03 April 2014: A round-the-world flying tour aims to inspire children about aviation and aerospace.
Inmarsat is supporting the Think Global Flight mission to highlight the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, and the opportunities in the two industries.
Think Global Flight creator Judy Rice, a former teacher with a passion for aviation and space technology, will captain a single-engine, piston-driven Cirrus SR22T plane on a tour taking in 31 US states and 25 countries.
With navigator Fred Nauer, she will take off from Florida, USA, on 3 April for the first of dozens of stop-offs where the team will promote their message to students.
More than 20,000 young people around the world have signed up to Student Command Centres, which are playing an active part in the mission through research, data analysis and flight planning.
Each command centre will be able to stay connected to the Think Global Flight plane thanks to an IsatPhone Pro handheld satphone and satellite airtime provided by Inmarsat to Captain Judy.
This will allow Judy to make a daily report to the global participants at the end of each leg, and have access not only to voice calls but also SMS, email and GPS location data – in flight and on the ground.
Judy said: “Being able to talk to people, and to transmit flight information, is right at the heart of this project. The ability to communicate with people and share the experience as widely as possible is what is making all the difference to raising the profile of what we are doing.
“We want to inspire people about the potential of aviation and aerospace and to do that, we need to be able to talk to them and we are very grateful for Inmarsat’s support.”
Miranda Mills, Inmarsat President, Aviation, said: “The future of our industry is in the hands of today’s schoolchildren.
“Think Flight Global is a fantastic initiative to raise aviation’s profile and we are very pleased to be able to help Captain Judy and her team.”
Think Global Flight: www.inmarsat.com