Everything It Will Take To Get Faster Wi-Fi On Planes

Airplane Wi-Fi is technically measured on a scale from makes-you-want-to-throw-your-computer-out-of-the-plane to makes-you-want-to-throw-yourself-out-of-the-plane. That’s because it is hard to direct data to a plane 30,000 feet in the air. You need an antenna pointed down at ground towers or up at a small number of bandwidth-limited satellites. And yet some internet is better than none. And so despite the speed, Wi-Fi aboard planes remains indispensable for work travelers, who might even pay $40 for the privilege of sipping bits through a tiny kinked straw for four or five hours.

So, I boarded the Honeywell plane with the other journalists. On the outside, it looks like any other plane — tube-y, white. But inside, the wall and ceiling panels have been torn out, so all the plane’s cabling is visible. There are bundles of cords spanning the length of the craft, and most of them would be present in any commercial plane, not just this specially kitted out one.