Think Helicopters, Think Honeywell

March 10, 2016

For decades, commercial helicopter manufacturers and operators have turned to Honeywell Aerospace for powerful and efficient engines, reliable avionics, superior aftermarket support and innovative safety systems that protect people and assets.

Regardless of platform or mission, nobody matches Honeywell as the critical success partner for helicopter operators and manufacturers for hardware, software and services that helps get the job done.

We continue to push the envelope when it comes to products and systems that let customers improve the capabilities of their current helicopter fleet through retrofits, modifications or upgrades. In fact, we’ve recently been awarded several critical supplemental type certificates, STCs, by the FAA and other national regulatory agencies giving us the go-ahead to add exciting new capabilities for leading helicopter models. This process, in essence, gives operators the ability to get a “new” helicopter without going out and buying a brand new platform.

Growing the connected helicopter

It’s no surprise that you find us on the leading edge of the next major evolution in rotorcraft technology – the fully connected helicopter. Today’s demand for seamless in-flight connectivity doesn’t stop on an airplane. There’s a real need to enhance safety and operational efficiency for helicopter operators too, and Honeywell is leveraging its experience to bring a new connected experience for passengers, pilots and operators to rotorcraft.

We recently reached a major milestone by getting the FAA and EASA STCs, certifying High Data Rate (HDR) capabilities for our Aspire 200 satellite communications system on the Finmeccanica AgustaWestland 139 helicopter. This means that with a simple HDR software enhancement, the Aspire 200 system can transmit more data, faster than any other L-band system. And we’re expecting this HDR STC for more platforms later this year.

Monitoring for safety

We’re also the leader in Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) technologies for rotorcraft and we recently received certification for our VXP HUMS for the EC-145 helicopter. Certifications are in the works for several other helicopter models. We currently support a broad range of rotory wing and fixed wing platforms with our HUMS product and will continue to grow this over the coming years.

HUMS continuously monitors vibration data at numerous points throughout the drive train, determines component health and pinpoints anomalies before they become serious problems. Honeywell HUMS solutions provide helicopter operators with actionable information that enables them to anticipate mechanical failures, make anticipatory maintenance decisions and act when maintenance is necessary.

Integrated with our Sky Connect Tracker III mission management system, Honeywell’s HUMS can send real-time aircraft health status and maintenance alerts. This gives ground maintenance and operations people the ability to instantaneously see when a HUMS exceedance is detected, so they can be ready to service the helicopter when it lands.

Keeping Honeywell Maintained

Honeywell also helps commercial helicopter operators protect their avionics investment from the burden of unexpected maintenance costs through the Honeywell avionics protection plan (HAPP).

Designed for commercial helicopters, business aviation and general aviation, HAPP is an extended warranty program that offers full coverage for all Honeywell avionics.

Honeywell just signed deals with Mecaer Aviation Group, an authorized dealer that will cover the five AW139 helicopters operated by the New Jersey State Police.

And beyond extending the life of avionics, Honeywell is also working to keep Honeywell engines maintained and supported.

To do this, Honeywell and McDermott are working together to provide ongoing sustainment support to the worldwide fleet of Bell 214 operators who use the Honeywell T55-08D engine. McDermott acquired the T55-08D license in 2015 from Honeywell to maintain the engine for the Bell 214 operators around the world.

As the helicopter industry shifts and adjusts to the global economic outlook, Honeywell is working on certifying our connectivity products, HUMS solutions and other technologies on a broader range of helicopter types. Our ultimate goal is to provide the hardware, software and expertise needed to give operators the ability to upgrade their helicopter fleet making them better connected, more reliable and safer under the most challenging operating conditions.