Flight Management Systems

Automates the flight planning, navigation, guidance functions optimizing lateral and vertical paths, providing both strategic and tactical management of all flight phases.

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Honeywell sets the standard of excellence for Flight Management System (FMS) development. Since the introduction and certification of the TERN-100 in the mid 1970’s and the first standard FMS on a commercial airliner (Boeing 757/767, 1982). Followed soon after by the certification of fully Vertical Navigation (VNAV) capabilities, Honeywell has been the undisputed leader in FMS for leading airline transport, regional and business fixed wing aircraft and helicopters worldwide. From the early origins of Sperry’s guidance systems - to today’s state of the art technology, Honeywell has delivered state-of-the art solutions. The FMS solutions are relied upon by aircrews each and every day for safe and efficient flight operations.

Honeywell maintains over 100 active patents related to FMS technologies, with an installed base that spans narrow and wide body air transport aircraft, regional, business and general aviation platforms from the world’s leading fixed wing and helicopter manufacturers. The long history of breakthrough innovations continued most recently with the first certifications and entry into service of the Honeywell Next Generation (NG) FMS. NG FMS is the industry’s first FMS that utilizes the Software Product Line (SPL) methodology to attain new levels of software reuse through a common core approach, facilitating the delivery of a consistent and high quality feature set across numerous market segments. 

As the airspace evolves and modernizes, the breadth and depth of expertise and capabilities in FMS development and integration that Honeywell brings to each aircraft project is unparalleled in the industry. Honeywell provides FMS solutions for the most demanding aircraft applications, spanning the air transport, regional, business and defense segments. To learn more about these capabilities, continue to the market-specific sections below.

Air Transport and Regional

Air Transport and Regional

Honeywell has an unparalleled position in the Air Transport and Regional market segment, providing the Flight Management System (FMS) standard for the leading aircraft manufacturers worldwide. Since the first certification of the FMS on the Boeing 757 and 767 airliners, Honeywell FMS has been certified as the FMS standard on virtually every modern airliner, including the newest offerings from Airbus, Boeing and Embraer.

Honeywell pioneered the merging of the area navigation (RNAV) systems that automate lateral navigation and guidance, with Performance Management Systems (PMS) that automate and optimize vertical/longitudinal performance into an air transport FMS. The fuel crisis in the 1970’s provided the drive for optimization of navigation capabilities in commercial aircraft and the initiative for Flight Management Systems. Honeywell pioneered many of the automated aircraft avionics systems and was first to design products for managing the economy and performance tradeoff that became essential in modern airline operations.

Honeywell’s innovation in Airline Transport and Regional FMS has continued as the number of platforms and the demands for functionality have grown. Honeywell was instrumental in the implementation of the Future Air Navigation System (FANS), which was first introduced on the Honeywell B747-400 Pegasus® FMS in 1995. Issues resulting from increasing demands on worldwide airspace drove the need for more capable systems that provided higher position accuracy, more flight plan autonomy, and digital communications with airspace management systems and aircraft. The industry defined an initial FANS1 package that allowed airlines with the specified equipage to fly specialized routes with optimum flight plans and more aircraft authority. The FANS1 package was offered as an option on the B747-400 Pegasus® FMS software as a configurable option.

In addition to advancing the FMS software, innovations in the FMS hardware platform were also accomplished in the mid-1990s. With the award of the FMS and other avionics software functions on the Boeing 777, Honeywell introduced a new hardware system called the Airplane Information Management System (AIMS). AIMS is a cabinet architecture for avionics, replacing the federated systems preceding it, that required multiple separate standalone hardware systems for each function. Many functions, including FMS, are hosted on Line-Replaceable Modules (LRMs) connected to a common backplane. This architecture allows much sharing greater data and common hardware, and lower weight and application costs.

The B777 AIMS marked the real application of software partitioning for avionics applications including FMS, with advances processors and a software language designed specifically for it. Processing capability was increased to about 35 times of the original Boeing standard FMS. The common backplane provided high integrity lockstep processing and increased reliability. The B777 system was designed to incorporate all the FMS capability available, including the FANS1 functions. A derivative of the AIMS, the Versatile Avionics Integration (VIA) is a smaller (subsystem) version of the cabinet architecture. The VIA was certified on the B717 and the MD-10 with FMS LRMs.

More recently, the Honeywell FMS was successfully adapted to the Airbus A380 aircraft. The A380 FMS marked the first certification of an Air Transport FMS employing Graphical User Interface (GUI) concepts and crew interactivity through the Navigation Display (map) using the ARINC 661 standard interface. The Boeing FMS has evolved as well with the certification of the B787 FMS, which is a first of its kind, software-only FMS that provides a new and innovative user interface via the large format displays characteristic of the Dreamliner’s advanced flight deck. The Honeywell Airbus FMS has completed first flight on the Airbus A350 XWB in the spring of 2013 and is rapidly progressing toward certification ahead of the planned entry into service.

Upon entry into service of A350, Honeywell FMS will be the only FMS offering on that platform and the larger A380, and the Honeywell Pegasus®  FMS is available on the A320 series and A330, providing best-in-class functionality for the entire Airbus fleet. Similarly, Honeywell FMS is the standard on the Boeing B777, the B787 and the latest version of the venerable 747, the 747-8 with its Honeywell NG FMS. The Embraer E-Jet 170/190 also utilizes a Honeywell FMS and will soon certify a NG FMS upgrade as well.

Key differentiating attributes of the Honeywell Air Transport & Regional FMS today include the following:

  • Superior Aircraft Performance Optimization utilizing table-driven aero-engine database: Cost Index speed generation, First Principles Predictions, Optimum Altitudes, Wind Trade Step Altitudes, Use of multiple wind inputs (waypoint and altitude based)
  • Industry Leadership in FMS -Data Link integration: AFIS, AOC, FANS 1, ATN (FANS 2); first-to-market fully integrated and certified FANS 2 solution (seamless FANS 1/ATN). Airline operators require both A702 AOC and ATS data link, functionality which is supported on all Honeywell ATR FMS variants
  • Human-Machine Interface Options: Ability to provide an optimized user interface for multiple types of flight decks; MCDU, Graphical, Hybrid MCDU/Graphical, ARINC 661, Lateral maps, and Vertical Situation Displays (VSDs)
  • Optimized, multi-sensor Navigation: RNP, Integrated sensor management (Inertial, GNSS, SBAS, GBAS, DME, VOR, ILS) and radio tuning
  • Comprehensive, Customizable Database: Honeywell serves as a single supplier to the airlines for Navigation Data Base and FMS software. Nearly 100% of Honeywell’s Airline FMS customers utilize the NAV DB tailoring service to best support their operations worldwide. 

Honeywell is the standard FMS on the following Air Transport & Regional platforms currently in production or approaching Entry into Service:


A300‑600, A310, 318/319/320/321, A330, A340, A350, A380


717, 747-8, 757, 767, 777, 787


ERJ-135/145, ERJ-170, ERJ-190


Fo-70, Fo-100

McDonnell Douglas

MD‑80/90 Series, MD-10/11

*Honeywell Pegasus® FMS is a selectable option on the Airbus A320 series (A318, A319, A320 and A321) and on the Airbus A330. The Honeywell FMS is standard equipment on the Boeing 787, the Airbus A350, A380 and the Embraer E-Jet today.

Business Aviation

Business Aviation

Leveraging its pioneering Flight Management System (FMS) position from air transport aircraft, immediately following the certification of the 757/767 FMS in 1982, Honeywell went on to create a FMS purpose-built for corporate aviation. By 1988, the Honeywell FMS was certified and flying on several platforms including the Dassault Falcon 900, the Gulfstream G-IV, the BAe (Hawker) 800 and Canadair (Bombardier) CL-601-3A. In that timeframe, Honeywell ushered in a new era of flight management with the certification of the PZ-800 Performance/Autothrottle Computer. The PZ-800 complemented the NZ-800 and NZ-900 series Navigation Computers to deliver a first of its kind, total FMS for business jet aircraft.

At the end of 2010, Honeywell FMS had recorded over 45 million flight hours on over 60 different aircraft models. Today, over 400 corporate aircraft from several leading aircraft manufacturers roll off the assembly line each year with the latest versions of the Honeywell corporate aviation and helicopter FMS. With the recent certification of the Gulfstream G650 and several additional new aircraft programs underway that will employ the NG FMS, Honeywell continues its leadership of the corporate aviation FMS segment.

Honeywell continues its leadership with the certification of the Gulfstream G650 aircraft with the NG FMS on the Epic flight deck. This marked the latest in a continuous stream of industry firsts for the business aviation FMS line and will continue as there are several additional new aircraft programs underway that will employ the NG FMS.



The Honeywell Military Flight Management System (FMS) is a complete solution to a complex set of today’s problems – It supports the mission requirements of flight crews while ensuring significant growth to meet the requirements of tomorrow.

Military missions require specialized functions not available in today’s commercial systems; Search and Rescue patterns, Military Refueling Patterns, CARP/HARP airdrops, and auto-tuning capabilities.

Honeywell’s Military FMS (MFMS) gives the military user the ability to operate within world-wide CNS/ATM airspace and provides the guidance, navigation, performance and data link capabilities essential to a successful mission. 
Honeywell is the world leader in FMS. Our MFMS is currently fielded on the USAF C-5, and multiple international C-130 and P-3 platforms. 

The MFMS solution is designed to maximize the service life of existing systems. The patented layered MFMS architecture can be quickly customized to interface to your existing equipment suite. 

Our MFMS provides the means for the flight crew to enter a flight plan, select various flight control modes, and enter other necessary mission data. Flight progress is monitored through the system’s Multi-function Control Display Units (MCDUs) and the primary cockpit display systems. 

The generated flight profile guides the crew from origin to destination and includes all military functions along the way. The system guidance can also include signals that are sent to the aircraft’s autopilot and auto throttle systems.
The MFMS can also provide the control and management of other on-board systems including: 

  • Communications 
  • Navigation Sensor 
  • Radio Navigation Management
  • Mission equipment

Interfaces to both military and commercial equipment are supported.
The MFMS is designed to operate in either the military battlefield environment or the benign lab simulation environment. It complies with both the requirements of DO-178B and ARINC – 610.

  • Flight Planning

There are multiple methods for creating a flight plan within the Military FMS. The flight plan may either be created or recalled via the MCDU keypad, a pre-existing flight plan may be created remotely and loaded into the system via a data loader, or a flight plan may be uplinked via data link communications. The navigation data based used in the MFMS flight planning is compatible with the government DAFIF. 

The MFMS planning functionality is scalable to fit each customer’s unique requirements. It allows them to designate the number of custom waypoints, number of waypoints in a route, number of stored routes, number of stored route waypoints, number of mark-points, number of temporary waypoints, as well as the number of each type of pattern that will be required for their system. It also includes the ability to insert special military flight routes for:

  • Search and Rescue Patterns 
  • Refueling Patterns
  • Airdrop Patterns
  • Navigation

The navigation function of the FMS provides the capability to initialize the navigation system, enter data, compute current position, provide radio NAVAID selection, and provide an accuracy level assessment of the current aircraft position. The navigation radios are automatically tuned by the FMS.
The MFMS generates the best estimate of the aircraft position based on the on-board navigation suite and the NAVAIDs available. The on-board database is used to track and tune the nearby VOR/DME and TACAN receivers. The class and figure of merit of the available NAVAIDs is constantly monitored and provides the Actual Navigation Performance (ANP), verifying Required Navigation Performance (RNP) is met or exceeded.

  • Guidance

The FMS provides a four-dimensional guidance solution: two-dimensional lateral, vertical, and time. Like the rest of the FMS, the guidance function can be customized to meet your needs. It provides commands for controlling aircraft roll, pitch, speed, and engine thrust. Lateral and vertical guidance modes may be coupled to a flight director and/or autopilot and auto throttle. Constraints may be inserted along the flight plan route, allowing path and performance guidance to the three-dimensional profile when lateral and vertical guidance are flown together. 

The lateral guidance function compares the aircraft’s actual position with the desired flight path and generates steering commands to the autopilot and/or flight director. Direct guidance is also available from the aircraft’s present position to any waypoint. 

The Honeywell MFMS provides vertical guidance during of the all segments of the flight plan; commercial and military. It provides guidance to meet speed/altitude and time constraints, as well as the entered cruise altitude or vertical profile. 
The required time at arrival function (RTA) provides the calculated times of arrival at various waypoints along the flight plan. The crew may select an RTA at a waypoint and the FMS will generate the appropriate commands to achieve that time on station.

  • Performance

The performance function optimizes the aircraft’s vertical profile integrated with the lateral profile. The performance function within the FMS determines flight plan predictions, climb and descent speeds, and top-of-climb and top-of-descent locations within the flight plan. The performance predictions are periodically updated in order to incorporate aircraft performance and ground speed. 

Platforms & Applications
  • Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion
  • Alenia C-27J Spartan
  • Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules
  • USAF C-5 (AMP and RERP)
  • Belgian Defence C-130H
  • Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130H

Interested in Flight Management Systems? Contact a Honeywell Specialist.