Honeywell A-Z: An Alphabetical Journey Through Our Products and Services Q-T
Honeywell A-Z: An Alphabetical Journey Through Our Products and Services Q-T
Part Five – Quebec to Tango
We’re on an alphabetical journey through some of the innovations and technologies that Honeywell Aerospace has developed to drive forward the safety, efficiency and capabilities of the global aerospace industry. So far, we’ve covered Alpha to Delta, Echo to Hotel, Indigo to Lima and Mike to Papa. In this edition, we’re putting our boots on the ground in some of the toughest environments on earth, we’re blasting off to explore the final frontier and we’ll meet some old ladies who’ve helped shape the future of aviation.
Q – Q-Flex
Honeywell has a long tradition in the oil and gas industry. This tradition is usually associated with Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) or Honeywell UOP. UOP alone licenses more than 70 processes and 300 catalysts to 6,000 refineries and plants worldwide. However, long before the raw materials reach the refineries, a small – but robust and extremely clever product is helping bring these raw materials out of the ground – Honeywell’s Q-Flex accelerometers.
Honeywell Aerospace is the recognized industry leader in accelerometers. Initially developed to deliver inertial navigation accuracy to the aerospace industry, Honeywell’s Q-Flex family have a range of high-grade applications across multiple industries. These include automotive test instrumentation, braking system deceleration, bridge and building sway and tilt monitoring, industrial and robotic control, subway and high-speed train ride comfort control and onshore/offshore drilling motion monitoring. Tough enough for many of the world’s harshest land or offshore environments, and engineered to deliver consistent accuracy, Honeywell’s industrial accelerometers all feature a patented Q-Flex etched-quartz-flexure seismic system and an amorphous quartz proof-mass structure to provide excellent bias, scale factor and axis alignment stability.
R – Runway Safety
There is little doubt that runway safety remains one of the key challenges facing commercial aviation. Runway excursions, when an aircraft unintentionally veers off or overruns the runway on arrival or departure, are one of the most serious risks in aviation. According to IATA, these accounted for 23% of accidents between 2005 and the first half of 2019. Globally, two flights a month end with a runway excursion, costing the industry more than US$900 million per year.
Runway incursions are defined as the ‘incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take-off of aircraft’. Statistics from the FAA show there were 1,262 runway incursions at airports in the United States in 2020 – that’s an average of more than 3 incursions every day!
Fortunately, most of these incursions pass without further consequence – however the potential for catastrophe is clear. Indeed, on April 1, 1999, a runway incursion occurred at O'Hare International Airport when a China Air Boeing 747 deviated from its assigned taxi route and inadvertently re-entered a runway as a Korean Air 747 was taking off. Fortunately, the Korean aircraft was going fast enough for the pilot to lift off. According to the NTSB Report, the Korean B747 passed just 75 feet over the Air China aircraft and was only 3 seconds from a collision. There were 390 people on the two aircraft.
Fortunately, Honeywell’s runway safety solutions – SmartRunway and SmartLanding are available for both commercial and business jets and can break the chain of events that lead to runway incursions and excursions. The next evolution of the renowned Runway Awareness and Advisory System (RAAS), SmartRunway and SmartLanding are software upgrade options for the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) which increase flight crew situational and positional awareness during taxi, take-off and landing.
SmartLanding helps reduce the risk of a runway excursion by encouraging compliance with an operators’ stabilized approach criteria. Flight crew are alerted if the aircraft is going too fast, is too high, is going to incur a long landing, or is incorrectly configured for landing. SmartRunway, which addresses the threat of runway incursions, uses ground navigation GPS data to issue advisories to the flight crew based on aircraft position when compared against airport locations stored in the EGPWS Runway Database. Loss of situational awareness is a factor in the majority of these runway incursions, particularly if pilots are operating at unfamiliar airports, or in poor weather conditions.
S – Space
Space is, as we all know, the final frontier – and at Honeywell we’re self-confessed Space Nerds! From the very beginning, and those heady days of the Gemini and Mercury missions to the Apollo moon landing, Honeywell Aerospace has been at the forefront of manned and unmanned space exploration. Our technologies have helped shape our understanding of our own solar system, and the vast universe beyond.
Honeywell has built many different components for many different spacecraft, perhaps most famously Honeywell contributed an astonishing 16,000 components that went into the 14 separate electronic devices that made up the Stabilization and Control Systems (SCS) on the Apollo 11 mission. We should also mention the 50+ displays, switches and flag warning devices on the famous Lunar Module itself.
Our technologies have been on board every NASA program since the 1960’s including Apollo 11, the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope. Our components have helped thousands of satellites and probes navigate throughout the Solar System!
Recently, excitement and investment in both near space and deep space exploration has reached levels unseen since the space race of the 1960’s. At Honeywell, our space nerds and world-leading engineers have the ability to help take humankind into an emerging future beyond Earth with our innovative and reliable technologies.
Working in collaboration with NASA and other partners, including Lockheed Martin, over the next decade, Honeywell will develop and produce essential systems for the Artemis and Orion projects that will take man (and women) to the Moon for the first time since 1972. These systems include guidance and navigation systems, command data handling, display and control products. The focus of these missions is to validate these advanced technologies and learn lessons that will help take humans to Mars.
T – Test Aircraft
I mentioned earlier that we’d meet some old ladies who’ve helped shape the future of aviation. I’m therefore delighted to introduce you to our B757 and our now retired Convair 580 test aircraft. Together, these old ladies of the skies have over 100 years of service and have helped Honeywell enhance aviation safety, improve flight efficiency and increase aircraft performance.
The products we’ve been covering in our alphabetical journey are the result of years of research and development by Honeywell’s world-class engineers. A vital stage in the validation, certification and evolution of these products is our fleet of test aircraft. Honeywell currently has 12 aircraft in the test fleet, this includes an AW139 helicopter, a number of turboprops including a Pilatus PC-12 and King Air B200, and jets including a Falcon 900, Gulfstream G550 and of course the venerable B757-200. Our flight test department employs over 50 engineers, pilots, mechanics and support staff.
During her 67 years of service to aviation, the Honeywell Convair 580 contributed to the development of the lifesaving products including the Enhanced Proximity Warning System (EPWS) and Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), as well as the revolutionary IntuVue RDR-4000 radar system, clocking up over 67,000 flight hours and a staggering 103,000 landings!
Our B757 was the fifth off Boeing’s original Renton assembly line way back in 1983! She operated with a number of commercial and charter companies before joining Honeywell in 2005. As our designated ‘Connected Aircraft’ the B757 has spent the last couple of years globetrotting, showcasing Honeywell connected solutions including JetWave. I’ve had the opportunity to fly on her a couple of times during these demos – and I can certainly say that this old lady of the skies still has a few tricks up her sleeve. One of these tricks is a special pylon attached to the forward fuselage that enables Honeywell to test new engines including the HTF7000, TFE731 and TPE331 — which are common in corporate and military aircraft.
Check out the next blog in this series. Part Six Uniform - Zulu.
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