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This is the Tiny Onboard Satellite Dish That Delivers In-Flight WiFi to Your Airplane

June 7, 2012 at 1:03 PM | by | ()

For scale, that's a magazine down there in the lower left corner

By now we're going to go ahead and assume that you've lost your in-flight WiFi virginity, but have you done it over an ocean yet?

Long-haul WiFi is a real thing, and some airlines already have it installed and ready to run via satellites, provided you're willing to pay for the service. For example, Lufthansa, via its partnership with Panasonic, offers "FlyNet," which runs 20 Euros for 24 hours (with other pricing plans available). You can fly from the US to Germany and send a braggy Facebook status update from above Iceland. You know you want to.

A connection to the world wide web from 38,000' doesn't just happen by magic, of course; there's technology up the wazoo working to let you tweet "I'm on a plane." That technology is mostly contained within a special bump on the top of the plane's body—look for it on aircraft and you'll begin to see it everywhere. That bump is the home of a tiny satellite dish—the one pictured above. You have it to thank for long-haul in-flight internet and live satellite TV, where available of course.

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