Connected cars are gaining investments from a host of tech companies around the word, but what about connected aircraft? At the 2017 Aircraft Interiors Expo conference in Germany, Honeywell showcased its latest efforts in the space and how it wants to change the future of air travel.
Companies like Gogo, and others, have brought Wi-Fi connectivity to planes for passenger use. In addition to this connectivity, Honeywell is working on tech advancements that will more seriously affect the daily lives of pilots, mechanics, and the airline as a whole.
“At Honeywell, we know the ultimate impact from connectivity will be felt beyond the cabin, unlocking critical data like weather information, engine usage, maintenance reporting and more that can be better shared and analyzed to help airlines improve efficiency and reduce costs,” Kristin Slyker, vice president for connected aircraft at Honeywell Aerospace, said in a press release.
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According to the press release, Honeywell’s new connected aircraft tech will be impactful for “airlines, business jets, militaries, helicopters, and enthusiast owners.” Here are the four key investments Honeywell is making in the connected aircraft space.
1. Weather information
Honeywell said it hopes that its GoDirect Weather Information Service will help pilots better plan for their upcoming flights, and gain a clearer picture about the environment they’ll be flying in, the release said. It provides weather updates and connected flight management systems.
“GoDirect Weather Information Service may save airlines from $25,000 to $100,000 per aircraft annually through avoiding hazardous conditions, reducing delays and diversions, lowering anti-ice usage, and decreasing maintenance costs and downtime,” the release said.
One of the biggest promises of connected machines including airplanes is that of predictive maintenance. Even before the airplane touches down, the release said, mechanics and maintenance crews will know what parts to repair or replace. Additionally, it will speed up the repair process, as the maintainers will know which parts to have ready before the flight comes in.
3. Inflight Wi-Fi
Honeywell is also making its own investment in high-speed, inflight connectivity with its JetWave satellite communications system, the release noted. The system utilizes GX Aviation Ka-band service to give passengers Wi-Fi speeds similar to what they’d get at home or the office when they are flying, which could be good news for business travelers. The company has made 500 deliveries of the service, with 1,000 more planned, the release said.
4. Fuel efficiency
By accessing better data, Honeywell has been able to reduce the time of certain flights by 5% and also decrease the number of delays. The company’s GoDirect Fuel Efficiency software collects data from airline systems to lower emissions and could lead to up to 5% fuel savings every year as well.