Growing Up in the Star Wars Era

March 15, 2016 | Author: Julie Curtis

How Honeywell tech could make the Millennium Falcon, the TARDIS and the Starship Enterprise even cooler!

After a 10-year wait, Star Wars fans (and I’m one) finally got to see the new movie “The Force Awakens” with the Millennium Falcon flying again. Seeing this iconic aircraft from my childhood got me thinking about the influence space travel has had on the generation that grew up in the Star Wars era. Since Honeywell has been on the leading edge of space technology since the very beginning of the space age, I asked for spacecraft perspectives from some Honeywell sci-fi geeks: Nick Maynard, Marketing Execution Manager, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAI); Stephen Woodward, Digital Arts Manager; and Chris Martin, EMEA Communications Manager.

Let’s start with what is your favorite spaceship and why?

Chris Martin (CM): There are so many to choose from – this is quite difficult. Maybe a Star Destroyer from Star Wars, or what about Sputnik? The Saturn V rocket also was an engineering leap for its time and remains the only launch vehicle able to transport human beings beyond low Earth orbit.

Nick Maynard (NM): Mine would have to be the TARDIS (the Time And Dimension In Space craft for space explorer Dr. Who).

CM: Hold on, I want to change mine! Is the TARDIS even a spaceship?

NM: Of course, it travels through time and to different planets.

OK, Chris, I’ll come back to you in minute. Nick, why is the TARDIS your favorite?

NM: It’s a blue British police box, can travel through time, has unlimited space inside and I would be called Dr. Who, who’s a humanoid Time Lord.  

Chris, shall we try this again?

CM: Mine would be the USS Enterprise spaceship from Star Trek – Next Generation, obviously. It can be split in two, has a teleportation deck and deflector shields. I would have to redo the flight deck, though, as I don’t like the crew sitting behind me, and I would be closer to the door for a quick escape route.

NM: Aren’t you supposed to be the last to go down with ship?

CM: Don’t be silly.

Stephen Woodard (SW): I would have to choose the Millennium Falcon. It does the job without looking pretty and also I’m already the copilot (Chewbacca).

Your impressions of Chewbacca are the best! I remember going to the cinema to watch “Return of the Jedi” and being amazed at the light sabers. Years later that I found out they were made from two broomsticks wrapped with aluminum foil.   

What Honeywell products would you put in your spaceships and why?

CM: Update the flight deck with DU885 monitors, our liquid crystal display flight deck upgrade offering electronic charts and maps and integrated worldwide graphical weather with video display capabilities. I would invest in all the services: the Honeywell Avionics Protection Plan for repair and maintenance coverage for mission-essential aircraft systems; the Maintenance Service Plan for auxiliary power unit repairs, and Mechanical Protection Plan for maintenance on environmental and cabin control systems. Considering how often the Enterprise has mechanical issues, it makes sense to cover all eventualities.

SW: Allowing for how often the Millennium Falcon has system failure, I would install HUMS for  its condition-based maintenance from measuring the health and performance of critical components. Given the terrain the Millennium Falcon flies through in “The Force Awakens,” I will definitely need EGPWS. It provides protection against controlled flight into terrain, windshear and optional runway incursions/overruns – good for potential ground attacks and meteor showers.

NW: I would certainly like to update the navigation system with a Smartpath (GBAS[DA1] ) Ground Based Augmentation System for extremely precise landing guidance data. I would go with the[DA2]  Primus Elite Advanced Features, our Integrated Primary Flight Display with Synthetic Vision System. I would need JetWave, our broadband solution for outstanding high-speed connectivity. Finally, I would install Honeywell's Ovation Select® cabin management system to maximize comfort and productivity for my massive (invisible) living space. That would have to be it as the BBC budget might not stretch that far.

Honeywell remains on the cutting edge of space flight. We’ve been present for some major milestones, including last year’s successful launch of Orion and the 15th anniversary of the International Space Station, both flying with Honeywell technology onboard. I would never consider myself a sci-fi geek but considering some of the future technology that may fly into space makes me realize perhaps I am more geek than chic. May the force be with you!

Possibilities of Space. Made Easy.


Julie Curtis

Julie Curtis

Julie is a Senior Marketing Specialist in the Defense and Space division of Honeywell Aerospace covering EMEAI (Europe, Middle East, Africa and India) region. Julie joined Honeywell in May 2011 and has a background in events, marketing and public relations in the technology industry. She is based in our Dubai office in the Middle East.

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