High Flying to HELI-EXPO, the Connected Helicopter

March 1, 2017 | Author: Tom Neumann

Helicopters are known for their agile flying abilities, whether they’re used for a search and rescue mission through treacherous terrain, carrying water to fight wildfires, or carrying a patient to the nearest hospital. Because of the type of environments they have to fly in, they run a higher risk of having incidents or accidents. In fact, helicopters crash on average about 35 percent more often per hour in the air than your average aircraft (Source: Slate).

When faced with high-risk and dangerous missions, helicopter pilots are often expected to troubleshoot with little to no data and information, but we have a solution. The age of connectivity is here, and it doesn’t just apply to fixed-wing aircraft. Helicopter pilots should no longer have to rely solely on their knowledge and experience to ensure safe flight.

Honeywell is leveraging its experience in connectivity to create the connected helicopter: a new connected experience for helicopter pilots and operators, which will help increase safety as well as keep operators aware of potential maintenance issues and faults before they even happen.

For example, emergency medical services helicopter pilots can now send data and communicate in real time with hospital workers awaiting their arrival. This allows the hospital to prepare for patients ahead of time and increases the likelihood of saving lives. Even maintenance personnel on the ground can warn pilots of potential vibration component failures to make sure the issues are fixed before the helicopter takes off on its mission to medevac the injured to hospitals.

The connected helicopter gives pilots more information about the flight environment than ever before, allowing them to stay consistently connected around the world. Honeywell has a range of solutions for operators of all sizes that will redefine the future of commercial helicopter use, making sure that their often-dangerous, lifesaving missions will result in increased safety for pilots, operators and passengers.

Honeywell will be at Booth #5423 at HAI HELI-EXPO. Stop by the booth to learn more about how we’re helping the future of commercial helicopter flight safety and efficiency.

In the meantime, here is an overview what Honeywell is working on for the connected helicopter:

Aspire 200

The Aspire 200 provides a true broadband experience for the helicopter operator and offers reliable, consistent and high-speed connectivity through the rotor wash. No solution prior to the Aspire 200 could penetrate the rotor wash to provide pilots and operators with connectivity, making Honeywell the first to bring a solution like this to the market.

Regardless of where the helicopter is located, whether it be over land, water or a remote location, Aspire 200 provides global access and connectivity high-bandwidth missions. This proves to be especially crucial during critical applications such as rescue missions and the delivery of medical supplies.

GoDirect Services

We all utilize applications that help us stay on track with our tasks and up to date on the latest news, so why can’t we translate that for monitoring helicopters and fleets?

Honeywell has a vast portfolio of services solutions, called GoDirect, that deliver new ways to enhance safety and efficiency for helicopter operators, which would not be possible without connectivity. Honeywell’s services are experiencing a period of tremendous growth, highlighted by the industry’s broadest selection of more than 20 offerings. Updates include real-time access to current flight plans, changes to the flight plan due to weather and congestion, and access to remote devices, including electronic flight bags and iPads.

The following GoDirect applications are already addressing some of the aviation industry’s most urgent needs:

  • Flight Preview allows a pilot to prepare for landing with Honeywell’s unique 3-D view map rather than just a traditional chart on paper. This new approach helps helicopter pilots prepare for difficult landings while also increasing their situational awareness around their destination.
  • MyMaintainer is an app that helps maintainers diagnose faults on helicopters with Honeywell avionics.
  • Weather Information Service delivers strategic weather data for pilots and dispatchers to enhance safety, prevent equipment damage and ensure efficient routing.

We’re committed to accelerating the development of applications that connect, inform and drive a more efficient and productive industry. GoDirect Services have allowed helicopter pilots to enter into a new era of increased safety.

Health and Usage Monitoring Systems

Much like the fitness bands we use to monitor whether we’ve gotten our steps in or if our sleeping patterns are regular, Honeywell has developed Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) sensors that reduce maintenance, increase safety, and decrease aircraft total cost of ownership through prognostics and diagnostics of helicopter health and usage data.

HUMS interprets data generated by various helicopter components including engines, gearboxes and other dynamic components. The quick access to usable data lets operators experience up to a 30 percent reduction in aborted missions and 20 percent reduction in maintenance test flights. They can closely monitor the status of their helicopter fleets and increase aircraft availability for last-minute missions.

Sky Connect Tracker III

What would you do without your smartphone? It lets you keep in touch with those most important to you. Whether you’re communicating through text or voice, you rely on your smartphone to keep you connected throughout the day.

That’s what Honeywell’s Sky Connect Tracker III does for helicopters. It is an industry-leading fleet tracking system that has voice, text, data recording and mapping capabilities. It handles over 5 million tracking, text and telemetry messages in a single month for real-time aircraft performance surveillance.

Honeywell was actually the first to provide simultaneous integrated tracking and communication functions for operators and is the newest addition to the proven and trusted Sky Connect family, ensuring excellence in reliability, service and support.

Tom Neumann

Tom Neumann

Tom Neumann has been the Director for the Defense Americas Business within Defense and Space managing all of the Honeywell Business with the US DOD and partners along with the Commercial Helicopter Business. Previous to this, he was the Director for Honeywell’s Global Commercial Helicopter Business.

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