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 in 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 consistently delivered solutions that exceed expectations from the most demanding platform applications. The FMS solutions are relied upon by aircrews each and every day for safe and efficient flight operations across the globe.  

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.

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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 has undergone significant evolutions in the modernization of the Air Transport flightdeck.  In 2007, the Honeywell Pegasus® FMS was successfully adapted to the Airbus A380 with significant advances in the crew interface. This marked the first certification of an Air Transport FMS employing Graphical User Interface (GUI) concepts and crew interactivity through the Navigation Display using the ARINC 661 standard interface. The Honeywell FMS is also standard equipment on the Airbus A350 XWB which entered into service in late 2014. 

Similarily, with the certification of the B787 in 2011, the FMS was innovated into a software-only FMS, a first of its kind, with significant improvements to the user interface. This FMS has since been selected as standard equipment on the next-generation 777X which will enter service at the end of the decade.

Upon entry into service of A350, the Honeywell FMS is 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 certify an NG FMS retrofit in 2015.  The Honeywell NG FMS has been selected as the FMS to be utilized by the Primus Epic® flight deck solution which will be standard on the next generation E-Jet, the E2 family.

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.

For Air Transport and Regional platforms currently in production, the Honeywell FMS is standard equipment on the Airbus A350, A380, and is a selectable option on the Airbus A320 series (A318, A319, A320 and A321) and Airbus A330. On Boeing, it is standard equipment on the 787, 777, 767 and 747-8 platforms. On the Embraer E-Jet family, the Honeywell FMS is standard equipment as part of the Primus Epic® cockpit.  The table below illistrates the complete list of platforms supported, both in production and out of production.


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


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


ERJ-135/145, E-Jet Family


Fo-70, Fo-100

McDonnell Douglas

MD‑80/90 Series, MD-10/11


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.

Interested in Flight Management Systems? Contact a Honeywell Specialist.