Air India wanted to lead by example by exploring what the latest technology could provide in improved warnings of bad weather. Honeywell’s IntuVue RDR-4000 3D weather radar system is the first completely new radar design developed in the past 15 years. It produces a three-dimensional, 180 degree display of weather from the ground up to 60,000 feet, out to 320 nautical miles ahead of the aircraft.
It scans and stores the data to recreate a 3D image of storm cells, complemented by automatic ground returns extracted from Honeywell’s world renowned enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS).
Predictive hail and lightening icons overlay the regular weather display, providing an increased level of awareness of hazardous conditions to the flight crew. Air India has applied the weather radar technology to 20 aircraft within its international Boeing 777 fleet.
General manager of Air India flight operations, Captain Kathpalia, said: “Honeywell’s IntuVue 3D weather radar is simple to use – the controls and indications are pilot friendly. The system has made a substantial improvement in our ability to predict upcoming weather systems and turbulence and to take the necessary steps to avoid them.
“For example, I have had a number of occasions during the descent into Delhi during monsoon ops when the tomographic, layered display has helped me request better deviations, and hence enhance safety and passenger comfort. Honeywell is the world leader in weather radar systems and we are delighted to be using this fantastic technology in our aircraft.”