The aerospace industry is going through a monumental change right now, driven by the Connected Aircraft and the technology enabling the Internet of Things. Honeywell is proud to be a leader of the Connected Aircraft evolution. What started as a revolution in the passenger experience about a decade ago has now forced the entire industry to re-examine how connectivity is used at all phases of flight to provide a comfortable, efficient, and competitive experience to passengers and flight personnel.
As we think about all the touch points that connectivity has across the Connected Aircraft, we realize that the people affected are well beyond those found in the cabin. Connectivity is part of a software revolution from nose to tail and air to ground that will open up data-sharing in new ways and allow for a greater number of human-to-machine interfaces.
The Connected Aircraft brings immense opportunity to increase flight efficiency and productivity for pilots, maintainers and flight operations managers while delivering a more comfortable, enjoyable and safer experience for passengers. Here’s how Honeywell sees connectivity impacting people at every phase of the Connected Aircraft journey:
Before the wheels are even up, the Connected Aircraft gives pilots and flight operations managers access to applications that connect, inform, and drive a more efficient and productive flight planning experience. For instance, GoDirect Flight Preview allows pilots to plan an approach using a unique 3D view of the runway and surrounding terrain ahead of time, allowing them to familiarize themselves with flight path conditions before they even board. This increased awareness allows pilots to plan a safer and more comfortable flight experience for passengers by avoiding unfavorable conditions and reducing turbulence.
We are taking the aerospace industry into the digital age
Increased access to flight data before flight can also have a direct impact on cost savings. With software like Honeywell’s GoDirect Fuel Efficiency, flight operations managers can collect data that helps them optimize for fuel efficiency across a fleet. With the technology, they can determine the most fuel-efficient flight paths and procedures to make the most of fuel usage on every flight. By analyzing key data and tracking aircraft over time, Connected Aircraft technologies make it possible to easily reduce overall fuel costs for airlines.
Benefits of a Connected Aircraft don’t stop with pilots or at the bulkhead door. Passengers are demanding the same connectivity experience in flight as they have at home or in the office. They want to stay productive and entertained from gate-to-gate, but many travelers unfortunately still have to settle for unreliable Wi-Fi. In the age of the Connected Aircraft, Honeywell’s JetWave hardware enables Inmarsat’s GX Aviation service for reliable, consistent and high-speed Wi-Fi anywhere in the world. Passengers can seamlessly connect to the internet, stream video, send and receive email, use social media, and more.
The quality of in-flight Wi-Fi is a more visible touchpoint of the Connected Aircraft, but there is no doubt that pilots are achieving great things with better integration of connectivity.
Using connectivity, pilots can now fuel mobile devices with up-to-date information in the palm of their hand while in flight. Honeywell’s GoDirect Weather Information Service allows pilots to view, track and plan for evolving weather conditions while maximizing fuel efficiency. The app provides the latest reports of hazardous weather along with RADAR displays to extend the crew’s vision beyond onboard RADAR for strategic route planning. Updated forecasts are also available for turbulence, icing and thunderstorm tops so the crew can see what has changed since their pre-departure briefing. Information is synthesized into an easy-to-use display, saving time while helping the crew avoid bad weather and making a positive impact on a passengers’ experience and a business’ bottom line.
Now, with pre-flight and flight taken care of, it’s time to shift to one of the biggest benefits of the Connected Aircraft: predictive maintenance. Connected tools and parts allow maintainers and flight operations managers to increase their access to data and plan ahead. Maintenance operations become more efficient, as maintainers diagnose issues before the aircraft even touches the ground. Additionally, aircraft operations become smoother, as flight operations managers gain visibility on status and turnaround information to more effectively manage their aircraft.
Capturing and analyzing data on usage and wear makes mechanical systems, like auxiliary power units or wheels and brakes, to be more efficiently inspected. The parts undergo more rapid and streamlined maintenance processes, which lowers costs. This is helpful because the more time an aircraft spends on the ground, the more money it is losing. Previously, maintenance crews spent a significant amount of time assessing the condition of an aircraft once it had landed. Now, by wirelessly connecting more mechanical systems, we are able to transfer data directly from the aircraft while it’s still in flight to plan ahead, using predictive maintenance to save time and keep operations running smoother.
The Connected Aircraft also helps flight operations managers benefit from a better stream of information. Honeywell’s GoDirect Ground Handling service helps handlers stay connected throughout the turnaround process and feed operations managers information that assists in making crucial, real-time decisions about an aircraft status.
Honeywell is already doing far more than connecting the plane and giving passengers the ability to stream videos on their flight. We are taking the aerospace industry into the digital age.
Real-time solutions are being devised to make use of the hundreds of gigabytes of aircraft data that are generated on each flight but go largely unused. Now that the aerospace industry has access to a high-bandwidth data pipe, we have a new ability to pull this critically important data from the plane and create value from it, optimizing workflows for maintainers and operations managers, and enhancing the flying experience for pilots and passengers.
The dawn of high-speed connectivity, the Connected Aircraft and the Internet of Things has completely changed the way we think about aviation, how we innovate for it, and the speed at which new technologies can get into the right people’s hands.
Honeywell is changing the way we connect on the ground and in the air with the power of connected.