It’s Halloween. There’s Magic in the Air.

October 27, 2017 | Author: Carrie Fan

Halloween’s here. And that means so many things. Black magic. Witches and vampires flying through the air. Pumpkin spice added to everything. All sorts of spookiness.

But one thing that isn’t spooky, thanks to Honeywell, is flying on a dark and stormy Halloween night. Over the past few decades, the company has created so many incredible technologies to help pilots fly safely on the darkest, stormiest and most goblin-filled nights. Some are so amazing that they may seem like magic.

Take EGPWS, the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System. It used to be that flying in unfamiliar airspace, near mountains, or in zero visibility was extremely dangerous. Even with the old 1970s era GPWS, mountains could appear suddenly, since the old system was only using its radar altimeter to look at the ground directly below the aircraft.

Then, in the late 1990s, Honeywell created the enhanced GPWS system. The EGPWS no longer relied on radar but used satellite GPS. Now the aircraft’s exact position, altitude and speed over the ground were compiled in a precise 3-D map of the topography around it. EGPWS gave aircrews total awareness of what was in front of them so they’d have more time to avoid any obstacles, even on a spooky night.

EGPWS has been so refined by Honeywell that there are now affordable models (like the Mark VI) available to small, regional turboprops, which fly lower and over more mountainous areas than large commercial carriers.

Another Honeywell technology that has made flying much safer is our SmartView Synthetic Vision System software that gives the pilot “eyes in the dark.” Combined with EGPWS, pilots now have a 3-D visual display of the total environment around the plane, complete with the same kind of head-up display (HUD) of flight data that they would see on a clear, sunny day out the windscreen. SmartView turns the cockpit into a kind of flight simulator that any pilot would be comfortable with; only this “simulation” isn’t a simulation. Flying with EGPWS and SmartView makes flying at night and in stormy weather as close as you can get to a clear day.

Then there are Honeywell’s digital GoDirect tools for pilots, like Flight Preview and Weather Information Service. These provide detailed, real-time situational data of conditions around a destination airport or weather along the route. As with our other safety and aircrew technology, GoDirect services take advantage of the fully connected, satellite-based network to make flying anywhere in the world safer than it’s ever been.

Honeywell has been responsible for some truly amazing technology in flight safety over the years. Back in 1973, the year before the advent of GPWS, futurist Arthur C. Clarke coined his famous three laws of predicting the future of technology. Clarke’s Third Law states:

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Had Clarke been able to get into a time machine on Halloween night that year and travel forward 44 years, he might well have concluded Honeywell’s technology was indeed indistinguishable from magic.

Carrie Fan

Carrie Fan

Carrie Fan is a Senior Customer Marketing Manager for Honeywell Aerospace, she currently works for Honeywell Aerospace Asia Pacific .

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