Every time there's an aeroplane crash and they can't find the flight data recorder, I ask the same question: Why don't they transmit all the data and record it in a server in real time? That's what Iridium thinks too.
The mobile satellite communications company is working on that, using a two kilobyte-per-second data link between aeroplanes and its global network of satellites. The system has been already demonstrated in flights over the Atlantic, using Airbus and Boeing planes. [Aviation Week]