Welcome to the Age of the Connected Helicopter

April 30, 2019 | Author: Bharathan Aravamudhan

You’ll see the impact of connectivity just about everywhere you look in the helicopter world. Operators in every sector are seeing the enormous benefits of connected helicopter solutions that affect maintenance, operations and cabin communications.

In some areas, the helicopter industry lags a year or two behind our fixed-wing brethren in adopting these breakthrough applications, which is really an advantage as we’re able to adapt tried-and-true products, services and software solutions to the unique requirements of helicopter operations. In other areas, specifically connected maintenance, the helicopter industry pioneered foundational concepts like health and usage monitoring decades ago.

Across the board, we see enormous benefits in safety, efficiency, availability, cost and mission effectiveness as the connected helicopter concept continues to evolve. Connected helicopter solutions hover around three different types of applications – maintenance, operations and cabin connectivity.

Introduced more than three decades ago, Honeywell’s Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) technology is a cornerstone of predictive and condition-based maintenance concepts for civil and military helicopters. HUMS use sophisticated sensors on rotating parts to monitor their health and performance, helping maintenance teams identify potential issues before they become major problems.

We’ve taken HUMS to the next level with RECON™, a connected helicopter solution that lets maintenance crews on the ground monitor mechanical systems on airborne helicopters from anywhere at any time. With RECON, operators can expect to experience in-flight cancellation reductions of 30 percent, along with substantial reductions in test flights and scheduled maintenance.

Connected mission management and flight data monitoring systems like Honeywell’s Sky Connect Tracker 3 help operators improve the safety and efficiency of fleet operations in industries as diverse as oil and gas and helicopter air ambulance. Working through Honeywell’s onboard satellite communications system and the Iridium satellite constellation, the system provides reliable, secure and encrypted, global communications system connectivity.

It also enables 3D tracking and flight data monitoring by providing continuous, almost real-time location, flight status, route and estimated time of arrival for each helicopter in the fleet. Simultaneous tracking and voice capabilities allow vital tracking and urgent text messages to come through even during lengthy voice calls. The Sky Connect Tracker 3 transceiver gives operators the ability to capture 64 different data parameters covering just about every aspect of flight.

Our new Tracker 3 mission management terminal enables two-way texting and push-to-talk capabilities between helicopter crews and dispatchers on the ground, via the Iridium network. We announced this capability at this year’s Heli-Expo and received great feedback from operators.

Whether it’s the CEO travelling across town, a paramedic enroute to an accident scene or a mission specialist facing a challenging assignment, cabin connectivity that is fast, reliable and always available is the new norm. Regardless of your helicopter type or mission, Honeywell has a satellite communications system that will meet your needs. Examples include the Aspire 150 and Aspire 200, which features the first high data-rate solution to address the issue of rotor blade interference.

As connected aerospace continues to evolve, helicopter operators will be able to experience even greater levels of connectivity with speed, reliability and availability that will improve safety, efficiency and mission-effectiveness. Today, Honeywell offers the most complete portfolio of communications hardware, services and software solutions in the industry. Let us help you achieve your connectivity objectives.

Bharathan Aravamudhan

Bharathan Aravamudhan

Director of Product Marketing

Bharathan Aravamudhan is Director of Product Marketing for HUMS and Condition Based Maintenance.

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