Since 1939, the United States has celebrated August 19th as National Aviation Day. Honeywell engineers are constantly working to make flight safer and more efficient, and they've been doing so since 1914. Here are seven innovations that Honeywell developed for aviation:
1. The Gyroscopic Autopilot
This is the milestone that we at Honeywell consider our very first. Honeywell legacy company (Sperry Gyroscope) presented an "airplane stabilizer" in June 1914. Pilots could fly further with less fatigue, while improving safety. The device became essential for long-distance flying.
2. Modern Flight Management System
Engineers helped create the modern flight management system in the early 1980s. Click the infographic below for a closer look.
3. Smart Technology
SmartView™, SmartRunway™/SmartLanding™, and SmartPath® have made flying easier for pilots. SmartView gives pilots a clear view of the journey ahead, even if it's cloudy outside. SmartRunway/SmartLanding helps improve runway safety. And, SmartPath provides ground-based augmentation for precision approaches, reducing track miles and fuel emissions.
Visual description of SmartRunway/SmartLanding technology
The first non-stop trans-Atlantic biofuel flight took place in 2011. A Gulfstream G450 flew successfully from New Jersey to Paris with Honeywell's Green Jet Fuel. Developed by Honeywell UOP, the fuel helped the flight save approximately 5.5 metric tons of net carbon dioxide and the engine with the biofuel blend burned around 20 gallons less fuel.
Video via YouTube user TechnologicVehicles
5. Ground Proximity Warning System
Don Bateman worked for Honeywell legacy company Sundstrand Data Control in the 1970s and invented the ground proximity warning system to prevent controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) incidents. This invention reduced CFIT accidents from about one in every 3 million flights to less than one in every 20 million flights. In 2011, Bateman received a medal of honor from United States President Barack Obama for his many designs, including the ground proximity warning system. Bateman also received the Elmer A. Sperry Award for Advancing Flight Safety in 2013. The technology has since evolved into Honeywell's Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System.
Bateman (center) with Elmer A. Sperry Award
6. EGTS Electric Taxiing System
EGTS (developed in partnership by Honeywell and Safran) was first introduced at the 2013 Paris Air Show. Honeywell's auxiliary power unit (APU) powers motors on the main wheels. EGTS allows the aircraft to push back without a tug, and then taxi without requiring the use of the main aircraft engines.
7. Black Boxes
While Honeywell was not the first to create the black box, it is still an important part of aviation today. Click the infographic below for more information on the inner workings of a Honeywell "black box."
There are, of course, more than seven innovations that Honeywell contributed to aviation -- jump on over to our virtual museum, which captures 100 years' worth of aviation breakthroughs.
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