Honeywell’s IoT Connected Aircraft takes flight
Credit: Honeywell

Honeywell’s IoT Connected Aircraft takes flight

Industrial automation company Honeywell has taken its Boeing 757 IoT-connected test aircraft on a tour, in order to showcase its promise for the flying experiences of pilots, passengers and aircraft operators.

Since May 31, Honeywell’s Connected Aircraft has been travelling the world as part of Honeywell’s ‘The Power of Connected World Tour‘. The plane took off from San Francisco International Airport, stopping off in Mexico City, Panama City, London, and the Paris Air Show. It will now make its way to cities in the Middle East and Asia.

With the growth of internet connectivity and IoT applications already changing the way life works on the ground, Honeywell is seeking to demonstrate a new era of connected Wi-Fi in the skies through its world tour. With its Connected Aircraft, the company hopes to show that connectivity can improve flights for pilots, passengers and flight operators alike.

“For us, there’s nothing more heavy metal than creating a more comfortable flight for passengers, with less turbulence, fewer delays and better high-speed internet,” said Kristin Slyker, vice president for connected aircraft at Honeywell Aerospace. “We’re using data to avoid bad weather and better prepare pilots, and we’re striving to get rid of maintenance delays with technology that can predict problems before they happen.”

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Connected pilots, passengers and planes

Honeywell’s Connected Aircraft includes a range of technologies from flightbags to maintenance, developed by Honeywell’s GoDirect brand for connected aviation products.

The GoDirect Flight Preview gives pilots an accurate, three-dimensional preview of the runaway and surrounding areas to assist with safety during take off and difficult approaches for landing.

GoDirect Weather supposedly provides pilots with real-time weather data on the flight path, so that they can take the safest and most efficient routes possible. In addition, a connected radar will collate crowdsourced weather information from other aircraft and share any updates through an application. This should give an accurate view of weather around the world.

For passengers, Honeywell’s GoDirect Cabin Connectivity technology provides exactly what it suggests, connectivity in the cabin for apps and services as well as real-time TV, video conferencing and Voice Over IP. Honeywell’s JetWave system enables passengers to connect to satellite telecommunications provider Inmarsat’s satellites for broadband connectivity. The company claims this provides the same internet speed and reliability that passengers can access at home.

To improve the aircraft’s performance, GoDirect Fuel Efficiency software collects, monitors, and analyzes data to help operators optimize fuel efficiency across a fleet. This data is used to influence flight paths, so that pilots take the most fuel-efficient route.

Finally, Honeywell’s GoDirect Connected Maintenance technology is aimed at using data to help airlines to better maintain their fleets. Honeywell executives say that airlines now no longer need to reactively fix mechanical systems like auxiliary power units or wheels and brakes. Instead, they can use data to proactively troubleshoot mechanical issues to avoid aircraft downtime.

“We’ve been helping airplanes connect since U2 came on the scene, and now we’re connecting aircraft in more insightful and powerful ways. We’re taking the aerospace industry into the digital age, and most importantly, making flight better,” said Slyker.

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