effort,” says Paul Lewis, project manager in US Airways’ Interiors Engineering. Mechanics and engineers work directly with the Gogo team to install and test service. ★ Mechanics install two Air-toGround (ATG) antennas to the underside of the plane. The antennas aim down to pick up signals from a network of cellular towers across the country. Another antenna is mounted to the top of the aircraft and transmits a GPS signal so Gogo can track each plane. an inside job Meet: Christie Herman tItLe: engineer tIMe wItH us aIrwaYs: 7 years Christie Herman explains that she started as an engineer for US Airways while a student at Pitt, and it developed into a fulltime position. Although she’s worked in both propulsion and operations engineering, Herman has found a home in interior engineering. Her most recent project is helping to install Wi-Fi on the first Embraer 190 aircraft. And it’s a project that she gets to oversee through its entirety — one of her favorite parts of the job. “I love seeing the work get done from start to finish,” she says. Standing in the massive Pittsburgh hangar next to the jet, surrounded by tools, mechanics, wires, and a constant buzz of activity, she’s quick to add, “I also love not having to sit at a desk all day!” Cables run from the antennas to an onboard server and a switch panel. Once everything is connected, the switch is turned on, tested, and voila! You’ve got WiFi on your next flight. Installing the system takes just over a day, but Lewis explains there is a detailed and complex coordination effort that takes place before the first installation can occur. “Quite a number of organizations within US Airways are involved in launching this service, including all of the technical groups and many of the operations groups,” he says. US Airways will be outfitting its A319, A320, A321, and E190 aircraft as well as the E170 and E175 in its Express fleet with Gogo inflight wireless by the end of next year. Look for the Wi-Fi symbol on the exterior of the plane or the instruction guide in your seat-back pocket. Once electronic devices are permitted, turn them on, log on, and connect. Joe Fleet installs an antenna. photos by david aschkenas 12 august 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of US Airways - August 2012

US Airways - August 2012
Table of Contents
CEO Letter
From the Editor
Did You Know?
Making It Happen
Hot Spots: Making Waves
Wine & Dine: The American Spirit
Adventure: Reynolds Plantation
Great Escapes: Puerto Vallarta
Tel Aviv: The City That Never Sleeps
Heavy Duty: US Airways Maintenance
Toques Off! Top Chefs on Summer Entertaining
Welcome to Tampa Bay
Driving Force: The First Tee of the Triad
New Vision: Lexington, Kentucky
Best of Education: Salisbury University
Charlotte in 2012: Making a New Economy Possible
Readers Resource Index
Your US Airways Guide
Video Entertainment
Audio Entertainment
U.S. and Caribbean Service Map
International Service Map
Airport Terminal Maps
US Airways Fleet/Customs & Immigration
Passenger Info/Contact US Airways
US Airways MarketPlace™
Giving Miles for Good: Fisher House
Window or Aisle?

US Airways - August 2012