One doesn’t get to fly in a test aircraft very often. And especially so for Honeywell’s Connected Aircraft that was parked at Changi Airport last month. This is no passenger commercial airline. So it does not transport passengers from one city to another. It has been deployed for research and development of turbine engines, electrical and mechanical technology since 2008.
This Boeing 757 aircraft has flown over 1,400 flight hours globally in over 310 flight tests conducted in over six countries in four continents. It is powered by two Rolls Royce engines with a maximum altitude of 45,000ft. The aircraft can fly with a third engine mounted on the right side of the plane above the wing.
The B757 is one of Honeywell’s fleet of test aircraft which also includes a Convair 580 aircraft.
Step into the aircraft and get seated in one of the three rows of four seats equipped with headsets which is tuned into the pilot’s conversations with air traffic control.
The rest of the aircraft houses monitoring equipment for various tests include safety and communications technology testing that also includes data link, flight management systems, connectivity solutions, SmartLanding and SmartRunway, traffic collision and avoidance amongst others.
A recent “Honeywell Connected Aircraft Report“, aviation professionals around the world in the commercial aircraft sector reveal that spending on connected technologies will increase dramatically in the coming years to enhance the passenger experience, savings for the airline and to improve operational efficiency. This connected technology involves the use of data sent to and from the aircraft for the benefit of passengers, pilots and operators. There are applications that track fleet fuel usage, give pilots landing and navigation aids, crowd-source weather information accessed via mobile devices as well as analytics solutions that use data from ‘smart’ sensors to send to maintenance personnel or aircraft operations during flight.
Honeywell has over 100 Connected Aircraft products and services which include network connections and hardware and software packages, to enable high-speed, global Wi-Fi solution for nearly all aircraft platforms.
In February this year, Honeywell signed three contracts with the Singapore Airlines Group. Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot will have contracted a variety of services and equipment including weather radar, navigation systems, auxiliary power units, predictive maintenance technologies and 24/7 engineering and maintenance support. Both Singapore Airlines Group and Honeywell will jointly work to implement and expand best practices for Honeywell’s connected aircraft technologies to proactively find approaches to reduce Singapore Airlines Group’s operational risk, improve efficiencies, and drive predictable and controllable costs through innovative improvements to maximise Honeywell’s product performance and explore revenue growth opportunities for both parties through new and expanded partnerships.
Honeywell will deploy its service to SIA’s 30 Airbus A350 fleet for 12 years with options to be deployed to the rest of the A350 fleet. The programme provides connected, end-to-end maintenance and repair and avionics (electronics) products, connected, end-to-end maintenance and repair service to ensure on-time departures, manage unscheduled maintenance and provide better customer experience.
SilkAir’s 15-year contract with Honeywell leverages Honeywell’s Maintenance Service Agreement Programme and GoDirect Connected Maintenance for the airline’s new fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
Honeywell will help Scoot future-proof its Airbus A320neo fleet. It will deploy its GoDirect Connected Maintenance Service on the airline’s fleet for 12 years. Scoot will update is A320neo fleet with Honeywell’s IntuVue RDR-4000 3D Weather Radar system that provides accurate weather information up to 320 nautical miles in front of the aircraft. Scoot will also procure Honeywell’s Integrated Multi-Mode Receiver which combines satellite-based and ground-based navigation into one receiver and provides aircraft access to the latest preceision navigation and landing capabilities.
In June this year, Cathay Pacific chose Honeywell’s GoDirect Connected Maintenance programme to deploy its Connected Aircraft maintenance across their fleet of over 60 Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon Airbus A330 aircraft. The service can reduce inoperative systems by up to 35 per cent, reducing costly and disruptive maintenance and aircraft downtime, lowering flight cancellations and the impact of delays.